Your Dive Boat Packing List

Scuba Dive Packing List, Your Dive Boat Packing List

When you’re new to diving from a dive boat; you aren’t completely sure what you should do and what you should not do, or even what to bring or not. This is a quick guide to some things to think about and of which to be aware.

After a couple of introductory dives from your car straight to a spring or shore walk-in, you might not be too sure about what is acceptable or not on a dive boat. It can be a whole new, intimidating experience for new divers. Here’s a start!

Scuba Dive Packing List, Your Dive Boat Packing List

What to Pack and Bring

Bring exactly what you need – and you will refine this list after several dives. Keep a list, and keep updating it after every trip until you get it right.

Try to not bring too many “just in case” items since there might not be enough room on the boat. If you can pare down to exactly what you need, you will feel great about your plan, and, your gear will be a bit lighter!

Some divers will bring so much equipment that I’m sure they are going to miss seeing the fish – they have lobster tickle sticks, cameras on poles, lionfish spears, dangly flashlights, and more. They remind me of Harriet the Spy, but unlike a police officer’s neatly stowed belt items; they make me worry they will get hung up on something on the boat or in the water.

Scuba Dive Packing List, Your Dive Boat Packing List

Diving List

This is going to vary depending on whether you are bringing your own, or renting gear from the dive operator. Make sure you know exactly what they are providing, and what you are providing. Once offshore, there might not be (probably won’t be) be “extra” weight belts, weights, or tanks.

Some boats will not have room for enormous hard cases or huge rolling bags; check in advance. A mesh bag with sturdy handles or even backpack-style works great for gathering all your wet gear and letting it drip as you leave the boat post-dive. It fits easily in your larger flying/travel rolling bag and comes out for the main event. Here are some ideas for mesh SCUBA bags. Look for one that is structured enough to not flop while carried.

Scuba Dive Packing List, Your Dive Boat Packing List

Packing List

  1. Sunglasses and a hard case to store them in while diving.
  2. Reef-safe sunscreen – read this to see just how bad the toxic ingredients are, where they are banned, and a feel-good local brand solution – Sunscreen Bans
  3. Clothes including a hat, wind protection, long-sleeved SPF/UPF shirt, or fleece cover as needed for the conditions. Here’s a great one: Stream2Sea RPet recycled fishing net rash guards
  4. Shoes that have decent soles and can withstand getting soaking wet
  5. Towel, and maybe a change of dry clothes if you have a long drive afterward before a shower is available
  6. Snacks and water; preferably something that can survive your bag. Protein bars work pretty well; lightweight, compact, taste good after crushing.
  7. Seasickness meds – better yet; take these in advance
  8. Ladies – a hair tie and any personal products you need post-swim
  9. Shampoo, leave-in conditioner, lotion, body wash, sting relief – but reef-safe varieties. Here’s a full kit already assembled for you that won’t get you kicked off the boat; Stream2Sea Sentinel Kit
  10. Dry bag to put these items in while diving
Scuba Dive Packing List, Your Dive Boat Packing List

Now, Go Diving!

Tell me where you’re headed next for diving, and where we should plan to dive next.

See you under the bubbles!


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