(DiverWire) We were all taught the common sense basics of safety for diving from shore in our classes, but proper technique and the right scuba gear are by no means the end of the learning process. All that advice is solid, sound, and important, of course, but why not take a look at some tips that aren’t part of the standard scuba class, the sort of things divers pick up over time? The following are 5 tips added to my shore diving trips that I’ve been shown by either “old timers” or discovered on my own.
1.) Don’t Forget About Wet Gear
We all have gear bags to travel with, designed with straps, wheels and handles, to get us through the airport or down the dock. When shore diving we often gear up in the parking lot or along the street. A large plastic storage tote will protect your vehicle from your wet and often sandy gear at the end of the dives and is easy to toss into a back seat or trunk. In a pickup, a couple elastic bungee cords will snap over the edge, keeping the lid secure. At the end of the day the container works as a wash bucket for your gear and they typically store nicely in the home.
2.) Mind Your Feet
Add a straw beach mat to your gear bag. A mat is the perfect item to keep your feet out of the dirt or sand while gearing up. When changing after a dive, of course everyone is going to be wet and dripping, creating mud that gets all over everything. Something inexpensive and clean to stand on, one that stores easily, is a can’t-miss item.
3.) Bag Your Valuables
If you’ve ever done a shore dive you’ve dealt with the issue of what to do with your wallet and keys. I’ve hid them under the bumper, on a tire, and even on top of my muffler. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen these methods end with a diver’s car being stolen, and another dive buddy having his wallet disappear. I like to put my wallet and keys into a storage bag, squeeze the air out and seal it. Then I’ll fold it over a once or twice and put it into another bag. From there, the big goes right inside the wetsuit, against the chest. I do this mostly because I don’t trust myself, more than any distrust of the integrity of the freezer bag. I also choose freezer bags as they are thicker and stronger than the normal sandwich bags.
4.) Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Fill a couple gallon milk jugs with warm water to rinse off with after the dive. Not only does it feel good to pour the warm water over your head but many times we are not going directly home. We’ll often stop for a pizza or a beverage or perhaps just enjoy the town we are visiting. It’s nice to not have that sticky salt water feeling in my hair or on my body all day. Eventually I switched to a common garden sprayer, one that’s great for rinsing the sand off my gear before it goes back into the car.
5.) Trash Happens
Don’t forget to bring trash bags. It often surprises me the amount of trash we can create on a trip to the beach for a dive. Not to mention what I’ll pick up around the area where I’m gearing up. Often there are no trash cans available along the street or parking area so it winds up in the tote or piled on the floor of the car for later. A common kitchen sized trash can makes it easy to contain trash and dispose of it later