If you’ve ever been diving, you know one of the most annoying things about it is the sheer amount of gear you need. How do you pack for a diving trip when there’s just so much??!
Mask, Fins, Booties, Weight Belt, Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), Regulator, Dive Comp, SMB, you name it. If you have your own personal gear and you need to lug it around with you, this stuff is also heavy!
But there are the little things that you can carry with you that will make your dive experience go that much smoother.
Here are some of our top tips for packing diving gear, and the 9 essential items we always suggest you pack for an upcoming diving trip.
Your Diving Trip Packing List
You’re going to spend most of your time out in a boat, so there’s no need for fancy clothes! Pack the thinnest clothes that also dry quickly because you’re going to get wet more often than not. If you’re carrying your own dive gear this will help keep your luggage manageable! Your suitcase should include swimwear and things you can throw on quickly to help you dry off.
1) Pack at least two swimsuits
You could probably make do with 1 swimsuit, but if you’re particular about wearing dry clothes, have at least two sets so that you can alternate between them – wearing 1 set and drying the other.
2) Pack a Buff or Bandanna
Wear a buff, or a bandana to keep your hair out of your face. It keeps the hair out of your mask to prevent leaks and stops it from getting pulled when you take off your mask. (I forgot mine this last trip, sorely missed it!)
A small bottle of Johnson’s & Johnson’s baby shampoo works great as a cheap and easy to get mask defogger, and it smells nice too!
If you have sensitive skin and are prone to stings, keep Vinegar on hand (to splash on your skin immediately after you surface to ease the sting), and the cool menthol of Counterpain/Deep Heat works wonders in soothing the stings in the days after.
Preferably the waterproof kind that you should slap on first thing in the morning or after a dive once you’re dry enough. You don’t want to put on sunblock just before you go into the water, which is a waste and if you put on too much, you’ll end up polluting the water! Make sure your sunblock is reef-safe.
6) Dry Bag
The most important thing you can have on a dive boat is a dry bag to protect your valuables, which you should always secure because you never know when it might rain, splash or the boat might just lurch. We love this dry back backpack, which we also brought on a recent trip to Antarctica and it totally held up!
Putting on a wetsuit can be tricky. To get it on quickly, jump into the water to put it on, wear deodorant or wear a thin rashguard underneath. It’s something you can keep on all day which is less uncomfortable than the wetsuit and easier to put on. Also useful as an additional buffer against stingers which can creep into wetsuits!
If you can, bring little stainless steel carabiners or wrist loops to secure stuff to you when you’re underwater. Don’t jump in holding stuff in your hand without securing it to yourself in some way… you’re bound to drop it at some point!
Some dive sites prohibit you from wearing gloves so as to protect the coral from careless touching. I say to at least carry one on your BCD anyway, especially when you’re descending on a rope because some of them have pretty vicious barnacles on them and you can cut up your hands while trying to hang on to the rope in a strong current.
Hope you girls have been enjoying the recent slew of diving posts from me! Here are some other diving articles you might enjoy:
Where to go: World’s Best Diving Spots
How to Get Your Diving License
Where to go for the best watersports in the world
Diving.. on Your Period
Diving in Honduras vs. Nicaragua
Diving Holidays: Why You Should Take the Plunge