Keeping Your Eyes Healthy While Camping

Going camping is one of the most rewarding ways to take a break from the droning mundanity of city life.

It yields numerous life-affirming benefits since you can enjoy silence and solitude while unplugging from your devices to feel more in tune with nature.

Camping can also be a great way to get a change of scene. It’s a perfect way to scratch your travel bug itch since you can easily set up camp somewhere close if you can’t travel far.

I love the opportunity to throw my tent in the car and just get away for a few days. I know many people don’t like camping, but it’s a great opportunity to stretch that travel budget further too.

Of course, it’s crucial that you also look after your health while you are out and about to guarantee a memorable and meaningful camping experience.

This is particularly true for your eyes, which are exposed to more elements whilst camping than you are typically used to.

Fortunately, there are many great ways to keep your eyes healthy so you can fully enjoy your trip. Here are some of them.


Okay, I heard you… photokerati…what? It’s a big word we should all be aware of. This is why you need to wear sunglasses, particularly here in the Aussie sun.

When camping, your eyes are prone to overexposure to UV rays directly from the sun or from sunlight bouncing off snow, sand, or water—which can cause photokeratitis, or sunburned eyes.

This can lead to pain, redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, headaches, tearing, and grittiness. That makes wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection a non-negotiable.

In particular, polarised sunglasses are suitable for camping since they filter out glare and reflected light that is more prominent outdoors.

Because you will need a reliable and comfortable pair you can move around in, a great option would be Oakley sunglasses, an established brand trusted for optimal lifestyle and sports performance.

Its Latch eyeglasses feature an understated and sleek design with an interior kick-up feature that lets you clip it to your shirt whenever you enter your tent.

It also offers better impact protection, staying durable even when doing more physical activities so you can wear them constantly, including in the water.

A woman rubbing her eye

Digital Eye Strain

Now, I know camping is all about getting away from screens, but it’s hard to escape them entirely.

In the evenings, when the campfire flickers and stories are shared, you might find yourself reaching for your phone to capture the perfect moment.

Here’s the thing: prolonged screen time, even in the wilderness, can lead to digital eye strain.

Ever felt your eyes getting tired, dry, or blurry after staring at a screen for too long? That’s digital eye strain at play.

To counter this, consider giving your eyes a break. The 20-20-20 rule is your new best friend. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

This simple habit can do wonders to alleviate eye strain and keep your vision sharp for those breathtaking views.

Close up photo of a brown coloured eye

Seasonal Allergies

Ugh, this is one I really struggle with. I am sniffing and sneezing all year round, particularly when I spend time outdoors in a new place.

Being outdoors can make us all vulnerable to more allergens like pollen and mould, triggering seasonal allergies or hay fever.

The symptoms for this may include sneezing, stuffy and runny nose, and itchiness in the nose and throat. It can cause itchiness, watering, and pain, particularly in the eyes.

For me, the itchy, puffy eyes are the absolute worst part of hay fever.

That’s why it’s always good to pack oral antihistamines that block the body’s response to allergen-triggered histamines that cause allergic reactions.

Zyrtec is a non-sedating cetirizine that’s particularly suitable for camping as it provides fast relief from allergy and hay fever symptoms lasting 24 hours. It’s available over the counter and also comes in variations for children too.

Having these in your pack can protect you from allergic reactions due to pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mould when you venture outdoors.

A pair of sunglasses being held up with the colours of sunset behind

Toxic Black Mould

Speaking of mould, it’s crucial to watch out for toxic black mould, which can trigger various eye disorders such as red eyes, blurry vision, burning or itching sensations, inflammation, and light sensitivity.

Unfortunately, you can’t always control the environment where your tent is pitched. A sunny, well-ventilated area can prevent mould, but a humid and shady climate can encourage it to grow.

Fortunately, you can prevent mould from growing on your tent by cleaning off dead leaves, bugs, or bird poop that falls on its surface and keeping it well-ventilated.

If there’s already mould growing, spray it with distilled white vinegar, let it dry, and scrub it lightly with a soft brush using a mixture of salt, lemon, and hot water.

Staying vigilant about mould can help you avoid its adverse effects on your eyes.

A man and a woman sitting on grass in front of a tent having a drink

Hydration and Eye Health

Let’s talk hydration. When you’re out in the great outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of nature, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water.

Dehydration can sneak up on you, and believe it or not, it can affect your eyes too. Dry eyes, irritation, and blurred vision can all be signs that your eyes are crying out for some hydration.

Make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you and take regular sips. Not only will this keep you hydrated overall, but your eyes will thank you for it.

Trust me, there’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a stunning sunset with parched, uncomfortable eyes. Keep the water flowing, and your eyes will be happy too.

A happy older couple wearing sunglasses

Mindful Rest and Relaxation

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about rest. Camping is all about embracing the simplicity of life, and that includes giving your eyes the rest they deserve.

After a day filled with awe-inspiring landscapes and outdoor activities, let your eyes unwind.

Close them for a moment and feel the gentle breeze. Listen to the rustle of leaves and the crackle of the campfire.

This simple act of mindful relaxation not only rejuvenates your eyes but also enhances your overall camping experience. Think of it as a mini spa session for your eyes amidst nature’s grandeur.

Camping can be immensely rewarding for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Although there are many ways your eyes can be susceptible to irritation and discomfort, knowing what to watch out for can help you have a comfortable and relaxing experience.

Before you go…
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