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What to Bring on longer dive trips?

By Ab Kurk

Camera EquipmentYou’re finally going on the dive trip of a lifetime. Scraped up enough money for it, and even got yourself a paper route. You’re going to be submerged in diving for an extended period of time and are looking forward to seeing the weird critters of the deep or maybe even find pirate treasure.


It is packing day and the reality sinks in. You have to pack all your gear and only have limited space. After cramming my clothing and undergarments (as I am a cold water diver) in a small bag you feel really optimistic that you will make the goal. Then you look behind you and see the pile of stuff that somehow you still have to find room for. You get the point, too much stuff not enough room. What you bring or leave might be the difference between sitting out all the dives or having stories about the stuff you have seen.


The last extended trip I just did was on a live aboard. We were 7 days in the middle of nowhere with no available rentals or repair shop. On this trip we had one person with a regulator failure, issues with gloves, fin straps, light and camera.  Luckily this time no one lost a mask or hood although it came close. All the people on the boat worked together, so we managed to solve most of these issues. This was because we were a bunch of experienced divers. You might not be so lucky.


What you need for spare gear really depends on how crucial your equipment  is to the enjoyment of the trip. Do you have equipment that is so crucial that when it breaks it is a show stopper? How close is the nearest rental or repair shop? Does your BCD or dry suit have special connectors so normal quick disconnect hoses won’t fit?


Having a spare regulator if no rentals are available is a smart move. Depending on the conditions you are diving in, bringing 2 primary lights can be a smart move. If you have facial features like I have, (a big nose) bringing  a spare mask that fits you is crucial. A spare buckle,fin and mask strap is a must.  Bring spare exposure protection e.g. hood, gloves, and boots. I have even seen people bringing spare wet or dry suits. I also bring a spare computer. A bucket of O-rings, tapes, glues, tools and spare batteries should also be part of your save a dive kit.


 Two months before you go check out all your gear, get your regulators serviced well before the trip so you can do some test dives to see that it works. Fill your BCD with air and check if it holds. Check if any inflator buttons stick. Check your dive computer. If it is one that has a user replaceable battery, replace it with a new one. Last but not least, find somebody who can chase away the gremlins and you will have a great trip.


This all might sound like overkill but when you look at the cost of a trip of a lifetime having this much protection is only smart. My friends  and I are experienced  divers, and we take care of our gear, but most trips we go on there is always something that goes wrong. Because we come prepared, it is seldom that people get benched and can enjoy a trip of a life time.