1. Do I need to take spare mask straps out with me when diving?
If your mask strap snaps when you are out on a dive you will have to cut your session short as you will not be able to keep your mask in place. It is a good idea to keep a spare just in case this happens so you can replace it and carry on with your dive. You can change the mask strap underwater if you are careful. Gently peel the mask off. Continue breathing normally but exhale through your nose as this helps to prevent water from getting up there. Change the mask strap as quickly as you can and then replace the mask. Make sure it is firmly back in place and then putting pressure on the top half of the mask take a breath from the regulator and then exhale through your nose. This should clear the mask (you may need a few attempts at this to get it completely clear).
2. How can I prevent the loss of fin buckles?
It can be surprising easy to lose fin buckles when you are diving so it is a good idea to invest in a device such as the Mares ABS Locking Buckle pair. This will fix your buckles in place so you never have to lose them again.
3. Is there any way to stop my feet from slipping out from my fins?
The foot pockets on closed heel fins will not fit everyone's feet and this can cause them to move around as you are swimming along. Your feet could even slip right out of your fins and this can be very annoying. To help keep your fins firmly in place you can use fin straps.
4. How often should I replace my regulator hose?
Regulator hoses will last a few years if looked after properly. You should check them before each dive though to make sure there are no cracked, worn or bulging areas. It is a good idea to have a supply of spare hoses so that if you spot a problem you can replace it straight away. You must always rinse out your dive hoses in freshwater after every drive and dry them off completely before you put them away. Never fold dive hoses and hang them up so that they are straight. This prevents cracks or creases in the hose.
5. Do I need a spare mouthpiece?
You do need to take a spare mouthpiece out with you when you dive just in case the other ones get damaged. Also if you are renting equipment then it is a good idea to take along a spare mouthpiece anyway as the one you get with your regulator may not provide the best fit for you. It is important that your mouthpiece feels comfortable and fits well as if it doesn't you could find it difficult to breathe and your mouth could feel quite sore after your dive.
6. What spare equipment do I need for my air tanks?
You do need to make sure you take a supply of spare O-Rings with you on a dive. The O-Ring can get worn and can fall out and get lost during transportation. Without an O-Ring you will not be able to seal your Scuba tank valve and regulator properly. You should always take O-Rings with you when you are hiring equipment as well. Although the dive centre should have spare replacement parts it is a good idea to take your own just in case. Always check the O-Rings before any dive to make sure they are in good condition and will provide an air tight seal for your equipment.
7. Do I need a spare dive knife?
You should always take a dive knife out with you when you go out on a dive. There can be a lot of debris underwater that you could get tangled up in such as old fishing nets, lines and other waste. If you have a knife you will be able to cut yourself free or help out any other member of your group that has become untangled. Many people take out two small serrated knifes. One attached to their inflator hose and one spare on their belt or arm. This is just in case you get tangled up in such a way that you cannot reach one of the knives. Knives are an important safety tool for any diver and you should never go out without at least one securely strapped to your person.
8. Do I need a dive light?
If you are diving in reefs or wrecks then visibility can be an issue. A dive light is easy to carry and will help you see into dark nooks and crannies. As well as a larger handheld light you should take a small, pen size spare light as well that you can fit on your utility belt or strap onto your tank. If you lose your hand held light when you are inside a wreck this little light can help you find your way back out again.
9. When do I need diving flags?
If you are diving from a beach or from a boat then you need diving flags. This is the law in most areas and is an important safety feature. Flags will let other water users know that you are diving in the area so that they can watch out for you when sailing, surfing, fishing etc. You must take spare flags with you to ensure you can mark out your dive spot and stay as save as possible underwater.
10. Do I need a dive watch as well as a dive computer?
Dive computers are handy pieces of kit that help you to track your bottom time and tell you when to change mixes or return to the surface. It is also a good idea to have spare dive computer in your kit just in case the other one fails or a spare dive watch. The watch can also help you to track your bottom time and is lightweight enough to take out on a dive with you to back up your dive computer.