What to Pack for a Scuba Diving Vacation
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What to Pack for a Scuba Diving Trip

 By Byron Kay

Going on holiday or a dive vacay? Sometimes it can be overwhelming to try to pack all that stuff. Add a last minute time crunch and the pressure can lead to anxiety which then leads to forgetting. Pack easy my friend. Here's a few checklists to help you on your way with your packing. Use the checklist. It's your friend. One way to help remember is to start at the top of your head and visualize all of the components necessary to complete you dive gear setup.

Dive Gear Packing List

  • Hood

  • Mask+case
  • Snorkel
  • Regulator Set
  • BCD
  • Computer
  • Watch (or 2nd computer)
  • Console/Pressure gauge (if you have one)
  • Compass
  • Knife (be sure to check this one)
  • Rattler
  • Reef Stick
  • Reef Hook
  • Safety Sausage
  • Wetsuit
  • Gloves
  • Booties
  • Fins
  • Accessories - These are things you may or may not need
    • Defog
    • Dry Bag
    • Dry Box (for wallet keys etc)
    • Extra snorkel keeper
    • Extra Fin Strap
    • Extra O-rings with pick
    • Multitool

Pre/post dive Items
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen (check bag)
  • Towel
  • Sunshirt
  • Swimsuit
  • Jammers (lycra swim shorts for men)

As you place each piece of gear in your bag ask yourself "Is this in good shape? Does it need to be serviced?". Make sure your compass spins and your knife blade is sharp. Check your regulator for proper function. Turn on your computer and check the battery. Check your fin straps by pulling on them. Check the valves on your snorkel.

Dive Gear we Recommend

There are some unique tools for diving that can make your experience more fun or comfortable underwater.

Rattle Stick

This handy dandy little contraption acts as a way to get others attention . . . and it's a pointing device! You can use it in lieu of your finger to stay away from the reef. You can also use it as a way to point at tiny critters when they are hard to see. There are many more uses. You will often see dive professionals using these.
rattle stick with pointer

Travel Towel

These towels are super compact and come with a carrying bag. You can soak them and wring them out and they still work great!

travel towel
travel towel in mesh bag

Safety Sausage aka Surface Marker buoy (SMB)

This is a great way to be seen. If you are visiting a place like Komodo or Fiji where the currents can be strong this could literally safe your life. It's also a great way to let your boat know where you are while on a safety stop.
smb surface marker buoy for scuba diving

Reef Hook

Not like Captain Hook but more like Batman a reef hook will help you stay put while the current is pumping. Find a nice spot to hook in and kick back (or don't kick at all) and wait for the critters to come to you.

Full Foot Fins

If you were trained to dive in cold water you may still have your pair of full-foots. If you will be doing a lot of easy shore diving or boat diving do yourself a favor and get a solid pair of full foot fins. They are more compact and efficient. They travel better and don't require booties.
full foot scuba fins
scuba diving fin
mares Volo Race Fins

Dive Gear you Should Stay Away From

We have formed these opinions about dive gear after having seen many sets of gear come to us over time. This is what we've learned.

Wireless Tank Transmitter

These things are one of our #1 most often failed piece of equipment. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. The rest of the time they run out of batteries. If you do own one of these pieces of scuba gear make sure the battery works! Or better yet change the battery. Or even better still get an analog pressure guage.

wireless tank transmitters

Air2 aka Regflator

These buggers are our second most failed piece of gear. One of the problems is they usually require a special hose connection. This means when they fail you can no longer use your BCD inflator. Any rental gear will not work with it because the hose is different requiring the hose to be swapped. Additionally your bcd is no longer functional because the reg is attached to it. Basically its a big pain. You can avoid this altogether by getting a standard octopus or by servicing your regs before you travel.

air too safe second atomic ss1
Scubapro Air2