Jun 02 2011

Quack: Making sunglasses with Duct Tape

You probably thought I meant, repairing sunglasses with duct tape when you read the headline, but you assumed something not stated. I really meant making a pair of sunglasses with duct tape.

Function is the only fashion. Oui! Love the mirrored look. So 70s Dude!

How do you make sunglasses with duct tape? First, you need to get to the root of the purpose of sunglasses, especially on snow. That would be: to restrict the amount of light your eyes are exposed to so they won’t get sunburned.

I remember a friend who thought she didn’t need sunglasses while skiing. She spent three days sequestered in the dark, her eyes ablaze in pain the first 24 hours and permanently shut with shades drawn to allow her sight to heal. Effectively blind for three days, which is why it’s called snow blindness. It was not a pretty sight.

So my buddy Gil had his buddies give him a lift to the Rock Creek trailhead. As the truck is pulling away he realizes his shades are in the truck, not his pack.

For those wondering if late season skiing is worth it, this picture answers that question. April '10

“HEY!!!,” he yelled but all his yelling and waving were futile. The truck and his sunglasses disappeared around the bend.

So he pulled out some duct tape, taped four strips together and then secured these so that only a small slit of light was allowed in. If you are desperate enough to try this, the key is taping the duct tape to itself, not sticking the glue directly on your glasses. Then use some strips to hold it to the top and bottom edges of the lenses. Otherwise…mmmm, I’ll leave that to your imagination.

It was crude, but effective enough to head up and out. Certainly not a good long term solution, but what fix with duct tape is?

To limit his exposure even more Gil would set a bearing while skinning, then close his eyes for 50 strides or so. He managed to get snagged by a few bushes here and there, but also put in a good 2,000-foot climb. He would have gone further if he could have seen better. Even so, thanks to duct tape and some ingenuity he got out, laughed through the climb and hooted through the turns back home.

Duct tape. Don’t leave home without it.

Got a duct tape story you’d be willing to share? Practical is good, funny is better.

© 2011


  • http://kimkircher.com kimkircher

    Love it!

  • teletilyouresmelly

    I can vouch for this too. My buddy and I were up in the Annapurna Sanctaury in Nepal in the 80’s in December, and he stepped on his glacier glasses and broke a glass lense. Thinking of the Inuit bone glasses (do a Google image search)(thanks Anthro 101), we cut a peace of paperboard with a pinhole or slit to fit the lense and taped it on- worked great!