Are you preparing to pack for your very first scuba tour? Have you been on scuba tours before, but just want to double-check your packing list to make sure it includes everything you need? This guide is for you! We’ll cover some of the most important and most oft forgotten items necessary to get the most out of your scuba trip.
Scuba diving is an equipment-heavy sport. You will need a wetsuit, tank, regulator, snorkel, mask, various gauges and clips, and the list goes on. We highly suggest that beginners start with a newbie-friendly tour company – scuba tour companies often provide all of the necessities, everything a diver could need. Tourist destinations often have more options. We can recommend a few Oahu scuba diving tours that provide absolutely everything a new diver could need.
If you are taking your first tour with an experienced friend instead of a tour company, make sure to have a professional review your equipment choices and check them for function.
Regardless of what the tour company provides, you should always bring your own mask. Masks are extremely difficult to size because every face is different. Buy your mask well ahead of time and try it out in a demonstration pool to protect against leaks. A leaky mask will ruin your scuba experience. If you do choose to rent this piece, show up early to ensure you are able to give it the pool test.
You may also want to bring your own gloves and booties if you feel uncomfortable using rentals. If you think you will go scuba diving often, start saving for your own wetsuit ASAP. Rentals often have a distinctive smell and the fit is never perfect. Saving up for your own wetsuit is a great idea for ocean enthusiasts. The next most important piece to save up for would be the BCD (buoyancy compensation device) simply because familiarity is highly desired. The regulator would be the next major recommended purchase.
Do not forget to ask your tour company about any safety devices they recommend or require! Dive knifes, compasses, safety sausages, diving whistles, visibility ribbons, and signal mirrors are common choices. Sometimes tour companies only have a limited supply of these items and assign one per team, but it’s always preferable and safer to have your own.
What To Put In Your Beach Bag
Some of the most important take-along items never make it onto official packing lists. This would be your beach bag – those personal items that make the beach experience more enjoyable. Sunscreen and sunglasses are two of the more obvious items, but do not forget your burn salve, lip balm, and hair detangling conditioner for comfort after the expedition.
As far as apparel is concerned, you may want to pack light on everyday clothes and heavy on beach-appropriate wear. Extra swimsuits and extra towels will help to ensure that you are able to enjoy a little dryness between excursions. Sandals and sarongs or beach shorts will help you get into beach-side attractions that do now allow swimsuits.
A dive log and journal can help you record important details about your trip along with contact information for the people you meet and rent equipment from. You may want to keep your “official” documents with your journals sealed safely in a waterproof case. Include your passport, identification, permits, certifications, tickets, reservation confirmations, health insurance card, etc. Leave a copy of your emergency contact information at the hotel, tour office, and keep a copy with your journal and official docs.
Pay extra attention to special health-related items. If you are bringing prescription medications, bring along a copy of your prescriptions. If you wear contacts, bring along an extra pair along with your cleaning solution. If you require any special medical devices or mobility aids, call rental sources at your destination to ensure there is a replacement if anything you need breaks.
Get excited! Start planning early. Make your list and check it two, three, or as many times as you need to gain peace of mind. Ask your friends and scuba-experienced family members for suggestions. Call your tour company ahead of time and confirm that your list looks appropriate. A well-planned scuba trip is a successful scuba trip!