My closets are ridiculous when it comes to gear and outdoor clothing. The jackets and pants get a full closet each. The accoutrements alone each have individual bins, organized by type of use (biking gloves have their own bin) and general time of year I might reach for them. It’s a complicated system at first blush, but I typically know where everything is. Along with the bins full of gloves, mittens, hats, ski spare parts, and bike spare parts is one bin much bigger than one might expect – it’s a bin of sunglasses.
I can’t possibly get enough sunglasses. I’ve written about my sensitive eyes before, but when GogglesNMore.com asked for a spot on the Sponsored Posts list, I figured there was no better topic to revisit.
I think that eye protection is one of the most important pieces of kit there is. You can get a little bit cold if you bring the wrong jacket, or a little bit uncomfortable if your pants don’t fit just right, but there’s no such thing as getting “a little bit of a skewer through the eye.” You only get one chance to protect your eyes, and pretty much everything poses a threat to eyeballs. Did you know that an object only needs to be traveling at 7 miles per hour to cause severe damage to your eyeball? I learned that in one of my motorcycle skills courses. Makes it even more nuts to see people driving motorcycles around with no eye protection, eh?
Back in the days when I rode horses, I never wore eye protection unless it was sunny, because it’s really hard to keep eyeglasses in place when you are jouncing around on a horse. Even Angelina Jolie didn’t wear them in her stunt riding for Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, and check it out, she learned her lesson (skip to the end for the relevant clip if you are twisted enough to not want to watch 8 and a half minutes of Angelina Jolie doing stunts):
So remember, kids, when you are firing a shotgun from your unbroken horse while riding sidesaddle, always wear eye protection.
My eyes are so sensitive that I can’t even tolerate the breeze from the car heater, and more likely than not, I’ve got on sunglasses even on a rainy day and you will never see me skiing without goggles. If it’s super cold I’m biking with goggles too. Yes, so I’m a delicate flower, but you’d be surprised at how far insulating your eyes can go to keeping you comfortable. When it’s just plain freezing cold out, if you have a good pair of goggles on, you can insulate your eyes AND half of your face. No cheek frostbite for you! It’s so simple, yet you see so few people doing it. Personally, I don’t get it. Is it a “being cool” thing, to squint into the wind and hunch down inside your flimsy collar and hood in an attempt to keep the wind out? It won’t work and it looks sort of stupid when there is such an easy option available to you. I have even heard people whining about how they can’t keep the wind out of their eyes, but they don’t just put on goggles. That’s how you know someone is out for the drama of it all and just doesn’t have common sense. Have you seen pics of mountain climbers staggering down from the heights of Everest with no goggles on? Just…what? File that under “things I don’t get” along with “motorcycle riders who don’t use visors.”
Plain old sunglasses are probably the most ubiquitous form of eye protection. Good lenses protect your eyes physically AND from damaging sun rays. No snow blindness for you! Back in the days when I wore UV protection contacts, which were pretty awesome actually, mostly because they were red colored which scared the crap out of everyone, but in part because I always had a good tan instead of a goggle tan with those – ok that was a long tangent all in one sentence so I hope you’re still with me – I had a bit of an incident on a glacier when one of my contacts rolled up, said “nope,” and quit for the day. It tucked itself into the corner of my eye in a pout but we had the last laugh when my friend dug it out of there and flung it down a moulin. OK, so we dropped it in a tiny little trickle of a stream which probably eventually made it into a moulin, but I bet that contact thought twice about its work ethic after that. Anyway, I was almost immediately totally helpless because in the blinding sun on a white glacier, I could barely open my eyes. A bad headache loomed as the rays stabbed mercilessly into my soft squishy brain. The only thing that saved me was borrowing my friend’s glacier glasses – the relief was immediate. I wisely gave up the UV contacts idea and switched back to glasses, thus starting the impressive collection referenced at the beginning of this post.
I’m also the dork on the beach wearing swim goggles, usually tinted so that when I pop up for air, I can see and breathe instead of being driven back under the waves by the piercing sun. Somewhere I read or heard that if you wear goggles underwater they can suck your eyeballs out. The things kids tell each other, eh? I don’t know if it’s true, but it still scares me even though I have never had this even start to happen, not even when scuba diving at depth. I don’t think you have to worry about it, but I’m curious to know if any other former kids out there secretly cringe every time they jump into the water with goggles on, hoping their eyeballs stay in place.
Diving masks, there’s another form of eye protection for a sport coincidentally featured in both Tomb Raider movies, though if you’ll note that in the first movie Lara does not wear eye protection in the water and she gets her ass kicked. Make of that what you will. In real life, diving is a fantastic activity by which you can free yourself from the encumbrances of life: noise, light, gravity, breathing, all that stuff. Well, hopefully you have a good enough dive mask that you can still breathe. I didn’t know until writing and researching (right) this post that prescription dive masks are available for divers who have vision problems. I bet that in years before that innovation, it was a real pain to wear eyeglasses under a dive mask. Another thing I learned from researching this post is that if you want to wear eyeglasses with goggles, you can buy a glasses insert to make it work better. Who knew?
Basically what I’m trying to get at here is that protecting your eyes is important. It can save you a lot of pain, discomfort, and drama, in any and all outdoors activities. But if you want drama, then by all means, leave your eyes bare and exposed and then cry to everyone about how difficult your life is. It does sound ridiculous but I’ve heard people do this. “The wind keeps getting in my eyes!” while they stand there bare-faced. It’s like the people who complain they are cold but won’t put on a jacket. Helllllloooooo….the “things I don’t get” file is getting fatter.
If you are sane and don’t want to manufacture difficulties for yourself, then hey, buy yourself some sunglasses, perhaps from my nice post sponsor. They even have some ballistics safety glasses so you don’t make Angelina’s mistake.