By: Blonde Two

Eyes can be very useful but, when they don’t work as required, also a bit annoying. I am not here to complain about mine, they are big, blue and work pretty well but, these days, they do need rather more help to do their basic job (i.e. seeing) than they used to. It can be tricky on some outdoor days to work out whether to wear glasses or contact lenses for walking, swimming, navigating, camping… or whichever outdoor activity takes the Blonde fancy. For this week’s Tuesday’s Ten we have some comments and top tips about whether to wear glasses or contact lenses for outdoor life.

  1. You shouldn’t wear contact lenses to do outdoor swimming. I know this because my optician told me so and because, during my first season of sea swimming, I had two eye infections. Prescription goggles are an alternative but can be expensive.
  2. If you are having a glasses day and it is raining, a peaked cap can help preserve the transparency of your glasses. Blonde One is far better at remembering this than I am.
  3. Prescription sunglasses are a great idea but they can also be expensive, especially if you prefer sports style sunglasses to girl style ones for your outdoor activity.
  4. Sunglasses are not just for shading your eyes, they offer a particularly effective method of holding your hair off your face in light to moderate winds.
  5. If on a windy day, you stand next to a minibus mirror and attempt to put a contact lens in, the chances are that it will blow off your finger into the mud. At this point, the correct thing to do is not to suck the contact lens and try again!
  6. Contact lenses are great for rainy days because they don’t steam up. You should, by the way, never eat your contact lenses!
  7. Once your eyes reach a certain level of age-induced bad behaviour, you may well need to swap to varifocal lenses for navigation purposes (you can get these for contact lenses too). If you don’t, you will need to add time to each route to allow for multiple ground-to-map focusing breaks.
  8. Learning how to insert your contact lenses at 5 a.m. in a dark tent takes practice… approximately 10 years in my case!
  9. A top tip for monthly contact lens wearers who like camping is to take a pot filled with fresh fluid for each night you will be away (obviously if you are planning a global circumnavigation, a whole bottle of fluid might make more sense).
  10.  You should always clean your hands before removing or inserting contact lenses. This is not easy when you are camping. Wet wipes are not the best tool for, neither are the grass, a drop of whisky or the inside of your mouth!

So there we have it. Ten top tips for contact lens and glasses wearers who love to go outside… keep looking!