Diving is by its very nature an equipment dependant activity. Regulators, BCD, weights, mask, snorkel, fins etc… all take up a lot of space and can add a significant cost to your travel arrangements if you’re flying out to one of the more desirable or unusual dive locations across the planet. This short article is on a few things to help you plan and pack for the perfect dive trip that won’t eat a hole in your wallet with extra weight fees!
A big thing is to find out about baggage limitations on your airline going and and coming back. This may sound strange, but sometimes you aren’t allowed to bring as much back as you brought, and could find yourself on the hook for extra fees that you didn’t plan for. The keys here are to find out the number of bags and carry on you’re allowed, and how much each bag can weigh. This can usually be cleared up with a quick call to your airline or on their website.
Pare down your kit to a minimum; plan for the dives you know you’ll be doing and pack for those. It’s always tempting to bring everything, but that only increases the weight of the bag and worry for you about breakage in transit. Contact your dive group or prospective dive group and find out what equipment they have to rent as well, and never bring weights if you can avoid it. As a rule of thumb, I always bring my own regulators, mask, snorkel, computer, boots, lights and camera as a bare minimum. Wetsuits are fairly lightweight, but drysuits can get bulky; pack according to your needs and preferences for this stuff.
Dive knives are an essential piece of safety equipment for you as a diver, especially in areas that see seasonal fishing and the accompanying lost nets and lines that come with. Remember that knives, no matter what their intent, can be used as weapons, and need to be packed with your luggage with your dive gear. Be prepared to explain to customs and security why you’re bringing a knife into the country; most are understanding after you explain diving to them. on that note, be prepared for all manner of strange questions about your gear at the airport (in the UAE, I had to explain my surface signal device, the knife was fine, the rolled up orange sausage: suspect).
Past that, it’s all on you as a diver to prep and plan for your trip! I usually go with a dive bag of gear, a suitcase or duffelbag of clothes and miscellaneous items, a small backpack that doubles as a laptop bag, and my regulators in a regulator bag. Two carry ons, two checked bags. The latter are lockable (essential), and I always leave space for knick knacks and doodads I might pick up as souvenirs.
On a personal note, I’ve completed my military leadership course and I’m back in the Okanagan this coming weekend! Regular posting will resume the weekend after. Regular updates to Facebook and Google+ resume this week! Also coming up will be a massive release of new items in the Shop, as Zazzle has added to the types of items available.
Until next time, Good Luck, and Good Diving!