Diving Equipment checklist for your diving liveaboard:
Liveaboard trips have quickly become many SCUBA divers’ favourite way to experience the underwater world, with some people even declaring 2023 to be “the year of the liveaboard”. Travelling this way makes it possible for divers to experience areas of the ocean that are unreachable via dayboats and as such, provides the divers with thriving coral reefs and amazingly biodiverse habitats. When diving in this capacity, travellers have to be more diligent in how they prepare as spare parts are not always available, particularly for custom camera setups and dive computers. Divers are encouraged to bring as much redundancy as they can, such as spare camera o-rings, regulator, mask as well as multiple wetsuits if you get cold quickly. Be sure to reach out to your trip organiser to ensure you have the right equipment for the best possible experience while at sea. Below is a pre-planned list that provides equipment guidelines for how to pack for your trip but does not necessarily include all of the items you may wish to bring. If you are traveling in a group, it may be beneficial to discuss who is planning on bringing what items on board as well as making the planning experience more enjoyable.
Here are given some tips and lists of what you need to carry with you on a liveaboard. We have categorised items into two main categories:
- Items provided by trip organizers.
- Items brought by you.
Items provided by trip organizers:
- Buoyancy Compensation Device (BCD)
- Regulator set up
- Dive computer
- Spare mouthpiece
- Wetsuit (some ships don’t provide wetsuits, so always carry multiple wet suits of your own)
- Dry bag
- Life jackets
- Species ID books
Ending a dive early because of getting cold is frustrating for both you and your dive buddy, to avoid this, it is recommended to bring multiple wetsuits or layers such as a vest or a hood that will give you the option to change from dive to dive. Remember you will be doing multiple, long dives daily, and your comfort with the water temperature may change. The dive organiser will tell you the average water temperature for that time of year, and it is advised that if you have the option, bring a thicker one than you may typically use.
If you need a dry suit, confirm that you have a proper certification beforehand for your trip.
Items brought by you:
- Spare mask
- Diving certification
- Tank banger / Dive pointer
- Reef hook
- Surface Marker Bouy (optional but recomended)
- Bring Swimsuits:
Bring at least two to three swimsuits with you. This will keep your stock of swimsuits ready anytime. You can hang your used suits on the deck for drying. Always keep the fact in mind that you are going for a lot of dives while on a Liveaboard.
- Earplugs and eye mask:
You’ll need plenty of sleep during your trip to fully enjoy your dives and stay safe. However, divers often complain they couldn’t sleep due to the boat’s engine churning away while the ship moves at night. Find earplugs that are comfortable for you and pack a few sets. An eye mask can also help if your cabin is light or you want to catch a wink between dives.
- Personal Care Items:
Because of the constant dives in seawater and harsh weather conditions, your hair and skin become dry and wrecked in the place you visit. So, it is best to carry some conditioner, shampoo, and lotion creams for your care. Although some ships provide it, you should bring your own. Lip balms are also necessary for your chapped lips, so do not forget them!
- Light, Comfortable Clothes:
This is not a resort-based trip, where you’ll be going out for dinner or perhaps a night out, so pack mostly comfy clothes. No one cares what you look like on these trips, so comfort is prioritized over anything fancy. Sweatpants, sweatshirts, loose skirts and tops, as well as a few swimsuit cover-ups, are all you’ll need. Be mindful not to overpack, your cabin will likely have only a small storage space and depending on what you booked you might have a roommate. A good jacket or hoodie for cold locations will be good, although even in hot spots, you’ll probably get chilled at night after a full day of diving.
- Sea-sickness medication:
If you are prone to seasickness, don’t let this ruin your trip, so pack your medications. It is not a bad idea to pack some meds even if you don’t ordinarily get seasick, as you never know if you will be randomly affected and can’t rely on others onboard to have extra. Take non-drowsy tablets for daytime and drowsy for night time. If there are rough seas at night on a liveaboard trip, drowsy seasickness tablets can be a lifesaver, allowing you to sleep and wake up refreshed for the next day’s diving.
- Eco-friendly Sunscreen:
Make sure to carry products and items that are eco-friendly, especially sunscreens. Many sunscreens may contain oxybenzone and other destructive chemicals for sea life, especially reefs, so care for sea life and carry reef-friendly sunscreens.
- Camera gear/chargers/storage devices:
Finally, nearly every diver seems to travel with a camera nowadays, so pack everything you need. There’s nothing worse than realising too late that you forgot a charger or an essential filter or lenses. Bringing extra things like batteries and spare housing o-rings will also prevent problems when you have a short surface interval. With so many other cameras on board, please keep track of yours by marking it with a particular bright lanyard or unique clip. This will help you quickly identify it when the crew hands them out. Bring plenty of large memory cards or an external hard drive to avoid running out of space.
- Reusable water bottle
Drinking water and cups are available on board; however, having your own water bottle prevents unintentional sharing and makes it easier to describe to staff if you can’t find it. We advise you to stay well hydrated while on board; the combination of diving and the sun can exacerbate the effects of dehydration and increase your chance of seasickness.
Is all your equipment ready? So don’t wait any longer and get on board Shenron Liveaboard to live an extraordinary adventure.