Thousands of people value scuba diving as an underwater adventure that stimulates the mind and body with new surroundings. The sport gives many people the chance to see things that few ever will, but its dangers should also be taken into account with every dive. The guide below gives beginning divers a basic list of instructions for preparing and assembling diving equipment. After all, preparation is the foundation for safety in waters anywhere.
Scuba Supplies Checklist
- BCD (buoyancy control device)
- Alternate air source
- Depth gauge
- Submersible pressure gauge (SPG)
1. Attach BCD to cylinder
- First, wet the BCD in either fresh or salt water. This is to ensure that the BCD doesn’t loosen later, considering that nylon stretches when it’s wet.
- From the top down, slide the BCD onto the cylinder while the tank is upright.
- Ensure that the opening of the valve is facing toward the BCD and the back of your head. The BCD’s collar should be flush with the cylinder’s top. You can also adjust the BCD later for comfort.
- Tighten the BCD down to the cylinder and swing the locking mechanism from the right to the left. Get a friend to help if it’s difficult.
- Check everything to make sure that it’s secure. Be sure that the band doesn’t slide. Finally, pick up the entire unit and shake it to be sure that everything is tightened. If anything is loose, tighten it as necessary.
2. Connect the Regulator
- Take the cap from the cylinder’s valve opening.
- Find the O-ring and thoroughly clean it. If it’s missing, either replace it or stay out of the water.
- Take the dust cap off after unscrewing the yoke screw.
- Put the unit in front of you with the BCD facing away. Put the tank valve and first stage opening in line with each other and tighten. Now, the second stage hose should be on your right. Put the primary second stage over your right shoulder.
- Connect the regulator’s low-pressure hose to the low-pressure inflator on the BCD.
3. Turn the Unit on and Check the Air
- Keep the SPG pointed away from you in case the unit bursts while the air is on.
- Slowly open the valve. Recheck the O-ring if you hear a leak, because this may be a sign that it’s faulty or dirty.
- Watch the pressure gauge and be sure that it’s working properly and increasing as it should while you turn the valve.
- Gently turn the valve until it stops and turn it one half turn further. Press the purge valve a few times and attempt to breathe through the regulator to make sure that the air is flowing correctly. Make sure that the exhaust valve isn’t stuck if breathing is difficult.
- Don’t dive if the tank isn’t full or if air isn’t flowing properly.
4. Prepare the Remaining Gear and Leave the Unit on the Ground
- Ensure that the BCD faces up.
- Be sure that the second stage is on top of the BCD and up out of the dirt.
5. Attach and Adjust Your Weight Belt
- If it’s your first time diving, try different weights until you find an optimal one.
- Place the weights evenly around your belt.
- Use your left hand to hold the bucket and your right hand to hold the other end.
- Put the belt across your lower back and bend over to reduce the strain.
- Buckle the belt.
- Ensure that you know where the belt is and can quickly remove it. In the event of an emergency, you’ll need to be able to remove it in order to surface right away.
6. Put on the tank/BCD unit.
- As you prepare to dive, put on your unit while a friend holds it. Make adjustments to straps and ensure that hoses aren’t obstructed.
7. Put on your snorkel, fins and mask
- Ensure that your mask is free of fog and debris.
- It may be easier for you to put your fins on after you’ve already entered the water.
8. For additional safety, utilize dive computers with every dive.