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Traveling with your own gear.
Matt65 - 1/03/2009 5:21 AM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 11

 When traveling to dive sites abroad, what items of your own dive gear do you bring with you? What do you rent? Do you have special gear that you use just for travel? Gear aside from what may be your normal gear that you use locally? What tips, hints, or suggestions might you have for bringing your own gear with you? Have you ever had any issues with your gear at airports? Either leaving home or arriving at your destination? Dive safe everyone!
divemaiden - 1/03/2009 8:18 AM

I bring all my own gear except tanks and weights. I don’t own special travel gear, I’m not rich. I pack it all in it’s own bag and check it (except for mask and computer - those I carry on). I’ve never had any problems in any airport.

Tip: Never put your mask in checked bag, even in its own case. My first mask got shattered doing that.
Rich-D-Fish - 1/03/2009 10:16 AM

When I bought most of my gear I had a little travel in the back of my mind.

My dive bag came with this nice padded regulator-bag with a carrying strap which came right out of the outer pocket. It is perfect for carrying my reg, octo & computer onto the plane. I was actually very surprised that I wasn’t stopped or questioned at the security stop, but I guess they see this kind of stuff fairly regular. I also bought my BCD with travel as a consideration. I ended up with a Dive Rite transpac harness + the travel wing as it is small and round and fits nicely into my dive bag with plenty of room to spare. For that extra space I measured the area and hit the $.99 Store. I found a nice tupperware type container that fit snug in the space. In that I store my Mask(inside it’s own protective case btw), snorkel, dive lights, etc. Fins in the side pockets. Weights and tanks stay at home as they are supplied at every resort/boat or easily rentable.

Here’s the ironic part of it all. I bought my BCD with space in mind. But I’ll admit right now that it only gets me an extra inch of thickness inside my dive bag. But I’m more streamlined underwater so I’m happy with my choice anyhow. So next I pull out my 7mil wetsuit and replace with my warm water 3mil wetsuit. Oh wow! All of a sudden I have 3-4" of space to spare!! What the heck....I throw in some extra shoes and shirts to compliment my luggage. How convenient! NOT. When I got to the airport those extra clothes and shoes put my dive bag over the 50 lb limit. I ended up having to pull the clothes out and add to my daughter’s bag. The shoes I left at the airport.

The moral of the story....have dive bag will travel....but any BCD will do :-)
DiveAuz - 1/03/2009 11:21 PM

First and foremost when traveling abroad ensure that you have DAN insurance for your equipment. (Expensive equipment can go missing during security screenings. )

Second ensure the place/group you are diving with will let you you use your gear. (Some locations/groups won’t let you use your equipment due to insurance/operating policies)

As for me, the only thing I bring is my mask.
TexasDiver - 1/04/2009 8:35 AM
We bring everything except tanks and weights.Putting our computers and regs in our carry-ons.when doing research on our locations I’ll use only those who will let us use our own gear as we are comfortable with it.Most places will converse with you via e-mail , so do your home work
AirOn - 1/05/2009 2:42 PM

So far on my trips (inside and outside the US.) The tanks and the wieghts have been provided. I bring all my own equipment apart from that.

Make sure the valves they provide are the same as you use, unless you pack an adapter too.

I also like to take a few 1 and 2 lbs soft weights or clip weights (solid weight with a gate clip tie wrapped on) along. Most of the provided weights are 3s and 5s only. That usually makes you a bit heavy or lop sided with no trim weights optional.

I have a rubbermade pie container that I keep my regs/hoses in. No kinks or crushing. Doubles as a rinsing/soaking container and many other uses too, once you on site. I’ve even used it as a humidor by tossing in some cigars and a shot glass full of distilled water on one

My mask has its own box.

My computer is the only thing I’ve been worried about in transport so far, granted i haven’t flown with my gear yet

I might just bust out for a hard case with wheels for my gear at that point and insure the crap out of it... I hate the airline luggage rules and charges they have at this point. Yet they loose and damage even more luggage now that they charge more for it! 
DiveGirl55 - 1/08/2009 9:28 PM

I ALWAYS bring:


2 masks

2 sets of fins

7mm wetsuit

3-5 mm wetsuit

a skin

2 dive lights

reg,octo, 1st stage set



dry bag

my own towel (hotel ones are small)

a dive coat (for ride back on boat at night dives)

DiveGirl55 - 1/08/2009 9:32 PM

All of that is in a MARES rolling luggage/backpack. WITH LOCKS ON ALL POCKETS AND ZIPPERS. Nothing is ever stolen.

Of course your DAN insurance too, and C-Card.

I did have to pay $100 overweight going to Key Largo, and another time on Mexicana (will never fly them again!). CONTINENTAL is the most diver friendly and flying First Class they let you take 3 bags at 70 lbs. each!
Pixel - 1/11/2009 7:44 AM
I take everything except tanks and weights.
I have a mares back pack pro thing on wheels. So put everything in there and away I go.

Mask, computer and reg I carry on. Makes for interesting security check....
georoc01 - 1/13/2009 5:22 PM

I’m with all of those that take everything but tanks/weights.

The one time I didn’t (because of weight restrictions on a small plane from Cairns to Cooktown Australia) I didn’t bring my BC. Of course, the dive op didn’t have a rental bc for me either in Cooktown, so they ended up bringing a BC for me on the plane anyway.

The rental BC was too small and old, not the new scubapro that was promised. I didn’t end up having any problems, but I learned that I will bring my own going forward.
Kimberly - 1/31/2009 8:05 AM

I think one issue that needs to be taken into consideration is how remote of a location will you be visiting. I personally want to have all my gear with me because you may not be able to find a replacement and I am not comfortable with using rental gear etc. With the limitations on weight for luggage etc., you have to be careful. When traveling to Galapagos, you are allowed ONLY one checked and one carry-on. That means all your clothes and dive gear would have to fit into those two pieces of luggage. Since going there, I learned how to pack efficiently

When the number of pieces of luggage is not an issue it is obviously easier, so I always take all my gear and a few redundancies like masks, extra computer, regs, etc. I would hate to have to not dive or miss a dive to equipment malfunction despite taking really good care of my gear, especially after paying sometimes a lot of money for a dive trip. I pack all my gear into a pelican box. I like the hard sided boxes so the gear is assured not to be damaged. I pack my fins, BC, wetsuits, masks, booties, repair kit for various equipment, extra hoses, dry bag etc. in the pelican box. I always carry on all dive computers, regulators, and dive lights in my carry-on. Since they are fairly heavy, it helps with the weight restriction for the checked bag. The carry-on I use is a roll aboard that I can strap to my back like a back pack so I have two free hands. This helps when toting everything.