[pct-l] Glasses or contacts

Mike Schaeffer chiefrat2006 at yahoo.com
Mon May 18 19:56:48 CDT 2015

I can identify with your nearsightedness.  I spent 40 years wearing contacts and several years before that with glasses.
I hiked the AT in '78 with contacts.  It was a pain cleaning out the lenses every morning and taking them out to swim but I did it.
In 2010 when I was planning to retire then hike the PCT, my wife had a better idea.  She had previously seen me fumbling around with my contacts inside the tent and helping me find them when I dropped one.  She also didn't think that my hands were nearly clean enough to be handling the lenses.  Hiking with glasses was not an option since I'm now older and would need bifocals.  With bifocals, I wasn't able to drive or walk up stairs.  Hiking with them would be out of the question.  

Her suggestion was to go visit an old friend who is an ophthalmologist and see what he could do to fix my vision and ditch both the glasses and contacts.  Great idea!  The doctor said that my eyes were not shaped correctly for laser surgery but I was just starting to develop cataracts.  I would eventually need surgery to remove the cataracts but why not do it now and correct my vision at the same time?
I had the surgery in May and June of 2010 and by April 2011 when I was ready to start the PCT, my vision was about 20/20.  The only downside was that my reading vision was not quite good enough to read the maps.  That was nothing new since I had the same problem with my contacts.  My solution to that problem was I4ULenses http://www.i4ulenses.com/These are fairly cheap but they work for what I needed.  They fit easily in my shirt pocket and case and glasses combined weigh only 0.4 oz.  My biggest problem with them was when I went into town and tried to read a newspaper while eating breakfast.  Several times the glasses popped off into my hash browns.  Otherwise I was happy with them.

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