Planning ahead of time for a Total Eclipse will take the stress out of your experience so you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event. Here's a list of must have items for your day:
1. Eclipse glasses or a solar viewer for safe viewing. By far, the MOST IMPORTANT item to have handy. Eclipse glasses are necessary to view an eclipse because they protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. During a total eclipse, the moon covers the sun, making it possible to look directly at the sun. However, even though the sun is partially covered, its intense light can still damage your eyes and cause permanent vision loss. Eclipse glasses have special filters that block out the harmful rays of the sun, making it safe to look at the eclipse. But safety doesn't mean you can't be fashionable or have some fun. There are lots of great designs out there, so look around on various sites. You can check out our collection, designed especially for Texas and the Texas Hill and Wine Country, at www.totalityovertx.com
2. Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect from the sun's rays. Some areas of the path will have no cloud coverage, so you'll need to protect yourself for several hours as you're outside watching the eclipse slowly play out.
3. Comfortable seating or blanket to sit on. Total eclipses are several hours, especially if you're attending an all day event. Make yourself as comfortable as you can.
4. Portable battery-powered fan or misting bottle to cool off. For those of us in the south, like Texas, weather in October and April can vary widely. It can be cool at 65 or it can be pretty warm at 85. Be prepared. Plan clothing that can be layered to go from cool to hot, especially as the eclipse peaks, as with no sun, the temperature will drop FAST.
5. Camera or binoculars to capture the view. This gets tricky. You want to view, photograph, or video the eclipse, but you also need to protect your equipment just as much as you want to protect your eyes. There are filters, like the Solar Snap, that can cover your equipment and protect you.
6. Snacks and water to stay hydrated. Not an issue if you're doing a private viewing in your backyard. But, if you plan to go to a viewing event, take plenty of food and water for the full day. Some areas see millions of people flood in, making traffic a problem, food and water scarce, and pricing high. The City of Fredericksburg, TX, a town of 13,000, is expecting up to 1 MILLION people come into the county and city for the weekend.
7. First aid kit and any necessary medications. Just common sense.
Planning ahead will lead to happy viewing!