Build your own Save a Dive Kit*
by Dave Hicks
From the Marker Buoy Dive Club October 2021 issue:
What’s that hissing noise??? Where are those bubbles coming from??? My dive computer is dead!!!
We’ve all experienced this situation on a dive excursion. You are all kitted up and ready to go and some piece of gear goes sideways. You have a loose hose on your 1st stage regulator blowing out air. The O-ring has failed or vanished from your tank. Your dry glove was attacked and holed by an urchin or barnacle. These issues can easily range from annoying to showstoppers.
It’s bad enough to have an issue strike on a local shore dive, but if you are on a multi-day trip away from home you could be looking at problems that will ruin your trip or force you to rent or buy replacement gear. And the more people that you dive with, the more likely that an issue will arise in time to spoil somebody’s dive trip. It’s great to be self-sufficient and be able to resolve your own gear issues on the spot, but it’s even better if you save a fellow diver’s problem with a spare part or quick fix. You might even get a free beer or new buddy out of the situation.
The solution is to fall back on the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared”.
This article will show you how to put together a Save-a-Dive Kit and a Spares Kit that will help you prepare to deal with many common problems that you or a buddy are likely to encounter on a dive trip. Many experienced divers have these kits, and there are many ways to assemble effective kits. We learn from our experiences, mistakes, and great tips from other divers. The kits I outline in this article were built over 30 years of diving lessons learned. I encourage you to pick and choose from this article or build a kit just like mine. I’d love to hear feedback and ideas from your experiences as well.
I typically carry and use two different boxes with me on dive trips. The smaller one I will call the Save-a-Dive Kit. The second is my Spares Kit. The two are complementary but separated for use in two general scenarios.
- The Save-a-Dive Kit is focused on last minute issues. I bring it on every shore dive, day charter boat, or live aboard excursion. It’s small, portable, and waterproof so I can stow it under the bench in any dive boat. This kit contains small tools and simple parts needed for a quick fix to salvage a single dive.
- The Spares Kit is bigger and contains backup equipment you might not carry for a single dive, but that you may need to save an entire trip. It holds bulkier replacements for things you can’t continue diving without, including gloves, hoses, regulators, etc.
Save a Dive KitHere are the entire contents of my Save-a-Dive kit laid out for display.
You’ll also want to have a few mini ziplock bags to contain some of the smaller bits like Q-tips and zip-ties so they don’t get wet or scattered.
I’ve included prices for most of the items below for reference. You may already have a lot of these items.
Everything on this list can be found from Amazon or Dive Gear Express or your local Dive or Marine stores
* I recently wrote an article on this topic for my dive club's newsletter. It's an expanded version of a reply I made in a post early in the year. I'm sharing the article in full here. I hope some people find is useful or educational. I go into some detail about the use for each item.
Continued in the next post