Trekking is one of a kind experience and something that you may not forget throughout your life and yeah some people find trekking so enjoyable that they actually take this up as a proper serious profession. Not many a things are required for trekking ( I mean literally you require a lot of things but once you collect your gear during the first few times you will be totally fine for a couple of years.) out of the many important things that you need today we will broadly focus on sunglasses as these are very essential for your eyes and for you to be able to see clearly and trek properly and safely. Now the problem here is that finding a pair of sunglasses is not difficult for people who don?t use powered sunglasses but it can be a major issue for the people who use powered glasses and obviously are not very comfortable without their glasses so our main focus today will be to talk about how to use sunglasses with your contact lenses. If you wear spectacles and think that you can not use sunglasses even with your contact lenses on and not only do you want to look "Insta-ready" and "cool" on your trekking but you also want to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun then the tips and tricks given below might help you a bit.
We all know that our eyes are as much prone to sunburns as our skin the only difference is that eyes have a different way to show its symptoms and skin has it's own. The sunburn of eyes is called ?PHOTOKERATITIS?, this is caused due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays. Too much exposure to UV rays can cause irritation in the eyes, can damage the cornea of the eyes, and can also cause damaged eyesight and temporary blindness.
The snow we all know is a very reflective surface as it is made of water so this means it is very efficient in reflecting the UV rays. Therefore, when you trek in the mountains you should definitely wear sunglasses.
Before I tell you how to use sunglasses over contact lenses you need to know whether you actually need contact lenses at all.
- Contact lenses should be preferred over spectacles if you want a crystal clear view in a trek and you can easily use your regular sunglasses to cover and protect them.
Things you need to take care of before you take contact lenses with you on a trek:-
- Always wash your hands before using the contact lenses. I know this is a very tip but on a trek people very often tend to have dirty hands and they may not even realize it, so I would suggest you always wash your hands before using contact lenses as they can easily be infected.
- Carry extra lenses or spectacles with you so that even if your contact lenses by any chance are lost you can use another set without much problem.
- In high altitude, the solution used to clean your lenses tends to freeze as it is made of some of the other kinds of additives and this can be problematic. You should find ways to keep it from freezing in areas of high altitudes.
- When you go to an isolated place in the Himalayas for trekking then its natural that not many facilities would be there so changing or cleaning of your contact lenses can be difficult as you may not have access to your own mirrors or lamps or any kind of light for that matter(until u have a torch of your own or the sun god decides to shine on you that day).
SUNGLASSES OVER SPECTACLES
One easy and quick way to hack the problem is to wear sunglasses over your spectacles, it may feel tight around the ears or the eyes but I think you should be able to complete the trek comfortably.
SUNGLASSES WITH POWER LENSES
Custom made sunglasses with its lenses having the power according to its use can be one of the most effective ways to use sunglasses and complete your trek at ease, but these custom made sunglasses can be very expensive. They can cost anything around 1000rs or above just for the lenses and apart from that, you might also need scratch-resistant and other premium specifications.
Clip-on glasses are the lenses or a pair of glasses as you may call it that can be clipped on your normal powered glasses and can be easily taken off when you don?t want to use them anymore. They are much more cost-effective then the custom made ones and are more easily available in stores like Decathlon.
OVER THE SPECTACLES
You can also go for fit-over sunglasses. These are very much like the clip-on sunglasses but there you get only the lenses part of your glasses clipped but here you can get the whole spectacle clipped with your fit-over sunglasses. They are built of lightweight material and therefore can easily be like a cover of your spectacles, it can like a little secret ;).You can use it if you really want to change your frame and want to look more fashionable.
Again you can find them in decathlon pretty easily.
Fit over sunglasses should be preferred in snow conditions as they can cut off the side glare which clip-on lenses will not be able to do so.
These are the shades that can easily transform from clear glasses to anti-glare dark sunglasses depending on the exposure to the sun.
These lenses change color automatically according to the exposure of the sun, that is why many people find it difficult to use. These types of lenses might be expensive and may not be worth spending your money on.
NOTE:- Ensure that your glasses have a proper frame around its lenses as frameless glasses are very fragile and can be broken easily breaking all of your fun and adventure with it.
There are a lot of other options available for the bespectacled trekkers but we have tried to summarise and put the best options available. Among these, we would suggest the clip-ons and fit over sunglasses to be the best and most suitable options.
Harshit Patel : Co-Founder at Trekmunk. A certified Mountaineer, Skiier, has led more than 50 high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas. He is an Engineer by profession but a traveler by passion. He has led treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal. He is a NOLS certified First Aid Responder and has covered 185,000+ km on Motorcycle. A Poet, Drone Pilot and Videographer at Insane Traveller Productions.