How to Camp with Eye Contacts


What You Need To Know & How To Camp With Contactsfile6111238452998


I’ve had glasses since the third grade, and have been wearing contacts since I was 11. Needless to say, I am aware that I contacts can be a huge pain when doing anything outside (i.e. rafting, camping or hiking). Anyone who has contacts knows that even the slightest itch or rubbing of your eye can make your contacts go wonky. Dryness or a splash in the face could literally ruin your day.

Those of you with great vision and don’t know, consider yourself lucky! …And maybe share this with your contacts-wearing friends. 🙂

This past August I was on a river trip through the Westwater section of the Colorado River with a group of friends. After a long, fun day on the river, we arrived at our campsite and got going on setting up camp. Upon arrival at our campsite, I wanted to take my contacts out so that I could rest my eyes for the evening. I grabbed my go-to bag to get my solution and necessities. Another woman on the trip and I started talking about our love/hate relationship with contacts. (I mean, I LOVE my contacts just for the mere fact that wearing them means I don’t have to wear glasses! But I can also safely say that contacts do have their drawbacks too.

Anyways, she was astounded and impressed that I was able to take out and put in my contacts without a mirror (let’s just say it took practice…lots and lots of it) and that she had messed up by not bringing a mirror on the trip. She told me that on most of her overnight camping trips, she ended up just sleeping in her contacts in order to avoid the ordeal, but I offered to be her “mirror” as she took out her contacts and put them back in the next day

I’ve also experienced a wind and sandstorm during a camping trip in southeast Utah…not fun. After it was over, my eyes were quite irritated and itchy, and I ended up losing a contact lens to the elements. Thankfully it didn’t ruin the rest of my trip because I had my glasses with me – but it could have! 

We’ve established that even though they’re annoying and not a 100% perfect solution to our glasses-wearing problems, we just couldn’t do without them on our outdoor adventuring.

Even if you are able to sleep in your contacts or you wear dailies, the following tips might still help you out!

My helpful tips:

  • Always, ALWAYS bring: solution, contacts case, back-up glasses, hand sanitizer, small mirror AND an extra pair of contacts…just in case. Baby wipes and contacts-safe eye drops are optional, but they’re small and won’t take up a lot of space, so I highly suggest them!
  • Keep your stuff safe by placing in a sealable bag, like a ziplock, to ensure that they don’t get wet or dirty. Make sure to pack them correctly to ensure that nothing gets broken.
  • Make sure you wash thoroughly (if possible with soap and warm water…I normally bring a baby bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap) or use hand sanitizer before you do anything. (If all you have is hand sani, try to wash off your hands with clean water OR baby wipes before you sanitize, as hand sanitizer doesn’t actually clean, it just kills bacteria that is present.)
  • Think about where you are inserting or removing your contacts. It’s a good idea to sit down with a towel or clean t-shirt laid down, to “catch” your contact if you accidentally drop it!

CHEERS & Happy Camping-with-Contacts! 

We’d love to hear your stories about camping with contacts or glasses in the comments!


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