Advice on putting on gear

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Meghan Powers

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Donning & doffing: independence

All diving should be with a mind to be self reliant. Sure, there's times when someone else's help is gratefully received -- climbing into your kit on a boat and forgetting to untie the rope/bungees; d'Oh. Or the mask/gloves flies across the boat as it rolls.

The point is to always try to be self sufficient. There is a buddy check; you should aim to do that with zero "discoveries".

I definitely want to be self sufficient with donning my gear. This way I can do it on my own if my buddy can't help and I will be better aware of my own gear.

I do think buddy checks should be done no matter how experienced the diver is. If something goes wrong with your regulator, you'll have to use your buddy's octo. I would want to know that it works. I would also want to know how to dump their weights if I need to.

I think help is appreciated but there should be a certain amount of independence in specific categories, such as donning gear.

In the water is another story for sure!
 
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Meghan Powers

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I agree that Gilboa has a lot of stairs. But it's a bit better now with the new ownership. They've done a ton of work to the stairs, the gearing-up area below, and the docks. No offense to Mike, but there were times when I was afraid that one of the planks would crack beneath the weight of me and my gear. Not any longer. All new planking. The area at the bottom of the stairs has new table-top areas for donning, plus the benches have been bolstered and now have bungees for tanks. You still have to carry your equipment down the stairs, but you can at least do that in as many trips as you like. For me, I still gear up at the top and just walk down the stairs with my rig on. But it's easier and safer than it was before to gear up down by the water.

As you say, White Star is definitely overall easier, though. Even on busy weekends when the tables are all taken by instructors and cert divers, gearing up out of your car is easy and it's just a short walk to the shore-entry area. On the downside, the viz at White Star is currently pretty bad. The viz at Gilboa is still really good, despite the hot summer. That's the benefit of having a much deeper and colder body of water compared to White Star.

I did my ow dives at Gilboa in June and the visibility was terrible. Maybe it's currently better. I am going to go to Gilboa because its where I dove before. Do you know the water temp currently or how I can find it out? I hate the cold so I'm wanting to do a few dives before the end of this month.
 

Marie13

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I did my ow dives at Gilboa in June and the visibility was terrible. Maybe it's currently better. I am going to go to Gilboa because its where I dove before. Do you know the water temp currently or how I can find it out? I hate the cold so I'm wanting to do a few dives before the end of this month.

FB or call Gilboa and ask.
 
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Meghan Powers

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Lots of good advice here. I will add two fundamental realities of scuba:

1) Gear that keeps a human being safe and warm underwater is HEAVY. There's no getting around that.
2) There is no substitute for experience. You are a new diver and that doesn't just mean underwater. Gearing up is it's own art and mastering it takes time, practice, and thought. The payoff is well worth it though. You need develop a routine for gearing up that you can do every time. This will require trial and error, adjustments to your approach, gear changes, and time and experience. For your recreational scuba gear it will probably not be a long process to create a reliable routine. You should have most of it already from your class; now you just need to practice and adjust your routine where it isn't satisfactory for you. I bet 10 dives from now gearing up will be much easier for you - assuming those dives are not so spaced out that you forget your routine between them, of course.

As has been said, deal with the weight issue by not trying to muscle around with it. Use a bench or any other support surface available. And respect your thermal clock - once your suit goes on in the summer you only have so much time before you overheat. The better your system the less time you will spend in your suit above water. Practice and think and adjust and you will get much faster. Good luck.

Yeah I've settled on the fact that it's going to be heavy for me. I'm small and the gear is needed so I can't get around it. Just wanted easier ways to put it on that doesn't require me standing on the tips of my toes lifting my buddy's tank.

I will have to get used to putting my gear on for sure. Even gear takes experience. I really just wanted some ideas to try to make putting it on easier. I'm going to take some of the tips suggested and try them out to see what works best for me and just go from there :)

And about the heat - I hated putting that gear on and waiting to get in the water. It is one of the reasons people miss certain things when doing buddy checks. You just want to get in the water so bad. I was sweating horrendously. It was the middle of June and hot!!!
 
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Meghan Powers

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If I dont have access to the bed of my truck. I use a portable table to setup my rig. One like this "https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B072X4T...7?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&tag=alltopratings-20"

As for hoods I cant stand them and will go out of my way even though I shave my head to not wear them if I can. You don't "need" to wear one if you are not that phased by the cold.

This might not help you but its a good reference. My friends call me the mule of diving. I gear up and then help others... My wife and one of my dive buddies every time.. and maybe a few others with getting that BC/Wing on. Dive with a mule. :wink:

Thankfully I have a car and I am going to try using the trunk of it to prop my tank up with while I don the bcd. I wouldn't be able to reach the bed of a truck lol

And I absolutely hated the hood they gave me and I refused to wear it. It was cold and I hated the water on my head but the hood suffocated me. I am just going to get some experience locally and then do some traveling to dive!
 

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He shows the seated way.

When using the trunk of your car assemble on the ground, pick up and place on trunk KEEP A HAND ON THE GEAR AT ALL TIMES TO PREVENT FALLING TILL YOU GET YOUR FIRST SHOULDER IN, with hand on tank turn, sit and slide your first shoulder in, if diving dry it's easier to do left first, then do second shoulder stand up and adjust.
 

Outbound

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I did my ow dives at Gilboa in June and the visibility was terrible. Maybe it's currently better. I am going to go to Gilboa because its where I dove before. Do you know the water temp currently or how I can find it out? I hate the cold so I'm wanting to do a few dives before the end of this month.
I was just there a week ago and the water at 35’ was 70 degrees. Down by the tubes it was 48. Of course, the water in the shallower sections isn’t as clear as the cold, deeper water.

As a drysuit diver, I completely understand gettin overheated while gearing up. You can always put on your exposure suit, jump in to cool off, then get out and get the rest of your gear on.

Have fun!
 

formernuke

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And about the heat - I hated putting that gear on and waiting to get in the water. It is one of the reasons people miss certain things when doing buddy checks. You just want to get in the water so bad. I was sweating horrendously. It was the middle of June and hot

Assemble the gear then don the exposure protection if diving wet don't zip it up if diving dry make sure it's zipped. Then walk down to the water and dunk yourself. Come back up and finish getting ready including the buddy checks.
 

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Thankfully I have a car and I am going to try using the trunk of it to prop my tank up with while I don the bcd. I wouldn't be able to reach the bed of a truck lol

And I absolutely hated the hood they gave me and I refused to wear it. It was cold and I hated the water on my head but the hood suffocated me. I am just going to get some experience locally and then do some traveling to dive!

Be careful you don’t tear up the back bumper of your car doing this. A heavy blanket may help protect it.
Also watch out if you have things like a spring cover on the latch bar as those can be broken off easily. A hatchback or SUV with a flat rear cargo area makes this much easier. Make sure when standing you don’t smack the tank/reg or your head into the trunk lid/hatch.

If using the tailgate of a truck and removing gear after a saltwater dive, be sure to rinse the tailgate area good to avoid corrosion. For a car/SUV the blanket can help here.

As to the hood it’s simply a matter a finding one that fits properly. Quality brands also tend to be more comfortable. You lose a lot of heat through your head so a hood can go a long way to dive comfort over multiple dives which also has the benefit of reducing air consumption.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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