There are some pretty obvious bits of kit that divers need – BCD, weights, regulators, etc. I’m not going to talk about that kind of thing for now. Instead, here are some ideas for handy/essential bits of kit that you won’t take underwater but are really useful on the trip.
You need something to keep your kit in and of course an ordinary backpack will do fine. However given that on some dive boats, especially smaller ones, practically any surface can end up wet, and bags can end up falling on the floor or being moved around, I like the reassurance of using a decent drybag. Mostly, it just means I can relax about it being dropped in a puddle of water but it’s nice to know that if it does somehow go overboard (or I fall in while carrying it), it’s got a decent chance of keeping my phone, wallet and spare clothes dry.
Anything will do, but I like a compact microfibre towel as it dries quickly and packs up small. I use an Ironman one because, well, it’s nice to show off, and because the crossover between divers and triathletes is surprisingly big so it occasionally sparks conversations and helps me make new friends on the dive boat. And new friends are nice.
Not everyone logs their dives, and not everyone still uses paper and pen, but I do both and I like having a physical logbook that I take with me and can present on a diveboat if I ever need to prove my experience. I keep it in a nice ‘dive flag’ red and white case to which I’ve added a couple of those patches PADI gives you for qualifications. I know it’s a bit naff but I didn’t want to just throw them away, and it adds personality if nothing else.
Not everyone likes to read during the surface interval, but I do. Of course, it’s nice to chat with your buddy and other divers, but it’s nice to have a way to entertain yourself as well, whether that’s a book or kindle, or an MP3 player, or whatever.
I like it when there’s good enough 3G that I can post smug instagram photos during my surface interval…
Personally, diving makes me hungry, especially if I’ve got up early to drive to the dive site and maybe skipped breakfast a little bit. Out here in Cyprus, my staple is a very nice brand of foil packaged croissants called ‘7 Days’ (which has nothing to do with the fact that I’d happily eat them every day of the week…) and cans of iced coffee.
Of course. Always good to be able to get warm and dry at the end of diving.
Vital out here. There can be a shortage of shade on the boat and if you’re damp and there’s a cool wind it’s easy to miss the fact that you’re burning.
What’s in your surface bag? What won’t you go diving without?