Essential Scuba Diving Gear

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Scuba Diving

Scuba diving gear

There are many activities that you can participate in without buying a ton of gear. Swimming, hiking and running are just a few. Scuba diving doesn’t make it on that list. But that’s okay. Some of the most gear-intense sports are also the most worthwhile.

Scuba diving gear helps you thrive in conditions that your body was not designed to handle. The benefit is that you get to see and experience things you wouldn’t get to otherwise. Just be sure you have the right scuba diving gear before its time to submerge. Of course, you’ll need a tank, but that’s not all…

Follow this handy checklist and you should be just fine:

Dive Mask: For obvious reasons, you do need a dive mask. This piece of scuba diving gear retains a pocket of air in front of the eyes, which allows you to see and focus normally underwater. Could you just wear goggles? Not if you expect to breathe from your nose. Dive masks often come with regulators, which are also essential. Regulators help by allowing you to add air to the mask when you start feeling the pressure.

Wetsuit or Drysuit: Regardless of where you’re diving, you’re going to need to wear a protective layer. Your scuba diving gear list must include a suit of some sort. If you’re diving in warmer water, you’ll need a wetsuit. The neoprene material traps a thin layer of water between the suit and the body; that layer is heated by the body and will keep you warm. If you’re diving in very cold water, though, a wetsuit may not cut it. Divers in the UK often wear drysuits, which are made of a waterproof material and sealed at the neck and wrists.

Weights and Buoyancy Compensation Devices (BCDs): The air in your lungs is usually enough to keep you floating near the water’s surface. That’s why divers need weights or BCDs. There’s nothing interesting at the water’s surface, and you didn’t buy all this gear to just float around. So, to get things started, divers use weights that are usually attached to the belt. When you’re deep into your dive, though, the pressure changes the amount of air in your lungs. Your suit no longer holds any air bubbles. You’ve now become less buoyant. To counteract this (and stop you from sinking too far), divers use BCDs. BCDs usually come in the form of a bladder attached to a vest. Here, you can add and release air as necessary. Weights and BCDs are two pieces of scuba diving gear that you simply cannot dive without.

Fins: Fins help divers to swim underwater and retain a certain level of control. Most divers use strap fins, which are worn with boots. Full-foot fins are usually reserved for practicing in a more shallow environment like a pool.

Gauges: Your gauge tells you how much air you have. It’ll tell you how long you’ve been underwater and how long you can stay down before you need to come up for air.

 

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