Going on a scuba diving trip is so exciting and having the right gear with you makes your dive so much more enjoyable and, more importantly, safe. Assuming you already have you mask, fins and snorkel, here are my other essential accessories you should have for every trip.
By far one of the most expensive but also essential piece of scuba gear you will need to buy is a dive computer. You’ll need to do a bit of research into the different types out there but mostly watches can be categorized into either conservative or liberal. Liberal algorithms tend to give you more bottom time and quicker surface times while a conservative will give you a very comfortable safety cushion where your NDL is concerned. Which you pick is up to your personal preference, age and physical fitness. Take your time to research which will be best suited to you
For all those exciting night dives, you will be needing a torch! Professional divers will have a main torch and a smaller backup torch, but if you are diving with a guide or a group – or just doing one or two night dives, then one will be sufficient. Torches are also really good for wall or wreck dives, peaking in the cracks and shadows for creatures that might be hiding! The two most important things to look at is the brightness – I’d recommend somewhere around 1000 lumens – and the run time should be around the two hour mark. Below is a handy video showing you the other important factors to consider when buying your torch.
SMB or dSMB
Getting an SMB or dSMB is really important for your saftey in diving. These little guys roll up small enough to fit in your BCD pocket or clip onto a D-ring and either inflate at the beginning of your dive and tow behing you, or they are inflated towards the end of your dive as you are at your saftey stop. Having a SMB is a requirement on many dive sites across the world so learn how to use your SMB and practice using it on your first few dives so it’s not as scary.
Having a slate is going to come in useful if you’re not sure how to hand signal something or to ask questions to your dive buddy. They are super handy if you are doing any activity such as surveys or underwater clean ups, or you just want to ask what species that tiny fish is! They come in many different sizes and styles so pick one up next time your at the dive shop.
FISH ID GUIDE
When diving in a new area, you’re going to need to pick up a fish ID book, to learn which new species you are seeing. Back on the boat after a dive, everyone will be talking about what they saw, figuring out if it was a queen parrotfish or a princess parrotfish and whether the yellow snappers were adults or juveniles. So be sure to have a slate or guide with the areas common animals so you can begin learning which species you are seeing.
Your hands are one of the main points that a diver looses heat, so if you are diving in water that isn’t tropical, gloves will make your dive much more comfortable. Gloves will also come in useful for wreck dives or on dives with strong currents where you might need to hold onto rocks to rest or complete your safety stop. Gloves will also be essential if you are on an underwater clean up where you are picking up plastic and rubbish. But gloves are definitely not used for touching coral, fish or anything that isn’t plastic.
What are some of your dive essentials to take on a dive trip?