solar eclipse 2017

Top Tips for Watching the Solar Eclipse

This is it, guys! The day we’ve been eagerly anticipating and hearing about for weeks. Solar eclipse day!

Maybe you’re sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic right now waiting to get to your viewing spot. Or maybe you’re already there, leisurely brewing coffee and breaking down your campsite. Or maybe you’re at home, content seeing a percentage of the totality.

Either way, brace yourself for a long wait. Think of it more as an extended day hike. An endurance event. A sometimes-Type 2 but way worth it sort of day.

But have no fear—we came up with a handy tip sheet to make sure you get the most out of this natural phenomenon. After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you want to be on your A game for it.

Fuel Up

Haven’t left the house yet? Anticipate traffic. Lots of traffic. Whether you’re venturing into the wilderness or just down the road, be sure to start with a full tank of gas.

Pack a Picnic

Remember, this is a long day hike with the added benefit of not having to carry everything on your back. Bring food and water. And even toss a roll of toilet paper in the car for good measure.

Get Proper Glasses

Ok, serious faces now. You risk damaging your eyes if you look at the eclipse. Get a pair of solar eclipse glasses from a reputable vendor. Or ask to borrow a neighbor’s pair to catch a glimpse yourself. But do not look into the sun without proper eyewear. It’s only an eclipse. It’s not worth damaging your eyesight.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Dress for eclipse success. Proper footwear will be crucial, whether you’re exploring a national park or walking from the parking lot to a good vantage point.

Bring Seating

Chairs. Blankets. Hammocks. Air couches. You’ll want the best (and comfiest!) seat in the house for the greatest show of your lifetime.

Take It All In

Don’t only rely on watching the fleeting moment when the sun disappears. Engage all your senses, all day long. Take advantage of all the speakers, events, science projects, and parties that the National Park Service and other organizations have scheduled. Observe how animals react to the darkening sky. Make friends with those around you. Soak up every bit of eclipse excitement.

Have All the Patience

Let’s not sugarcoat it—between traffic and crowds and potential bad weather, the solar eclipse on Monday may be pretty stressful. But take a deep breath and enjoy it. If the sun and moon waited this many years for this magical dance, you can make it through the day. And it will be so, so worth it.


Tanya Twerdowsky
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