Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snow Goggles

In one of Tom Brown Jr.'s books, I believe it was "The Tracker", he told a story of the time he had snow blindness. He was out tracking all day in the snow. By night fall he was snow blind. He built a shelter and had to crawl around to get fire wood to stay alive. Luckily he was alright the next morning.

The heavy snow we had in Indiana a week ago led me to pick up one of the projects I had stopped working on last year. Below are pictures of the snow goggles I made. They are the primitive version of sunglasses. These work by restricting the amount of sunlight that hits your eye. The slits block light reflecting off snow on the ground and clouds above. In the bottom picture you can kind of see how far my eyes are set back from the slits when wearing these.

The wood is cedar and they are very light weight. I tried them out when the sun was shining and with them on I was able to stop squinting. These are more of a long-term set. In a short term situation you could just use a strip of bark with holes poked in it.

Below are traditional Inuit snow goggles made from caribou antler. You can see that the slits are infinitesimally smaller than mine. I bet mine are lighter weight though.

Picture taken from the snow blindness entry at


torjusgaaren said...


I have made two pairs of such ones before and I am in fact making a new pair now.

From the two ones I made (both wood) my experience is that for maximum reflection aid, make them fit your face perfectly. If you struggle with that (because of a pointy face like I have) add some leather on the sides. Also, coat the inside with charcoal. That will dampen the reflection a lot.

Sassmouth said...

I did take away too much from the area that fits under the eyes. Some light leaks in there. Other than that my main concern is the size of the slits. You can see that I messed one of them pretty bad.

Thanks for the tips, especially the charcoal idea.

fooiemcgoo said...

I like the horn one because it looks like something Jordi off of Star Trek would wear.

pinger said...

Them goggles are cool. Here's a link for some made of antlers:


Pinger said...

Nice job - I've also made some Snow Goggles. You can see them on the bottom of my blog at