Sunglasses and Hat Hacks for Fun on The Forgotten Coast

As a Florida Green Guide and naturalist, I spend a lot of time outdoors. Over the years, I have accumulated a drawer full of sunglasses.
Some cost over $200 and some cost as little as $10. Don’t have a couple of hundred to spend on sunglasses? No worries, here are a few tips that will allow you to see more wildlife on and around the water along The Forgotten Coast and protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun…on the cheap!

Proper sunglasses and headgear will improve your outdoor experience.

What You Need to Know About Sunglasses
You don’t need a fat wallet to buy good sunglasses that enhance your vision and protect your eyes. I used to prefer glass lens which are more scratch resistant than plastic. But the new polycarbonate lens materials are much lighter and they don’t scratch as easily as their predecessors. Plus, you can get them in many lens colors. Good polycarbonate glasses that are inexpensive allow you to buy several pair to suit different light conditions. I prefer dark brown lens when fishing the flats. I like a light amber when in Tate’s Hell or other forested areas. But everyone has a color they prefer.

I urge you to opt for polarized polycarbonate lens. Are you fishing and beach combing without polarized lens? Then you will be surprised how much more you will see with polarized lens. They dramatically eliminate glare. The color rendition is excellent. This means you can identify that bird that was just a LGB (little gray bird) without the help of polarized lens.

So, where do you get quality sunglasses with polycarbonate and polarized lens at a good price? I have been pleased with glasses from This site is owned by Dr. Jenna and Dr. Travis Ziglar. I have been pleased with their products, service and their commitment to preventing blindness due to sun exposure. Expect to pay about $30 for a good pair of polycarbonate polarized sunglasses. Most models come with a case and tiny screw driver for those aggravating little eyeglass screws. They are very light weight if you get a model with bamboo temples.

I also like some models made by The Flying Fisherman, . They offer more styles than Eyelovethesun, if style is your thing. I do like the wide temples on some of their models which help block light from the side. They cost around $30. My experience is they are durable and get the job done for a great price.

Just visiting and forgot your favorite sunglasses? Local retailers in Apalachicola, Carrabelle and Eastpoint carry a wide array of sunglasses. And now that you know what to look for in sunglasses, you’ll be a confident shopper!

Hacking Your Hat to See Better

Caps drying after painting underside of bills with fabric paint to improve vision in the sun.

Besides protecting your head and skin, you can see better with the right hat. No kidding! Look for hats or caps that are black on the underside of the bill or brim and a light reflective color on top. These are harder to find than you might expect, so here’s a hat hack. Buy a small bottle of black fabric paint and a small foam brush, about $3 for both at Walmart. Use painters’ tape to prevent getting paint on other parts of the cap or hat. Let the paint dry for 3 days to make sure it will survive washing. Yep, I wash my fishing caps and hats regularly because I adjust them with fishy hands!  The black underside of the visor prevents reflected light from getting behind your sunglasses so you see better.

The right sunglasses and the right headgear will allow you to see more, protect your eyesight and keep you cool in the Florida sun. Get out there and enjoy The Forgotten Coast!