Is It OK to Wear Sunglasses All the Time When Hiking?

Source: bikatadventures.com
Written by Wendy Tucker

When hiking, you will be exposed to bright and sunny weather. Therefore, you will need a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. These can prevent eye damage and let you see properly, thus reducing high contrasts.

You will need sunglasses when hiking to protect your eyes from UV rays and other common illnesses that occur when your eyes are exposed to the sun. Whether you’re using them for your daily routine or hiking through high mountains, a pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the glimmer of the sun and the winds and sands.

We still have a lot of topics to discuss aside from what we mentioned. In this article, we will be talking about why you need a pair of sunglasses when hiking, how UV rays can damage your eyes, and we will be giving tips and list the best color of lens to use when hiking.

When you venture out into the wilderness for a hike, it’s important to arm yourself with items that will protect you from the elements. One of the items you should always have with you is a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.

UV Rays Damage Your Eyes

From our light research, UV rays can damage your eyes if exposed for a long period. They can damage the outer areas of your eyes, especially the cornea and conjunctiva. UV rays are also aggravated when the sunlight is reflected onto water, snow, ice, or sand.

Since we mentioned UV rays above, let’s discuss these a bit. UV rays come together with the sunlight. So if sunlight strikes directly onto your eyes, it can result in some injury and harm to your eyes.

Benefits Of Wearing Sunglasses While Hiking

Source: allaboutvision.com

You need plastic sunglasses when hiking, as they can protect you from the harmful effects of the sun. They can shield your eyes from dangerous UV rays that can damage your eyes. Wearing sunglasses in sunny weather can also help you see properly because it can reduce reflection and brightness.

Below are the explanations for why you need to get a pair of sunglasses before you hike.

  • Protection from the sun

This is the best reason a traveler, camper, or hiker needs a pair of sunglasses. Sunlight causes harmful effects on your eyes; these are the ultraviolet (UV) rays. So, having a pair of sunglasses that provides UV protection will shield your eyes from these rays.

  • They work as a defense against extreme UV rays

When hiking, you will gradually travel upwards. If you are slowly elevating, there are more possibilities that the extreme UV rays will strike. As previously mentioned, there are three types of UV rays — UVA, UVB, and UVC. Most probably, UVB will be your enemy in this type of activity.

  • They prevent reflections

This is where polarized lenses come in handy, as they reduce the reflections from the sun that may pass through the sunglasses. Tinted and polarized lenses are great since they will protect you from the blinding lights in sunny weather.

Just like any other equipment, you need to properly take care of your sunglasses to make them last longer. It’s easy to damage your sunglasses by using the wrong cleaning technique or a strong cleaning solution.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear Sunglasses?

Source: skincancer.org

Not wearing sunglasses puts you at risk from harmful UV rays, but there are also some serious consequences from that. Multiple illnesses can result from UV rays, from eye sunburn to eye cancer. This cannot only occur by wearing any sunglasses at all but also by using cheap sunglasses.

Here are some of the things that might happen to you if you don’t wear sunglasses when hiking:

  • Cataracts

Cataracts are developed when your eyes are exposed to UV rays while they’re unprotected. Cataracts are when you experience blurry vision, light sensitivity, faded color visions, double vision, and difficulty seeing at night.

  • Eye sunburn

Eye sunburns are medically known as photokeratitis. This is a spur of snow blindness caused by the reflection of surfaces like water, sand, snow, and ice. Using sunglasses that have UV ray protection can help block these reflections.

  • Crow’s feet

While walking, running, or hiking into the wilderness, there’s no escape from the sun’s brightness. Just by looking into the horizon, you’ll always be squinting to let your eyes rest just for a quick split of a second. Squinting is one of the contributors to why you might develop crow’s feet. By wearing UV-protected sunglasses, you reduce and sometimes even eliminate the unnecessary squinting.

  • Eye cancer

Wearing sunglasses helps protect your eyes from developing eye cancer, medically known as uveal or intraocular melanoma. Symptoms of eye cancer include dark spots on the iris, seeing flashes of light, having blurry vision, and seeing “floating” spots.

What Is The Best Lens Color When Hiking?

Source: theadventurejunkies.com

From our assessments of the different sunglasses, we found out that those with darker tints are a good choice for hiking. Most probably, you will be hiking in sunny weather, so choosing dark-colored lenses will reduce the brightness of your surroundings. The best option is a shade of grey or black. Get more information on which one is best.

Different lens colors are available on the market. However, not all of them are recommended for outdoor activities. Some colors can interfere with your vision.

If you know you’ll be exposed to bright and sunny weather, we advise you to choose lenses with darker tints. The best options are any shades of black or grey. They can lessen the brightness and sharpness of your surroundings to see properly.

Those with lighter colors and tints are great for moderate weather. But don’t expect that it can lessen the contrast. They can only protect your eyes.

When choosing a pair of sunglasses, you should also pay attention to the color of the lenses. This is one of the factors that guard your vision when hiking.


If you are planning to hike, bring full gear and equipment. You will be dealing with unexpected things, so you better be prepared. One of these mandatory gear is a pair of sunglasses. They can protect your eyes and vision, especially in bright situations.

Not only will sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays, but they will also reduce the contrast of your vision. We recommend choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses to accompany you on your adventures.


Wendy Tucker


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