10 Pieces Of Gear You Need To Get Into SCUBA Diving

By: Josh & Michele + Save to a List

New to SCUBA diving or just curious what gear is required to go SCUBA diving? Here is a list of the necessary gear.

1. Buoyancy Compensator

The buoyancy compensator (BC) is a piece of diving equipment worn by divers to establish neutral buoyancy underwater and positive buoyancy on the surface, when needed. It looks kind of like a fancy life jacket with lots of pockets and hoses on it. You can change your buoyancy by putting air in or letting air out of the inflatable bladder.

2. Tank

SCUBA tanks can be made out of aluminum or steel and come in a variety of different sizes. These tanks are typically filled with either oxygen, Nitrox, Trimix, or Heliox. The average diver will only use oxygen or maybe Nitrox. Trimix and Heliox are for really deep SCUBA dives.

3. Gauges/Hoses

Your gauges and hoses are connected from your tank to your buoyancy compensator. You typically have three gauges and two hoses. The three gauges are your pressure gauge, depth gauge, and compass. Your pressure gauge tells you how much "air" you have left in your tank, your depth gauge tells you your current depth underwater, and your compass is used for navigation. The two hoses are your primary and secondary regulators used for breathing. The secondary regulator (octopus) is a backup in case there is an issue with your primary regulator or if your diving buddy needs to breath off of your tank.

4. Wetsuit

You need a wetsuit to keep you warm underwater. Wetsuits usually range from 0.5mm to 7mm thick. Thicker wetsuits are used for cold water dives, and the thin wetsuits are used for warm water dives. You can also get additional pieces of gear to keep you even warmer like diving booties, diving gloves, or diving hoods to keep your feet, hands, and head warm.

5. Weight Belt

Divers need to wear a weight belt to counteract the additional buoyancy given from wearing a wetsuit. The additional weight allows SCUBA divers to remain neutrally buoyant underwater.

6. Fins

We aren't fish. It's hard enough to swim underwater without heavy SCUBA gear. That's why fins are essential when diving. The increased surface area allows us to swim faster more efficiently through the water.

7. Mask/Snorkel

Human eyes aren't meant to see very well underwater. That's why we wear masks when SCUBA diving. Swimming goggles won't work because the greater depths will squeeze them too tightly to your face, and you can't adjust the pressure in goggles like you can in a mask.

Snorkels are used to breath while looking underwater or to make it easier to breath in large surf.

8. Dive Watch

As a diver, you need to know how long you are underwater to calculate how much time you have left at a certain depth. SCUBA divers can't stay underwater until they run out of "air" in their tank. It's not that simple. When you're SCUBA diving, your body absorbs more nitrogen that it does on land, so you have to limit your time spent at greater depths to avoid injury. That's why a dive watch is essential to keep track of your time spent underwater.

9. Gear Bag

SCUBA diving requires a lot of gear, and you need a good bag to store all of it. Most diving bags are made of mesh to allow water to drain out of the bag. Some just have a cinch cord, while others come with zippers and either shoulder straps or duffel bag straps.

10. Logbook

One thing that is often overlooked in SCUBA diving is the logbook. Your logbook allows you to record details about your dive that you will more than likely refer to in the future. Here are some things that you might want to record for future reference:

  • Number of previous dives.
  • Type of "air" you used.
  • How much weight you put on your weight belt.
  • The thickness of your wetsuit.
  • The temperature of the water.
  • The depth you went to.
  • Your rate of air consumption at various depths.

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