If you’re an avid fan of the underwater world and have enough experience in scuba diving, you’ll know how much more comfortable it is to use your own gear.
But due to tighter regulations regarding baggage and weight limitations on airlines, it’s not always easy to lug your gear along with you.
Every scuba diving experience relies on the gear you use. So if you refuse to compromise on your next scuba trip, here’s how to pack like a boss…
Diving Essentials to Pack for Your Next Scuba Trip Abroad
Any experienced scuba diver will tell you that an uncomfortable dive is an unmemorable one.
Bringing your own gear along a dive trip makes for an enjoyable experience every time you hit the water. Why? Because its gear you’re familiar with and you know it works. This is especially important if you are new to the area, local dive conditions and want to make an effort to dive sustainably.
If you’re unfamiliar with the weather, the territory, and the dive environment, at least you can rely on your own gear to guide you through each dive.
This being said, it’s not always easy to decide what’s worth packing for a dive trip abroad. Some of it is heavy and will definitely add to your luggage count.
However, here are some of the essentials you should pack or consider investing in if you haven’t already:
1. A Travel-Friendly Buoyancy Compensator (BCD)
Also known as a buoyancy control device, stab jacket, stabilizer or wing depending on the design, they all pretty much do the same thing.
Nevertheless, a travel-friendly BCD is highly recommended if you plan on packing your own. These travel BCDs are lightweight and fold down small so they can fit inside your luggage. And yes, they offer all the same features as a traditional BCD.
Some great travel brands include Cressi’s Travelight, Aqualung Zuma, and ScuaPro X-One.
2. Your Own Scuba Gloves and Wetsuit
Even if you’ve done thorough amounts of research before your dive trip can never predict the exact dive conditions you’ll be facing. So it’s always better to be over-prepared.
In this case, it’s wise to pack your own dive gloves in case you have to battle strong currents and grip onto rocks. Packing your own wetsuit is also highly recommended as its a wetsuit you know and you’re most comfortable in.
If you’re new to scuba diving, find more details on wet and dry wetsuits and which you should invest in, depending on where you dive.
3. A Lightweight OCTI and Regulator
It’s always worthwhile packing an OCTI and regulator you are familiar with. You may want to consider in a travel-friendly version which is lightweight and easy to pack too. There are a number of brands out there that offer high-quality and durability despite being travel-friendly.
To add to this, many travel regulators come with braided hoses to cut down on the weight and make for added flexibility. Some worthwhile brands include Aqualung Mikron, Apex Flight, and Atomic Aquatics T3.
Invest in one of these prior to your trip, become familiar with it, and you’ll be set for all your upcoming diving expeditions in the future!
4. Your Own Dive Fins and Booties
Packing your own dive fins is probably one of the most important items for your dive trip abroad. There’s nothing worse than having to ”break-in” new or unfamiliar fins and struggle with blisters the rest of your trip.
If you’re looking to invest in travel-friendly fins that pack well into carry-on luggage, consider the Hollis F2 Fins or Aqualung Hot Shot fins. It may be wise to spend some time breaking these fins in before you pack them.
The same goes for diving booties. Pack the booties you’re familiar with to prevent blisters if you have to use unfamiliar fins!
5. Your Own Dive Mask and Snorkel
This goes without saying but packing your own dive mask and snorkel is an absolute must for each and every dive trip. This is the type of gear that is very personal to you and can make or break your dive experience.
There’s nothing more painful than an ill-fitting, unfamiliar mask that leaks throughout your dive. Luckily, a dive mask and snorkel is fairly easy and lightweight to pack.
6. A Dive Computer You’re Familiar with
Another very personal piece of diving equipment has to be a dive computer. Don’t make the mistake of leaving yours at home because you will most likely be unfamiliar with the ones provided at your destination. This can be both tricky and annoying to have to acquaint yourself with new dive settings.
If you’re looking to invest in your own, get your hands on the new watch-style dive computer. This makes for a simple, lightweight item to pack. ScubaPro Meridian is an excellent brand. Just make sure you are familiar with all the settings before your dive trip.
7. Diving Accessories
Then there are smaller diving accessories that are worth packing too. Just some of these include your own diving light if you plan of diving at night.
Another would be a dive mesh bag so that you can easily transport your gear from your room to the dive boat. Quick-drying shorts and shirts are also a good idea if you’re spending all day out on the dive boat and want to change.
Don’t forget other basics such as your own swimsuit, rash guard, travel towel, and rock-friendly shoes for exploring. Sunblock, a wide-brimmed hat and a light windbreaker for bad weather are also essential!
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