it's simple, right? Wrong.
After a newly certified or advanced diver purchases some new dive gear, the hardest part about maintaining that new gear isn’t actually taking care of it properly, it is being able to locate and find it. Diving is a relatively small recreational sport with about 1% of the world’s population ever taking part in it. Due to the size of the sport, diving manufacturers only have so much demand for their customers and therefore only make so many color options and designs. This makes it quite hard when a diver attends their first boat dive or a busy weekend at a local lake. Gear can get mixed up very easily! We’re going to find out the tips and tricks of how to keep track of dive gear.
How I keep track of my neoprene dive gear
Unfortunately, neoprene items are the #1 item category that is “lost” or “stolen” the most. The reason for this is that most neoprene items are black. To put this in perspective, imagine being on a dive boat with multiple divers and everyone has black short boots – it just sounds like a disaster.
I personally use 3D paint for this exact reason. All of my neoprene items, including dive boots, wetsuits, hooded vests, gloves, hoods, beanies, and even socks have my initials written on the outside in 3D paint. I choose to use the SCUBA Goop that we have here in the store because it’s just a couple of dollars. The Goop is available in multiple colors (making it even more customizable), it sets up relatively quickly, and has a nice small nozzle for designing or writing letters.
Another option available to personalize and keep track of dive gear is embroidery. In the Joplin area, there are multiple places that offer embroidery services for reasonable prices. My regulator bag, Hydros Pro bag, and travel mesh sack all have my first name embroidered on the outside. This makes it very easy for other divers to quickly identify my gear and know it is not theirs.
Stickers are another great option to customize solid surfaces. Applying a permanent vinyl sticker with a name or design on cylinders, pelican boxes, and even flashlights can deter another diver from picking up your gear. Cylinders are where we see this used most often. If you look at my cylinder (pictured below), you can see how I’ve applied it to the neck of the cylinder so it won’t scrape off when riding in the back of a vehicle. A phone number, email, or any other contact information is a great way to possibly retrieve back lost gear.
For some, having a custom sticker made might not be the easiest option. This is where paint markers come in! These can easily be picked up at a local crafting or hardware store for under ten dollars. Extreme Sports also offers this service for FREE. Have any cylinders that need to be marked with a first or last name? Come in and we will write on it. After all, this does make my job easier in the dive shop because I’m able to track what cylinders belong to who.
Rather if it’s used on a mesh bag, a travel bag, a regulator bag, or even a camera, ID tags are a GREAT option in being able to tag your valuables. ID tags are very customizable making it easy to add multiple phone numbers, emails, and even addresses to them.
When traveling with gear, this is VERY important. For example, let’s say we are arriving at an airport carousel to pick up our black bags. Upon looking, every other bag that comes around is black! With a tag on the outside, we are sure to end up with the right bag.
For any more ideas, and to allow our dive community to be more interactive, leave a comment below. Maybe your way of tagging your gear is creative and can be used by others. For any questions, drop a comment!