Eclipses aren’t really uncommon, but this year on 21 August, the United States will have a special view. For the first time since 1918, a total eclipse will cross from the East to the West Coast. That said, not everywhere will have the perfect view of the phenomenon, as the eclipse has a path of totality that will pass through from Oregon to South Carolina. So if you’re planning to head out to a city in this cosmic event’s path, or perhaps to a National Park (which is certainly our choice), here are some essential products and tips to get the best experience possible from the 2017 total eclipse. And if you can’t be near the path of totality, be sure to check out Volvo + CNN’s live stream of the celestial occasion.
Warby Parker Eclipse Glasses
Eyewear brand Warby Parker has been offering free eclipse glasses in-store since the beginning of August. (This is especially helpful for those based in Nashville, as that store is directly in the path of totality.) While they look like 3D movie specs, these shades are specially designed to make sure wearers viewing partial or total solar eclipses protect their eyes.
Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024
The first edition of “Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024” ($25) is a guide to the two eclipses that will cross the United States: this year’s and 2024’s, which will occur on 8 April that year. With plenty of photographs and illustrations, the book contains information on why solar eclipses occur, and the best (and safest) ways to view, photograph and film them.
Afar’s Tips from an Eclipse Concierge
Jackson, Wyoming’s Hotel Jackson has brought in eclipse concierge David Capario to oversee its uninterrupted eclipse programming. He says, however, that no matter where you’re watching the eclipse you must prepare. As mentioned, specialized glasses are a must—but so is sunscreen and water, all things you’d think to take on a hike in the mountains.
(And for an extra tip from the CH team: While everybody is busy looking up, make sure you take a peep at the ground where you’ll see shadows cast in crescent shapes. Trees especially show this off well.)
Constructed for safe solar viewing, the White Light SUNocular Binoculars ($99) offer 100% UV and IR filtration. With CE-Certified Objective-Lens Filters, eyes are safe looking toward the skies as the binoculars capture greater detail than the naked eye. Easy-to-use, they’re recommended for those 13+ years old and up and come in four distinct colorways.
Nikon’s Gear and Preparation Tips
It’s actually quite easy to capture photos from a solar eclipse—if one is prepared. As Nikon Ambassador Lucas Gilman explains—after locking down safe and certified solar protection eyewear and a solar filter for a lens—a DSLR makes for a good start. Lens choice depends on what you’re hoping to capture, be that a close-up or with some scenery. Tripods are necessary, and the rest comes down to patience.
Hero image courtesy of NASA, all other images courtesy of respective brands