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Thread: Lost/Stranded/etc - Without needed glasses/contacts - what to do?

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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    Default Lost/Stranded/etc - Without needed glasses/contacts - what to do?

    Hope is is the right forum for this thread. If not, mods please move it.

    For quite some time now I have been contemplating what might happen if I should find myself in some kind of survival situaiton and did not have my glasses or contact lenses, or had managed to lose or destroy them. My unaided eyesight is atrocious - worse than 20/200. (Yes, that is two hundred - I couldn't see an elephant if it sat on my face.) Without glasses or contacts, I and many others like me would be practially blind. Chances are that quite a few WSF members can relate.

    So, my question is, how can you get by in a survival situation without your prescription glasses or contacts?

    The only solution that I can think of is to make a set of "pinhole glasses." The science behind these things is lengthy to describe, and frankly a little over my head, so I will let you research how it works for yourself. However it works, it works. If you wear glasses, try poking a tiny hole through a piece of paper and looking through it. You may be surprised to find that you can actually see noticiably better than with the unaided eye.

    The bottom line is that pinhole glasses can improve your vision quite a bit, hopefully enough to get you out of the situation you are in. Something tells me that it would be very difficult to find decent materials (maybe birch bark or thin opaque plastic?) or to make a reliable set of pinhole glasses - especially since you couldn't see what you are doing! Even so, something has to be better than nothing. Those with good vision cannot imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to effectively use what is perhaps your most useful sense.

    Manufactured pinhole glasses look like this:
    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.
    Here is the link to the Wikipedia article on pinhole glasses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinhole_glasses

    Given the difficulty of trying to make something like this in the wild, I would much rather have an easier solution to the dilemma of being stranded without desperately needed glasses. But this is the very best thing I can come up with.

    Has anyone else ever considered this problem, and most importantly, do you have any better soultion?
    Last edited by preachtheWORD; 02-25-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    Funny you should mention those PTW, Rick was just talking about how someone could fashion a temporary pair to stave off snowblindness, the Inuit made them for centuries. I never knew it would help with one's vision in other situations but it's something I'll try out just to check.

    By the way, no one's going to see an elephant when it's sitting on their face
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    I did think about snowblindness goggles. I have made those beford out of thin cardboard. Come to think of it, I once made some pinhole glasses out of thin cardboard, probably from a cereal box. But the chances are that I won't find a cereal box or a sewing needle in the woods.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I always have spare glasses, mostly in vehicles and cabins, but there are times, in the field that I don't carry them in my day pack.

    I have found that if you make a peep hole with you thumb and first finger, kinda like making a O.K. sign, but curling you finger tighter down on your thumb, you can make a peep hole that will allow you to see details.

    I actually use this quite often at night if I want to see the clock clearly.

    This has been a problem in the past, like sitting on my glasses, and having the lens come out, shooting at ducks with only one lens is a real gas.

    Do carry a simple sewing kit in my carry first aid fold up, or belt BOB.
    Last edited by hunter63; 02-25-2010 at 02:00 PM. Reason: added stuff
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    But you might have aluminum foil in your kit (or you should have anyway). You can use it to fashion a pair of glasses then poke pin holes in it. As I said in the other thread. The pinholes will reduce the amount of light coming into the eye and the foil will reduce the glare by reflecting it.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    This is interesting. My eyesight is very bad without corrective lenses. I think a good project would be to fashion a pair with something that I would normally take with me into the woods, or something readily available. Cool idea if it works.
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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    I have the idea to get some thin but durable plastic and make a pair of pinhole glasses, basically after the pattern of snowblindness goggles, but with tiny pinholes instead of slits. You could toss it in the bottom of your pack, and basically forget about it until it is needed. It would be extremely lightweight and take up very little room.

    The foil would work, but it seems like it would be hard to make it durable, even if it was extra heavy duty foil.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Rather than go to that trouble, why not pick up a cheap pair of reading glasses? You can get up to 3X for less than $15.

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    Senior Member SARKY's Avatar
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    No matter whether you are near or far sighted, get a set of the military strap on glasses(frames) you can then get AR-polycarb lenses to put in the frames and keep them in your first-aid kit.
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    missing in action trax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SARKY View Post
    No matter whether you are near or far sighted, get a set of the military strap on glasses(frames) you can then get AR-polycarb lenses to put in the frames and keep them in your first-aid kit.
    Of course, I wouldn't be able to find them without my glasses...just sayin'

    actually, those are really good frames, but I suddenly realized that all of our solutions are based on being able to find our solutions so I had to throw that out there.
    some fella confronted me the other day and asked "What's your problem?" So I told him, "I don't have a problem I am a problem"

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    Senior Member doug1980's Avatar
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    I carry my old gas mask inserts with me. Luckily I have had the same prescription for about 10 years so they work great. Very durable. I also take 2 pair of contacts and a small bottle of solution with me everywhere. I hate not being able to see. In order to lose all that I would have lost the rest of my gear so I would be screwed any way.
    Last edited by doug1980; 02-25-2010 at 05:25 PM.
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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Rather than go to that trouble, why not pick up a cheap pair of reading glasses? You can get up to 3X for less than $15.
    My eyesight is so bad I don't think reading glasses would do much for me.

    Anyway, the question is what do do if you don't have access to glasses of any kind. It would be wise to keep an extra set in your BOB, etc., but what happens if you lose your pack? Even back up glasses can get lost or broken beyond usability.

    What I am looking for is a solution to the problem of having no glasses at all - no prescription glasses, no reading glasses, no combat goggles, no nuthin'. I need something that can be improvised out of natural or found materials in a survival situation using the most basic of tools.

    The only thing I can think of is these pinhole glasses.

    Hunter's idea about using your hand to make a tiny "ok" sign, which is essentially a "pinhole," actually does work okay. It's way better than nothing. Somehow I doubt it would make a suitable long-term solution, unless you don't mind blundering around the bush with your eye pressed up against your hand.

    It occurs to me what the best solution might be - Lasik surgery. That'll fix it. Now, who wants to chip in som $ on that for me?
    Last edited by preachtheWORD; 02-25-2010 at 06:03 PM.
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    Senior Member huskymill's Avatar
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    i have always wondered about this too. thanks guys for the ideas. not being able to see sucks. any of you colorblind as well? i know that i will never try eating any plant life in the wild just cause my colorblindness will make it that much harder to identify it.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    There's always Lasik. Or course, carting that laser isn't as bad as the really long extension cord.

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    Senior Member Ted's Avatar
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    I'm imagining you could use a piece of your clothing or even a leaf to put a bunch of tiny holes in. A tiny sharp stick or thorn would do the trick.
    just sayin'
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    The way I look at it, if you have to go thru the trouble of carting around pin hole glasses, why not just carry a spare pair or two?

    If you get caught out somewhere, then you may have to make from something from scavanged materials, but wouldn't plan to carry pin hole glasses as my best option.

    While back, some one posted a site with cheap perscription glasses, (gonnna have to go look it up).
    I'll be needing new one myself pretty soon, and al long as you have a the prescription, I'm sure you can get another pair.
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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    I'm imagining you could use a piece of your clothing or even a leaf to put a bunch of tiny holes in. A tiny sharp stick or thorn would do the trick.
    just sayin'
    This could work, thanks!

    It would defintely be better to have some spare glasses with you, but if you don't, whipping up some pinhole glasses might help.

    I agree that they would not be a good first choice to pack with you.
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    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    Default A useful site

    I don't wear prescription glasses (just reading glasses) but often need cheap, well fitting, anti fog clear ones for windy & snowy days, running, and general safety. Didn't want anything bulky or brittle. I searched high and low and came across this site and thought that given the very reasonable prices, I'd order a few different types of glasses including a pair of safety bifocals. (http://www.discountsafetygear.com/bisagl.html)

    Well the glasses arrived today and I couldn't be more pleased. I'll be ordering a few more safety bifocals for the BOB, they are just great!

    This is the site:
    http://www.discountsafetygear.com/sa...s-by-type.html

  19. #19

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    Loosing your glasses would be tough. If you just broke them, that's another thing all together. I would think most broken glasses are frame breaks and not broken lenses. I wonder what kind of contraption you could come up with to either mend or make new frames?

    I would consider sports glasses like they wear in basketball or something. Kind of like goggles with an elastic band. Those would be super durable I bet.

  20. #20

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    Next time you break a lens, keep the pieces. They work just as good as the whole lens, just wont stay in the frame. Still, an oddly shaped monocle
    is better than walking up to someone to find out whether they are friend or foe.

    Also, lasik surgery recipients often still need reading glasses for near vision. I can see pretty good without my glasses but have still used a single pinhole in thin cardboard on occasion to make out a distant object.
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