Top 10 Accessories Every Scuba Diver Should Have
As we all know, scuba diving is an equipment-intensive sport - you need a tank and a regulator to breathe, BCD and weights help you to adjust your buoyancy, a mask enables you to see clearly, and your fins help you move. Furthermore, in addition to these essential pieces of gear, there are a few “nice-to-have” items, designed to make your dives more comfortable and enjoyable. So today we went in search of top 10 must-have dive accessories. Some of these items simply make your dives easier, while others can be real life-savers in case of an emergency.
1. Gear Bag
A good gear bag can make a world of difference in how you organize, transport, and store your equipment. Dive-specific pieces of luggage are custom-built to protect your gear and can normally stand up to the sun and saltwater really well. Your main bag should be big and tough enough to handle the load of your gear. Make sure it is made from heavy-duty fabric with reinforced stitching and has corrosion-proof fasteners and hardware. You’ll probably want a few secondary bags as well, such as a lightweight mesh bag for your mask, fins, and snorkel, or a padded bag for your regulator.
2. Dry Bag
How do you ensure that your wallet, documents, electronic devices, and other valuable belongings stay dry while you’re out diving? Your best bet is an airtight bag that will keep its contents dry even if it falls into the water. There are a few different types of dry bags you can choose from - water-resistant (can be splashed, but will leak if immersed in water), waterproof (can be splashed and temporarily dunked), and submersible (can be fully submerged in water).
Сheck out our collection of dry bags:
3. Dive Knife
A dive knife is an essential safety tool you should carry on every dive. It will prove useful in case you get entangled in discarded fishing lines, nets, or kelp. Dive knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can choose the one with stainless steel, aluminum or titanium blade, pick a blunt or sharp tip, and decide whether or not you want the serrated edge and line cutter built-in. If carrying a dive knife concerns you or feels like overkill, you can get a pair of dive shears or a small line cutting tool instead.
4. Surface Signaling Gear
Surface signaling gear, such as marker buoys, signal mirrors, whistles, and air horns, is also a must-have for every diver. They will help you be seen and heard if you surface away from the boat and/or need assistance. It is recommended that you carry at least two devices - one audible and one visual on every dive. Most of these are quite small and can fit neatly into a BC pocket or clip comfortably to a D-ring. Make sure to also get a special signal light if you’re going night diving.
Surface Signaling Devices For Scuba Divers
You can read more about different types of signaling gear and how to use it in a dedicated article.
5. Dive Light
Many divers think that the dive light is only needed for night diving. In reality, a simple pocket light can be useful in a variety of situations. Keep in mind, everything begins to look gray at 30 feet of depth, even during the day, so carrying a compact secondary light will help you illuminate the colors and appreciate the beauty of the underwater world. The light will also come in handy if you’re going wreck diving or for peering into crevices at any time of the day. Finally, a compact easy to carry light will be a good backup for your night dives.
6. Dive Compass
Many of today’s dive computers come with built-in digital compasses, but if your computer doesn’t have one or you simply want to sharpen your navigation skills, a good analog compass will help you with directional assistance in the water. Using a compass you can quickly make note of where you are relative to your boat without having to surface. You can also set the azimuth to any desired underwater object.
7. Tank Banger
A tank banger is a small and inexpensive but very useful scuba accessory. Thanks to the distinct “clank” sound it produces, the banger will help you catch the attention of your buddies or a divemaster underwater. All you need to do is stretch the band over your scuba tank, and, when needed, grab hold of the ball, pull it away from the tank and let it go.
8. Save a Dive Kit
Minor gear failures such as a blown O-ring or leaky fitting should not be the reason to cancel a dive. If you bring along a diving tool kit with the right backup parts, you will be able to perform basic gear repair on the spot and carry on with your dive as planned. You can buy one of the readily available save a dive kits or assemble your own set. The exact contents of a save a dive kit will depend on the gear you carry and the diving you do, but some things, such extra fin and mask straps, a variety of o-rings, and a regulator mouthpiece should be in most, if not all, kits. Your kit can also include a snorkel-keeper, a few clips, and lanyards, a silicone lubricant, mask anti-fog, some spare batteries, etc. Finally, you should add a few basic tools (think wrenches, screwdrivers, o-ring picks) or a compact scuba multi-tool.
Scuba Essentials: Save-a-Dive Kit
Here is an article on how to assemble a well-stocked save-a-dive kit.
9. Comfort Mouthpiece
Discomfort from sore lips or aching jaws after the dive can really ruin the impression. So, if you feel that the standard mouthpiece supplied with your regulator is too big, too rigid, or simply doesn’t sit correctly in your mouth, upgrade to a quality comfort mouthpiece. Comfort mouthpieces are designed to be easier to grip and, in some cases, can even be molded to fit your mouth, teeth, and gums perfectly.
10. A Few Clips and Lanyards
Nobody likes their hoses dangling and their gear all over the place. To keep your equipment secure and out of the way, get a few good clips and lanyards. There is a variety of different types available, including brass or stainless steel bolt snaps, wrist or spiral lanyards, swivel bolts, D-rings, special hose retainers, octopus holders, etc. You can use these to secure your gloves, slates, reels, camera, flashlight, or anything you don’t want to drop during your dive. Even if you don't have any clips yet, once you get one or two you'll quickly find a use for them.