This water activity is indisputably famous, especially if you love exploring some unknown beauty that underwater could offer. This activity requires you a lot of gear for the specialist that you definitely must not spare on, unlike surfing and hiking.
Purchase the basic things first and then slowly start to move from renting to owning the more technical and advanced equipment. However, a bit of preparation is necessary. Most significantly, you need to be equipped with all the necessary scuba diving equipment, like scuba diving with glasses.
Finding the appropriate diving equipment and scuba diving gear is essential for you, so you could have a safe and nice diving experience. Whether you are a beginner or you have experience in scuba diving, you all are still required to have high quality equipment similar to one another.
Additionally, you must have the knowledge of how to use them appropriately. If you’d like to cover big distances, you will need to have various fins compared to when you were to do just a short recreational dive.
Be familiar with the difference between the numerous types of equipment, so that it will make your diving experience happy and much easier.
Ready to see unbelievable life forms and experience a new kind of excitement and a gorgeous seascape? You need not worry anymore if you plan on engaging to scuba diving on your next vacation activity or when you are not that sure of what gear you need for this activity.
The dive packing list here is suggested for you so you could be assured that nothing is left behind. Any level of diver you are, this will be the ultimate guide for your scuba diving equipment:
- Diving Mask
Human eyes do not really work well underwater, most especially saltwater. Therefore, the diving mask is one of the most significant things you will definitely need. It would not be nice if you could not enjoy the underwater scenery because you can’t be able to see it well.
A high-quality mask with the utmost comfort can make a better difference between wearied dives and a pleasant time underwater. Buy a new one that will fit you perfectly and can meet your needs as an individual that will be best for you if you like a total comfort over your dive.
Scuba diving masks or scuba diving with glasses comes with style differences, but they all have the same basic purpose. It allows divers to see underwater surroundings clearly and to protect your eyes when you are on the ocean.
There are three main types of scuba masks, namely, single lens, split lens, and multiple lenses. You also have the options which you could choose from, the framed and frameless, and also between various materials for the skirt of the mask.
If your mask did not move and had stayed in place, then it means that it fits. If ever you feel air flowing into your mask as you breathe in, then it does not fit, and it definitely means you need another size.
For scuba divers and also for freedivers, the volume which is the airspace that is captured which is then created when your mask was sealed against your face and most divers prefers a mask with lower volume because they find it more comfortable that is why the internal volume of their mask is the most important thing for them.
- Drysuit vs. Wetsuit
Traveling either with a wetsuit or a drysuit can be heavy, which makes it a bit hassle. It is essential in order for you to protect your skin and in keeping you warm. The material, neoprene rubber, serves as padding by means of locking into a thin layer of the water with your skin. Obviously, if the water is colder, you will surely want to use thicker wetsuit or drysuit.
Wetsuits are essential for buoyancy, temperature, and protection. Between a good dive and the one that is dangerous, the solid wetsuit can possibly be the difference. Anyone who is into surfing will be accustomed to wetsuits already.
However, when you’re buying one for scuba diving, there are some differences to take into account: 3mm wetsuits, popular with summer surfers, are only suitable for diving in the tropics, as seawater quickly drops in temperature, once you start descending.
5mm wetsuit is a good option for dives in the Red Sea and the areas surrounding it and 7mm wetsuits are usually advised for a cold-water diving.
It is best to wear dry suits if you are to dive around Iceland which definitely has a cold temperature and also with other locations with the same temperature.
These suits come with membrane and neoprene that control the insulation in several ways. Wetsuits made with neoprene are much portable, but it is necessary to have diving skin underneath for the sake of isolation, while the membrane suits come to be more unhandy yet it still provides acceptable insulation.
These are also an important thing for your diving gear. Fins are allowing you to push yourself through the water with agility and with speed, and it also gives you the control for your movement. The two basic types of scuba fins are open heel and full foot fins which are available to purchase on the market.
Between these two categories, there are two more variants to select from, and that would be the split or the blade. It is a dynamic matter to consider the comfort and efficiency when you are to look for your scuba diving fins, so before you go picking out a pair for yourself, be sure to do research.
Fins are a significant part of your equipment bag, with regards to its portability. The most popular types of diving fins are as follows:
Paddle shaped fins– Considered as the custom and golden boy of diving fins. Most divers at most levels still use it even if it is the standard type of fins.
Vented Fins– These paddle fins are stiff where the base of the foot pocket have vents. These allow the way of water during the stroke of recovery but prevents avenue during strokes of power, which makes all movement more productive.
Split Fin– This fin has a small gap in between the fin unlike with the paddle fins, which only means that they cut with far lesser opposition through the water. Because of its ability to generate power and control with a flutter kick, most of the divers stand by these fins instead of depending on a full power kick.
Free Diving fins– These fins are a lot similar to the paddle fins, except for the reason that they are usually stiffer and longer than the latter. These fin blades are made from a fiberglass or a carbon fiber reinforcement at some time. These fins have a high probability of getting damaged. Freediving fins stick to the full foot style and it infrequently have an open heel.
Open Heel fins- These fins are invented to be used together with booties for diving and have their back open. Foot pockets included in these fins are usually made out of a more stringent material if you would compare them to the full-footed fins’ foot pockets. Open-heeled fins can be used in all temperatures of water and are necessary for thermal protection in cold water environments.
Full Foot fins– The foot pockets in these fins are softer, and it is capable of covering your whole foot. Without dive booties, they are normally worn, where thermal protection isn’t a factor, in a warmer water.
- Scuba Gloves
These are made out of durable, strong materials that can prevent pinhole or skin scrape when you are exploring in some other delicate diving sites and the underwater caves.
They also come in varied types and thickness, which offers both scrape protection and thermal protection for all kinds of diving activities. They function similarly to a wetsuit by trapping a thin layer of water between the material and your skin to slow down the heat loss.
Aside from providing protection for your palms and fingers, these gloves help to keep the warmth of your hands underwater.
- Scuba Tank
You will be carrying this diving cylinder or tank on your back; the pressurized gas is held by this cylinder, which will then be distributed by the regulator.
Gas cylinders are made up of a pressure vessel. It is the cold-extruded aluminum cylinder and the cylinder valve, this one controls the gas that is being released from the cylinder.
Remember that cylinders need your attention always. It needs protective meshes, replacement pillar valves, carry handles, valve dust covers that will allow divers to care for the tanks to lengthen its life.
A diving cylinder or a scuba tank is obviously another piece of equipment that is necessary for your diving activities. This is a component of your breathing paraphernalia and its purpose is to allow you to store and transport large volumes of the specialized gas mixtures such as nitrox or even those simple compressed air. 2000 up to 3500 psi is the maximum pressure rate of the tanks mostly which are commonly made up of aluminum or even with steel.
If you are planning to do more dives in the near future, you may want to invest in your own tank so it would be much less of a hassle. You have the choice if you would just rent or you’ll have your own.
This is one of the essential pieces of equipment for you, the regulator. The regulator used in surface or scuba diving is the pressure regulator used to reduce all pressurized breathing gas into atmosphere pressure, and then it carries it to the diver afterward. Through the use of a valve, the gas will be delivered.
This automatically cuts off the flow of a liquid or gas at a certain point of pressure. You are able to breathe the air from your tank because of the use of the regulator. It converts the high-pressure air into environmental pressure. It also includes gauges and it also has a second stage backup.
In selecting a regulator for diving, be sure to pick the one that has the highest level of performance and can give you the comfort that you need.
Regulators are normally purchased in three parts. The first to purchase is the 1st Stage both the primary and the clamp, then afterward, you should have an Alternate Air Source and the Gauges is the last one you must have.
Having their own personal regulator are much preferred by most of the divers. It means that you can rest assured that your apparatus is regularly taken care of and you know the frequency with which it has been used.
- Submersible Pressure Gauge, Depth Gauge & Compass
A depth gauge is used in recording the maximum depth reached and the current time of your diving activity. Submersible pressure gauge (SPG), on the other hand, is used to display the amount of gas left in the scuba cylinder. It definitely helps in monitoring when you have a supply of gas when you are diving.
A compass is also vital for a proper navigation during the dive. When there is low visibility underwater, it is necessary to know where you are located.
It helps greatly in keeping you on track and prevents you from getting lost, and it also helps to prevent you from having an anxiety attack and using up a lot more air than you normally need.
Dependent to your preference, these devices come in both digital and analog forms. You can also pick the option of buying a 3-gauge console, which is one device; the three are being combined.
- Dive Computer
While you may be expecting a diving computer to be used as GPS, in reality, they are really important on your dives for many more things. This computer is capable of securing your safety and allows you to stay at the bottom for a long period of time.
The purpose of this computer is to measure how long you have stayed underwater, how deep you reached with your current location, and how long would you be able to stay at the depth you are currently located. A dive computer can be used together with the three equipment mentioned a while ago, items to ensure a smooth and safe dive.
It’s a lot better just to purchase a dive computer than renting one because it will only cost you more money, which will then be a lot of waste. This computer for diving is now most wrist-mounted, console-mounted or integrated into the mask and they tend to be wireless and sends data on your tank pressure automatically into the device.
The computer is necessary for divers who use nitrox which is also compatible with nitrox diving.
- Buoyancy Compensator
BCD means buoyancy control device; this is the name of the jacket you will wear on your dive so that you can control and adjust your buoyancy into the water. It basically denotes your position to the people that are currently staying on the surface of the water.
This control device or compensator helps to keep you from floating up into the water’s surface or even from sinking into the ocean’s bottom part. It is a vest or jacket which can help you in managing your buoyancy so you must wear it during your diving activity.
Air can be added to the internal bladder of BC if you want to rise, or if you want to sink deeper a certain amount of air can be released. Aside from you being allowed to take control of your buoyancy, certain buoyancy compensators might also have straps and pockets that will allow you to secure all of your essential scuba diving equipment
You will be taught to carry a snorkel during a dive, but for those who are already experienced divers, it’s naturally a matter of preference. Even if you do not consider a snorkel to be one of the essential things for your dive, it is still an important piece for your safety gear as you are a new or a less experienced diver.
The snorkel can also be useful for some instances like when times that you do not want to use your valuable air from your tank.
- Underwater Camera
This is an optional piece of equipment for diving, which is not that important to have a successful diving adventure. But it’s definitely a device that you must bring if you want to bring home some souvenir of the beautiful sights underwater that you saw.
There are so many great underwater cameras that could allow you to take clear photos and videos, but in this present time, most divers use GoPro cameras together with waterproof cases and housings in order for them to be allowed to go even deeper.
There are other things you may need for your scuba diving namely, a dive logbook, a defogger, tank bangers, writing slates, underwater lights, dive knives and most importantly, a first aid kit
- Buddy Line
A line with a short length of webbing around two meters, having a small central float. A buddy line is used to tether two divers together with a low visibility to avoid being separated from one another.
You always have to include a light on your equipment that you should put onto your BSD or suit. However, make sure to have another extra torch because it is also considered a good safety device.
To select the right hood for the water temperature, you must use a similar thickness measuring system just as with your wetsuit.
- Tank Bangers
Add this to your scuba diving list because it would be great. These materials are hard on an elastic band that you could be able to wrap around the tank. Tank bangers provide an enhancement to your underwater communication, which makes these devices on hand during your dive to be a good safety device.
It is important to have a defogger before your every dive to assure that you’ll have fun because having a fogged-up mask can prevent you from having a fun and safe dive. Many defogging products are specifically made for your scuba masks, but baby shampoo can also be used as an alternative for your masks.
- Dive Knives
Carrying dive knives is a really great tip you must consider since it can be used to free yourself from entanglements while you are currently stranded at the bottom.
Made out of either titanium or stainless steel, dive knives have either a serrated edge or sharp cutting edge, though a few have both. Occasionally they are used by divers to free themselves from underwater plants or entangled fishing lines.
They can also be used to get another diver’s attention by tapping into the tank. You can keep one being strapped onto your wrist or leg through the use of a cover with a retainer or you can mount one onto your BC.
- Writing Slates
This is a common underwater writing device that you can use since it is mostly used by others. You can use them to communicate or use them for writing or recording down some specific details about a picture you have had taken. They’re available in different types, such as erasable magnetic slates and wrist slates.
- Underwater Lights
It is also referred to as dive lights. Underwater lights should be carried by divers like you to illuminate dark underwater surroundings. These lights are used during cave dives and night dives. Aside from that, this vital light is also needed during the time of exploring crevices and cracks or even for observing the colors during day dives.
- First Aid Kit
When you’re always engaging in an adventurous activity, you learn pretty fast that a first aid kit is always a smart thing to have with you in case of situations such as medical emergencies. The medical kit you need must include emergency blankets, painkillers, and medicines for allergies and wounds.
- Dive Logbook
In recording the details of your past dives, you will need to have logbooks even if it is for personal purposes or safety measures. It may not be a necessary item but many divers uses logbooks from the beginning of their diving journey, it is because records in diving is required if you are to take some additional courses or even when venturing to some definite locations or areas Once the diver had been diving a lot regularly, they will then leave their logbooks, but it still depends mostly on their computers to keep their diving records.
You must remember that not all the equipment listed above is necessary for you to purchase. Each diver—and each dive—is varied. You might just need more or even less equipment on this list, depending on what goal you are going to achieve and the conditions of your diving activity.
These important items really could help you to have a safe and happy diving adventure.