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"My fin strap broke." "My tank o-ring is missing." "My daughter's BCD isn't holding air." Whether you're a new, experienced, or professional diver, at one point or another you'll encounter a reason to need a save-a-dive kit. It can seem difficult and overwhelming at first to decide what to add to your save-a-dive kit at any level, but it is actually fairly simple. You’ll want to consider a few things. Consider for a moment Murphy's Law. Then, think about the dives you’ve done thus far. Finally, look at the gear you have and which parts of it you might need to save during a day of diving. Keeping those in mind, we’ll look at a save-a-dive kit starting with a basic beginner's kit, then an instructor's.
As a new open water diver who’s eager to continue their SDI diving career, you start to add to your personal gear. To start your own save-a-dive kit, get a small, easily-portable dry box to hold your kit. A Pelican 1040 or 1050 dry box is a great place to start. Pro tip: pick a size up from what you think you need today - unless you're a relentless minimalist, you'll fill your first box about two-thirds of the way through your journey. Remember, it's better to have a little extra space and not need it than to need a little extra space and not have it.
The EVO Save-A-Dive Kit is an outstanding start. Contains a silicone mouthpiece, a replacement fin strap, a snorkel keeper, a handful of tie wraps, a mask post, a backup silicone mask strap, and two O-rings for scuba tanks. This is the absolute minimum gear you need in your personal save-a-dive kit.
Even though your instructor, a boat crew member, or someone on site might be able to help you out with any of the these parts, we strongly recommend building your own your own save-a-dive kit. You'll be more prepared for the unexpected, and begin to learn how to fix some of your own gear issues. You'll become a more independent diver. And remember: the dive you save may be your own!
Once you continue in your diving career and gain more experience, you’ll witness problems that other divers have had. You’ll see or talk about what they did to compensate for their issues and from that knowledge, be able to add to your save-a-dive kit. Whether you add a BC, regulator, computer, or wetsuit to your gear collection or expand on where you dive, you’ll have more to consider come building your kit.
Questions to ask:
Once you've assembled your personal save-a-dive kit, you'll see opportunities to improve it further. All you have to do is pay attention on your dives. What goes wrong? What do fellow divers always seem to forget, or need? We know one diver whose kit includes band-aids and hydrocortisone cream, another who packs granola bars and duct tape. Your own dives and interactions with other divers will inform the contents of your save-a-dive kit. Even better, you’ll become a valued source of knowledge for the new divers you meet and spend time with.
If diving has become a passion you share, and you're becoming a professional leader, you should consider adding to your save-a-dive kit. It's not just your own dive you might be saving anymore!
As an instructor, this save-a-dive Kit will not only be an asset to you but also a learning tool for your students. It will help educate them early about thinking of all the components that need to be considered when diving. It’s great to have everything for them, but creating a diver that can be a self-reliant problem solver without you there is a huge skill advantage.
A save–a-dive kit is such an important tool for all levels of diving. It provides a sense of reassurance knowing that you have the tools to fix what needs to be fixed. As you further your diving career, you’ll want to consistently think about the 3 aspects of that style of diving. What can go wrong, analyze other similar dives that you’ve done, and what tools or gear can you put in your kit to alleviate or prevent those problems from occurring. Though the above lists of items are helpful starting points, there are an infinite number of pieces that a diver, novice or experienced, and an instructor can add to their kits. When creating your save-a-dive kit, cater it to your personal needs and diving environment. Talk to others and observe what they have in their kits to help get a better idea of some additions to yours. Keep in mind that, much like diving, you should not try to solve an issue that you haven’t encountered before or don’t have the training to adequately handle. You’ll always want to take the courses necessary to know how to fix the problem as well as ask for help. What are some of the components in your save-a-dive kit?