Your Guide to Hiking Safely With Contact Lenses

hiking with contact lenses

Hiking is a popular form of exercise, and it’s not hard to see why. It strengthens your bones, improves your balance and heart health, and boosts your mood by allowing you to spend time in the great outdoors. This is why it has become one of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States, with 58.7 million Americans hiking in 2021, according to the 2022 Outdoor Participation Trends Report. 

While hiking is exciting, it can also require a lot of work. This is especially true if you have vision problems. Luckily, with the help of contact lenses, anyone — even people with vision issues — can participate. Estimates of the number of contact lens usersfrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showthat around 45 million people in the US wear contact lenses. Wearing a pair can help aid vision correction without interfering with certain strenuous activities like hiking. Here’s why contact lenses are a good hiking companion: 

Benefits of contact lenses 

In our previous article on hiking with glasses, we mentioned how wearing glasses while hiking can sometimes be an inconvenience, as your lenses can get foggy on the trail during cold or humid weather. Your glasses can also slip off your face when you start to perspire or when you’re descending down a steep slope. Fortunately, contact lenses are a viable alternative, especially when the weather is not ideal or convenient for wearing glasses. Wearing contact lenses can sometimes be more comfortable, and it’s easy to pack an extra pair in case a lens falls off. That being said, here are some tips for hiking properly with contact lenses:

How to hike safely with contact lenses: 

Sanitize your hands 

It’s almost impossible to avoid dirt while hiking. To avoid bacteria and unwanted pathogens from infecting your contact lenses and eyes, be sure to thoroughly sanitize and clean your hands before wearing or taking off your contacts. You can use soap and water if resources are available. Otherwise, wet wipes and a hand sanitizer will do the trick, just make sure to dip your fingers in a small amount of water to avoid burning your eyes due to the alcohol. Ensuring your hands are clean before touching your contact lenses is a good way to prevent dirt and debris from causing eye discomfort and other serious vision problems. 

Bring extra pairs to be sure

You’ll never know what lies ahead of your trail, which is why it’s important to bring along extra lenses just in case one falls out. You can stock up on contacts through online purchases, with retailer ContactsDirect offering diverse brand options, including contact solutions. There are different types of contacts available depending on your needs, such as the Dailies Aquacomfort Plus, which provides extra moisture to avoid dry eyes, and contacts from Acuvue Oasys, which cater to people with astigmatism. It doesn’t hurt to bring extra just to be prepared. Having a backup pair can help you avoid mishaps like lost contacts along the way. 

Take care of your contacts 

A clean pair of contact lenses is key to avoiding serious eye infections. When you’re outdoors, it’s important to never overlook taking proper care of your contacts, so be sure to clean them using safe techniques like the “rub and rinse” cleaning method: rub your contacts with clean fingers, rinse them with solution, then soak them. You cannot rinse or store your contact lenses in water, so be sure to bring travel-size solutions like the Biotrue Hydration Boost Contact Lens Rehydrating Drops from Bausch + Lomb to clean your contacts. That way, you can enjoy the trails without experiencing eye discomfort and other problems.

Hiking with contacts can be a safe and enjoyable experience as long as you know how to take care of your lenses along the way. For more helpful hiking tips, check out Hikers Daily for the latest in outdoor activities. 

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