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Camping + Contacts 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 am
Posts: 33
Location: metro detroit
Those of you who wear contacts for the week -- what's your strategy? Is it practical to wash your hands at the sinks and pop your lenses in and out there? Do you handle it from your campsite? I was thinking of just using some kind of hand sanitizer in my tent, but I'm not sure if that's sufficient -- maybe a bucket/soap/bottled water set up of some kind would be better? Would love to hear your advice!


Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:49 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 60
Always handle my contacts at my campsite; wash my face, then hands (I have a water jug with a spigot), then used a small bowel of water to clean my contacts (I have rigid, gas-perm). Most importantly, I handle my contacts over a large flat surface (table, towel, etc.) so I can find them easily if dropped. No fun searching for a contact in the ferns and dirt!


Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:25 am
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 3:01 pm
Posts: 150
I think it would be difficult to deal with contacts at the hand washing station if it's dark. I wash my hands right before I head back to my tent for the night and then take out my contacts inside my tent. It was so worthwhile to buy a lantern for this (taking out contacts while using a flashlight was pretty bad). It's not really ideal from a cleanliness standpoint to wash my hands, settle into my tent, then take out my lenses, but it suffices for the week for me. Hope this helps!


Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:16 pm
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 3:01 pm
Posts: 150
Also, I'm not sure about hand sanitizer-- I'd be worried that might burn when you touch your eyes.


Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:17 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:21 pm
Posts: 183
Location: Columbus, OH
I don't wear contacts anymore, but when I did, I handled them in my tent. That way if I dropped one, which I don't think I did, it would be on the tent floor and easier to find. I used a headlight style flashlight so I had my hands free when handling them, but I could still see well.


Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:57 pm
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 306
Location: midwest
I have a system similar to Schwagirl. I use johns, wash hands thoroughly, then take them out at camp site (gas perms) just before turning in for the night.

At my site, I have a small table with a stool, tho I used to do it on my hands and knees inside the tent.

Don't make the mistake I did one year. At home my cleaner and my wetting solution are in very diff vials, but in my camping contacts kit, they were the same size. Cleaned lens w/ cleaner, then rinsed with more cleaner and put it in my eye. Worst pain of my entire life, ended up in Luddington (?) emergency room, and eye patch for most of the week.

There are some nice campsite water containers. I have one that holds about one gallon, collapses accordion style, has a spigot.

I always clean my lens in the palm of my hand, rinse with saline over a blue shop towel, add a drop of wetting solution, then insert, leaning over table.

I make sure I also have my emergency lens removal tool (tiny white suction cup)

It can get pretty darn dusty at Fest, so I carry comfort drops in my day pack.


Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:36 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 am
Posts: 33
Location: metro detroit
Thanks so much, everyone! I am so not a camper, and this was one bit of minutiae I was hung up on. Seems lots of lurkers have been curious as to how to handle this issue as well.

I think I'll look for a water jug with a spigot to bring along -- seems like a multipurpose good thing to have around. And yes, way easier to find a rogue contact in the tent than in the woods, haha!

@EL -- your poor eye! That sounds so awful! There's nothing like having an eye that feels like it's burning out of your skull. I will heed your caution. :)


Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:30 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:52 pm
Posts: 831
Location: Exotic Brooklyn
Vivalafemme, I bring a solar shower with a pull push nozzle for handwashing and other rinsing needs. I used to wear gas perm lenses like Loosh2 (wow am I sympathetic to those wearers!) but now wear Accuvues new product for presbyopia. Finally a soft lens for astigmatics! OH and EL, I have done that.. nothing like that feeling of your eyeball exploding in flames, huh?!? I also wear sunglasses ALL THE TIME to protect from the dust. Sometimes if it's dusty, at night you can't see it until your eyes feel it first.


Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:39 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:40 am
Posts: 24
Location: northern nm
When I used to wear contacts -- before I needed reading glasses too :-( -- my eye Dr gave be samples of one time use/disposable lenses for fest week. I LOVED that solution. I didn't wear them at home but for camping they are a great option. I put them in anywhere as long as my hands were clean (out of the wind is the biggest issue) and toss when done.


Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:01 pm
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