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When I absolutely want to make sure I've got all my stuff!

Packing to travel.

If you’re anything like me then the only thing better than SCUBA diving is travel SCUBA diving! Amiright?!?

The hard part for me is that travelling can already come along with some stressors, like having the exact right amount of cash (not too much, but not too little), packing enough underwear (but not so much you need a second suitcase), and worrying if you can drink the water without liquifying your liver and blasting it out your o-ring!

Adding a gear intensive hobby (read as “lifestyle”) such as diving to your trip and the stress of forgetting something can become unbearable. Particulary if you are also like me and prefer to dive your own, well-maintained, underwater life-saving equipment!

To help combat my pre-dive trip stress, I’ve resorted to creating my own methods to madness. Let me show you…

Memory on paper.

To begin with, I created a fairly all-inclusive check list that can be used for all sorts of diving, both local and travel, drysuit and wet.

As I put things into the bag or case, I use a wet-erase marker and check them off. This goes a LONG way towards easing my monkey mind questioning the presence of a mask or regulator. 

Simple to make if you have even basic computer skills and access to a laminator. And if you don’t, I bet you have a dive buddy who does! Grab a bag of your favorite snacks and a couple bottles of whatever you like to drink and sit down to create something useful!

...stress has no place in any part of diving.

A picture is worth a picture!

Another trick I’ve learned is to crack open each side of the suitcase and snap a quick picture. Super helpful when you’re sitting at work, wondering if you remembered your SMB!

This pic has the added bonus of documenting what was packed in the case of lost luggage!

A shot of packed gear to help remember what's in the bag.

Just by glancing at the photo above I can see that I’ve got my wetstuit and mesh bag, SMB and reel, my tropical weight belt, save-a-dive kit, a carabiner with a couple bolt snaps, and my weight bag that holds my two masks. On the left I see my dive log case which has all of my cards, a fresh book, pens galore, and a couple extra bucks for divemasters along the way, as well as my primary reg kit!

Not shown is the second picture of the unzipped left side hiding my fins, ankle booties, BCD, and flashlights… but they’re in there!

Why waste paper?

I’m not one for wasting space no matter what I’m creating. The second half of the front side of my card has all of the dive equations most people use. Everything from offsetting buoyancy to temperature to volume, EAD to MOD is on the front side. 

But simply having the equations listed out means nothing if you don’t have space to play with them! 

Blank space and a wet erase marker make room for working out equations.

On the back side of the card I have an entirely blank space perfect for working calculations, planning deco stops, or simply drawing sketches to yourself during surface intervals! Using a wet erase marker allows you to give the slate a quick dunk and it’s fresh for later!

So that's me...

I think that no matter what it’s important to remember why we dive. Whether it’s for fun, for profit, or simply for the absolute, blissful relaxation that comes with weightlessly cruising through another world, stress has no place in any part of diving. 

So what about you? How do you make sure you’ve got everything you need when it comes to diving? Let me know in the comments below! As for me, I think I forgot to pack my underwear!

Doc Strand

An eight year Marine Corps veteran, Dr. Strand discovered Chinese medicine as a last resort when recovering from a military related injury. He has since dedicated his life to the practice of medicine; a doctor to all - a healer to many. In recent years he has turned to SCUBA diving as a meditation aid in his quest for ultimate peace. The desire to share that gift led to the creation of Spartan Scuba. Doc’s experiences and travels abroad impact not only his writing style, but his passion for life, scuba, and medicine.

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