Keeping everything you need dry and close to hand is a key component of a successful day out on a dive boat. With that in mind, here’s our list of absolute drybag essentials. A 20-liter dry bag is the perfect size, it’s a convenient size as it is not too big and at the same time, it is not too small.
DAN insurance and dive certification card
When it comes to diving safely and responsibly it is important to remember both your dive insurance card and your certification card. In some countries, coast guards or authorities can ask for your proof of certification or dive insurance. If you want to leave your cards safe onshore you can always keep a copy of these documents at hand.
Reusable water bottle
As a diver, you know how important it is to keep more plastic out of the ocean. Not only does a reusable bottle help fight plastic pollution, but it also saves a lot of extra costs. Most dive centers these days have water dispensers and encourage divers to fill up their bottles as needed.
Avoid sunscreens containing chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. Researchers think these two ingredients contribute to coral bleaching and harm marine life. Mineral oils that can take years to biodegrade can also fatally damage marine life, and the same goes for titanium dioxide. If you do use sunscreen, choose a biodegradable one like Stream2Sea.
A spare mask always saves the day. With wear and tear, your mask can fog up; the strap might snap; or a buddy can forget theirs. It’s best to bring a backup, just in case.
There are many compact dive cameras on the market these days. If you’ve got one, stash it in your drybag before you head out so that you don’t remember it’s back in the hotel room as you back roll into the water.
Although most dive trips offer snacks or lunch, it’s always good to have an extra protein bar or mixed nuts on hand. A full day out diving can create quite an appetite.
A buff scarf or other neck protection is a good idea for some extra sun and element protection, or to simply keep your hair out of your face in windy conditions.
Most dive boats don’t have them onboard, so if you want one, bring a thin, microfiber towel. Typically they are small enough to roll up and save space in your drybag.
Spare o-ring and Allen wrenches
A basic scuba tool kit can go a long way toward saving a dive. O-rings and inserts can sometimes be very unpredictable, so it’s always handy to have some tools on the boat or at the dive location on shore to be able to fix leaks or change inserts on the spot.
Leave-in conditioner not only comes handy to tame that mermaid/merman mane, but it’s also a great lubricant for open-cell wetsuits. Just mix a little bit of conditioner with water and before you can blink, you’ll be suited up and ready for your dive.
Although you don’t want to take too much along for a day out on the boat, you also don’t want to be caught without an essential item. Keep your drybag essentials minimal, simple and accessible and you’ll be able to focus on a great day underwater knowing you’re well prepared topside.
Story by MONIQUE SCHOUTEN