Are you using bifocals or just the magnifier? Once I switched over the bifocals I ditch the magnifier. There were just too many different zoom levels for my eyes and brain to keep adjusting to.
I use both.
You'll get older and need both too!
I wear contacts. And bifocal safety glasses. And use a magnifier. I’ll take all the help I can get!
I tried all of the above and couldn't read the map comfortably with any of them. Eventually I tried the one contact method. It works so well I don't need bifocals or magnifier. I can even read 1:15 again now.
I bought Catseyes in Latvia. Still putting off using them. Probably should have started ten years ago, but just keep kidding myself or too vain.
Hahahaha! I can still read a map with no magnification (my glasses are for distance). 1:15000 can get a little challenging.
My how-to-see-the-map history:
1980 - run with contacts.
mid 1980s - run with contacts and occasionally use the magnifier on the end of my baseplate compass to study some fine detail.
early 1990s - same as mid-80s, but I added clear glasses to protect my eyes and make it easier to run through junky forest wtihout scratching my eyeballs.
2001 - added a thumb magnifier I bought at the Swedish 5-Days.
a few years later - added clear reading glasses (i.e. bifocal insert).
around 2007 - stopped wearing contacts for orienteering. I was having trouble getting a prescription that was consistently sharp. Running with regular glasses and a magnifier.
around 2008 - added progressive lens prescription glasses and continued using a magnifier.
around 2016 - added weird looking clear plastic visor for rainy weather.
I wish thumb magnifiers had been around when I started orienteering. Even when I didn't have any trouble reading maps, added magnification would have made it easier to read the map.
I wear two differently powered contacts on a regular basis as my normal bifocal solution. For O, adding readers means I’m up to 4 different powers. Adding a magnifier means I’m up to 8 different powers. It was a subtle feeling but it felt like my eyes and brain were having a little trouble handling that. So I ended up with O readers with a bit extra power; more than I need sometimes but not so visually confusing to me. Whatever the solution, it’s an annoyance. I have not yet added the weird visor; I also don’t wear Crocs as regular shoes.
You need to get a visor if you're going to look the part of an old man orienteer.
I should also add to my history list, that I have occasionally carried a little light with me on day orienteering. I had a couple of experiences with being unable to read the map in dense forest on days with heavy clouds. I have carried a little Petzl headlamp in my pocked a couple of times when the conditions looked like it might get too dark for me to see the map. I was thrilled to see some of the WOC runners in Norway running a relay leg with a headlamp.
Old-Man O outfit
Clue card holder
Baggy pajama style O cloths
You need a it-was-tougher-before attitude.
If someone talks about a course being hilly, you respond, "that's nothing compared to West Point in the 1980s."
If someone talks about a great orienteer, you have to remind them that Oyvin Thon only got one WOC race very two years...these days they get 3 races every year. Things were tougher back then.
You need a piece of vetting tape tied to your glasses
Ooo, that's a good one. How about a baseplate compass.
And the original double layer on the thigh "Thornknick" pants with accompanying 1/2in padded Thornknick gators!
(I still have a pair of the pants that I save for extra special TX terrain.)