I find abandoned sunglasses fairly frequently, right now the snow shoe and cross country trails are melting, and all of the sunglasses that were lost during the winter are now visible.

I don't find them often enough to carry a sunglasses case just for this scenario, but would like to know how I can protect them when I don't have a case, as one can often clean them up and make them useful again.

Is there a good way of improvising protection for sunglasses without a case?


3 Answers 3


A clean sock will protect them from scratches with no need for fasteners and it takes a fair bit of pressure or impact to actually damage glasses (bending them slightly is another matter). Once wrapped they can go in the top of your pack or any pocket.

  • +1 A dirty sock will protect them just as well, and preserve the availability of your limited supply of socks. Just shake the dirty sock out to remove macroscopic pieces of abrasive material. Wrap the glasses in toilet paper first if you are afraid the ground in dirt of your dirty sock will abrade the lenses.
    – ab2
    May 7, 2018 at 20:48
  • 1
    @ab2 having gone into rather gritty mud over my boots yesterday, I had a rather pessimistic view of dirty socks!
    – Chris H
    May 7, 2018 at 21:30
  • 2
    Mud soaked socks aren't good. Can confirm! May 8, 2018 at 5:13

For the scenario, no backpack, no nothing, just a short hike and you find your treasure shining in the sun.

  • Find a piece of grass that won't break easily and can be bended without breaking in segments
  • Put one arm of the glasses through a belt loophole on your jeans.
  • close the glasses
  • Wrap the grass over the arms of the glasses to prevent them opening up and tie it up so it won't get unbound easily.
  • continue walking

Usually when something hangs from your side it can hang there safely without bumping into much/scraping through much.

For the scenario you're in the desert, there is no grass, but again you have nothing because you're on a short hike:

  • Put them on your hat. Usually glasses will nicely slip over the hat and the tension will keep them there.

For the scenario that you're hiking on a well walked trail

  • Find the glasses.
  • Carry glasses in hand or on belt loop/hat as described above
  • Find a bottle, usually there's trash everywhere from non caring people even though they should clean up.
  • Cut open the side of the bottle with a knife or a sharp rock/pointy stick.
  • Slip glasses in bottle, optionally add some leaves to prevent rattling

Any sturdy box big enough to hold them would work, also when the box is a lot bigger.
You can fill the empty space with something soft, like a piece of clothing you happen to have handy.

The smaller (but still big enough) your box is, the more snug your pair of glasses will sit.

In a sturdy box you can put your glasses in any kind of bag.

When you do not have a box handy, you can also just fold the glasses in a hanky or an other soft piece of cloth you have on you and put it in an outside pocket of your coat (as long as you do not lean against that pocket) or in your shirt pocket, (again when you keep it free from outside pressure) or in a suitable pocket or area of your bag.

If your only box option is rather weak, you can still use it but more like a soft case, fill the open area with something soft and keep the box from getting too tight in whatever space you want to transport it. The filling of the box needs to keep the glasses whole, a weak box itself can not do much of a job.

I always use sturdy glasses cases but I have seen my father who prefers the soft case his glasses came in, in combination with his shirt pocket.

  • 5
    Why would you backpack with a sturdy box?
    – paparazzo
    May 7, 2018 at 23:58
  • 1
    To hold you sandwiches?
    – Willeke
    May 8, 2018 at 3:45
  • 3
    I have never taken sandwiches in sturdy box backpacking. Never taken a sturdy box backpacking.
    – paparazzo
    May 8, 2018 at 4:17
  • While implied, the question does not specify, so not restrict to, backpacking.
    – Willeke
    May 8, 2018 at 8:14

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