The Spares Every Diver Should Have
A Cable Tie for Every Occasion
I have seen divers fixing broken clips minutes before a dive with cable ties and even broken fin straps as a last resort because they didn’t have the right spares. Although cable ties can be useful, and we do use them in diving (for holding your mouthpiece on your regulator and making sure your BCD inflator hose seals at the top and bottom), they do have their limitations. To be safe and comfortable both psychologically and physically, it is important that every diver from entry level starts to become self-sufficient to some degree. You’re unlikely to buy a regulator just as a spare, especially as an entry level diver but it’s food for thought.
Other Sports Do It
If you ride a bike on a regular basis, spares are part of your day to day kit in your saddle bag. A spare tube, a pump, some patches, a multi tool etc. Why? Because you don’t want to be that person having to push your bike home 5 miles because you ‘winged it’ and thought you’d be OK.
As a triathlete in preparation for race day, I lay everything out in the order that I’m going to use them from the start to finish of the day. That starts with breakfast right through to warm clothes for post-race and electrolytes to re-hydrate and recover. And then there is the contingency pile of stuff – the things you must think about for the ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I have a puncture? I have a spare tube. What if I have 2 punctures? I have 2 tubes. And what if I have 3 (not unheard of in a long event)? Guess what, I have 3.
Visualise the Dive
Dive schools get pretty good at predicting things that might go wrong and will have a contingency plan. You as a diver need to take some responsibility for looking after yourself. So, go through the day well ahead of time and make a list of what you need to hire/borrow/buy so you are prepared for every common eventuality before setting off that you haven’t got what you need/would like to have as a backup.
The Top Ten Spares
- Mask strap. Without it, you are not diving.
- Mouth Piece and cable tie. Breathing from a regulator with the mouthpiece chewed to bits isn’t fun?
- Fin Strap.
- O ring/pick
- A Clamp/Insert
- Tool kit/adjustable Spanner/Allan Key
- Silicon Grease
- Hose Clip
- Spare hoses
- Nice to haves – mask, regulator, cylinder etc
Don’t Rely on Others
In short it obviously depends on where you are diving, whether it’s with a charter/club or independently as to how much spare gear you’ll need, at the very least, have some key spares at hand to sort yourself out. That way it’s not going to be you sitting out the dive getting seasick on the boat!