Packing List For Your Dive Vacation
There is nothing worse on a dive vacation then to arrive and not have what you need. Either you are going to end up having to purchase dive equipment that you already own at home (quite often at a much higher price), pay to rent gear, or in the worse case scenario cancel some or all of your diving.
We take a look at some of the things you need to dive with and things which we recommend but that you can probably get by without.
- Dive Certification Card – Many agencies do have an online look up service for dive shops to be able to confirm your certifications. Depending on the dive shop you are visiting they may or may not be able to do this on the morning of your dive. Bring your certification card with you on your dive. If you are looking to dive with Nitrox, ensure you have this specific card as well.
- Dive Insurance Information – Dive insurance isn’t a necessity for dive travel, however, it is highly recommended and if you have it, you need to bring your plans information. Make sure you have it on file with the dive shop or your emergency contact as well. In the unlikely event you need to visit a decompression chamber or receive other medical attention, you want this information and easily accessible.
- Regulator/Octopus – This is the first piece of gear you should pack and make sure is in good working order. If you haven’t had it serviced in the past year it is worthwhile getting this done before your trip to ensure everything is in working order and will perform as expected throughout your trip.
- BCD – Another essential piece of dive equipment. Make sure that you try it on and check that it still fits as well as all buckles, straps, and dump valves are in good working order.
- Computer or Gauge – If you use as the sole method of checking depth or checking air pressure in your tank you should certainly put a new battery in both your computer and the transmitter pre-trip to ensure you aren’t running out on the trip. Always also bring a spare battery. Personally, I always like to have a separate gauge that tells you your air pressure in the event of a computer malfunction during a dive.
- Mesh Bag – Something to keep all of your gear together and allow to not trap any unwanted water, start growing mildew, start stinking, etc.
- Wet Suit – Do some research and find out what the water temperature you will likely be experiencing on your dive trip. The best source of information will be from the local dive shop where you will be visiting. Then plan what suit you will bring accordingly.
- Swim Suit – Remember something to wear under your wet suit or during your dives if you happen to be in a destination where no wet suit is required!
- Dive Flags/Surface Markers Buoys – Some destinations require the use of dive flags and some diving such as drift diving, where you will not have a ascent line, are much safer done with the use of a surface marker buoy.
Other Good To Have Items
- Dive lights – A primary dive light and back up if possible. If you are going to be doing night diving, you can put this into the essential category. Otherwise, certainly bring a dive light as it is always a good idea to carry on a dive to see inside cracks and caves or to even just bring out the true color of different things you will see at depth.
- Gloves/Boots – Not necessarily a necessity, but can make your dive much more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Rashguard/Hat – Not needed during the dive, but great to have on the boat during surface intervals to ensure you don’t get too much sun and suffer from a sun burn.
- Dive Camera/Housing – If you’re an avid photographer, you can move this into the essentials category. Include in this ample SD Cards, your USB connectors, and a laptop to transfer photos to if you are going to be doing lots of photography.
- Dry Bag – Something to keep your stuff in that you don’t want to get wet on the boat. For your phone, towel, spare clothes, camera, etc.
- Dive Knife – Always good to have on a dive.
- Refillable Water Bottle – Most dive shops will provide water to their divers during surface intervals. If they don’t it’s good to have your own water bottle and also if they don’t it might be a good time to find another dive provider!
- Logbook – If you are an avid dive logger, certainly bring your dive book. Chances are that by the time you return home you will not remember the names of the dive sites, the depths, the things you saw, etc. Bring your book and get them stamped by the dive center if you are looking at advancing your training or certifications.
What Else Would You Add To This List?
We didn’t include any of the things you need to travel such as passport, wallet, money etc. These are things you need no matter where you are traveling.
Did we miss anything that you would consider essential for dive travel specifically? Anything you think should be in the essential list rather than the good to have items? Let us know in the comments below.