10 Simple Tips To Save Money on SCUBA Gear
If you love SCUBA diving and snorkeling you might have bought your own mask, snorkel or maybe even a full SCUBA set. Let me share some of my money savers on SCUBA gear with you. These simple tips can give you a better dive experience.
It is great to have your own equipment but you need to take care of it. Rinsing all your SCUBA gear with fresh water after a dive is the first thing to do but some maintenance is also required every once in a while. This keeps your equipment in working condition for a longer period.
1. Reef Safe Baby ShampooHonestly I prefer spit, but I know not everybody is into that. Baby shampoo is the best defogger for your mask (after spit) in my opinion and it is cheap! Put a drop in your mask, rub it in and rinse it quickly before your dive. It does not sting your eyes if you forget to rinse it or jump in the water first! If you buy a travel size baby shampoo bottle you can leave it in your BCD during a dive trip so you do not need to go through all your stuff for a defogger in between dives. Make sure to use a natural plant based baby shampoo with no harmful ingredients for the ocean like Burt's Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash .
2. Tea light candleAfter using your wetsuit for a while the zipper might get a bit stuck and it is more difficult to zip-up. Use the wax from a tea light as zipper lubricant for your wetsuit and dry bag. Rub the tea light candle against the zipper on both sides, inside and outside. This creates a tin film of wax on your zipper. Find some organic tea light candles, like LUMI 100% Pure Beeswax Tealight Candles - 20PC Organic Candles - Fill Your Home with The Warm Glow of Natural Beeswax Candles Tealights
3. NailpolishEspecially when boat diving or diving with a group it can be really useful to have your equipment marked. Fins are probably the first ones you want to mark since you are likely to hand them in before you get back on the boat - like all the other divers - which gives a huge pile of fins. Find a nice colorful nail polish, if it is from your girlfriend/wife FIRST ASK. Put a small dot, a square or another small mark on all your equipment items. It works on everything and holds for years, especially with glitter. Buy chemical free nail polish to protect the reef, like Piggy Paint Non-toxic Girls Nail Polish - Natural No Chemicals
4. Crepe masking tapeHaving a roll of crepe paper marking tape is great when you have your own tank. This is the paper masking tape you can use for covering the edge of the ceiling when painting the walls. When your tank is full you can tape over the top of the valve as a reminder it is completely full.
If you have already used some air out of your tank and want to use it again before filling, for a shallow or pool dive for example, crepe tape comes in handy too. If you put a piece of tape close to the valve and you write on it how much air is left, you will know it for the next dive. You can write your name on the tape as well to avoid mixing up tanks if there are more tanks around.
When you are (certified to go) diving with mixed gases, Nitrox for example, crepe tape on your tank can be the reminder for the specific blend. Write the percentage on the tape and all the other information you need. Remember to always analyze a mixed gas tank yourself before diving with it!
5. ToothbrushHow does your snorkel set look? Does it have stains on it? Especially if you have a transparent mouthpiece on your snorkel or a see-through skirt (the part that touches your face) on your mask - things can get spotted on the inside. With an old toothbrush and a little bit of detergent powder you can brush it clean! This trick is for maintaining your gear. Do not wait too long to clean your set properly, if it has been 'rotten' for years maintenance will not work.
6. Big shopping bagA big shopping bag, preferably with a wide opening, is a great way to keep your equipment away from sand and dirt. Especially IKEA bags are great! They fit a full normal set (without tank and weights) for warm water diving. If you bring your equipment on a dive holiday, bring an IKEA bag. This way your big bag / suitcase can stay in your hotel room without fully unpacking and it stays dry, sand and salt free for your return flight. You take your equipment to the diving center in the IKEA bag.
After the dive, and this is the best part, you step in the bag with your wetsuit and take it off while leaving it in the bag. The wetsuit and your feet are free from sand and dirt! You can put the whole bag in your car like this (if it is not too wet) because it is water proof.
You can also put a layer of fresh water inside the bag to soak some small things like your camera, dive computer and mask. Leave it for a while to make sure the salt or chlorine is off your gear. You can buy them at IKEA and online at Amazon.
7. Tooth pickTooth picks are easy tools to slip out a broken or damaged O-ring from the tank valve. Buy the stronger plastic angled ones in your drugstore and put some in your dive bag or in your logbook holder. Plastic tooth picks prevent scratches on your tank valve when you are struggling to get the O-ring out.
8. Steel woolDive knifes need some attention to prevent them from getting rusty and keep them sharp. Even stainless steel knifes can get rusty. Steel wool will help to grind off small rust stains. Use the finest grade you can find. This trick also works with sandpaper. After brushing your knife you need to clean it and lubricate it with some (mineral) oil before storage. Always dry your dive knife properly after diving to prevent rust.
9. DoormatIf you transport your dive gear in a plastic box, a hollow black (heavy duty) rubber doormat is great for drainage. Lay the mat on the bottom of the box and put your wet dive gear on top. When you arrive home the water that has leaked from your gear is on the bottom while your dive gear is drying on top of the mat. The higher the mat the more water can drain from your gear.
10. Silica gel bagsWhen you buy new shoes or a bag you often get those little silica gel bags with it. Do not throw them out, reuse it to prevent moisture getting in your dive gear. If you have a digital camera with an underwater housing you can put one or two silica gel bags in the housing before the dive. If there is a little bit of moist going into your housing it will be absorbed by the silica bags instead of going in to your digital camera.
For storage it is also great to put a few silica bags in your dive bag or box to prevent mold getting in to your dive gear. If you have a plastic mask box, whether you use it for keeping your mask or as a spare part box, put a silica bag in there as well. Try to find plant based moisture bags if you need to buy them.
I hope you learned some new tips here! If you know some other tips, please share them in the comment box below!
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Founder of Dive O'Clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
Founder of Dive O'Clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
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