It's the last dive of your trip. The site is one of your favorites and you can't wait to finish off a great vacation with one last dive, then the unthinkable. You hear a pop followed by the hissing of air, you've blown an o-ring. The DM pulls out a tank o-ring only to realize it's the spg spool. "I don't have those o-rings so take this spare reg." the DM says, offering a piece of gear that has seen better days. You take it and do the dive, breathing wet all the way . The last dive of your trip leaves a bad taste in your mouth, literally.
This is a true story. Carrying a basic save a dive kit can save you or a buddies dive. These will not make you a service tech, there is no substitute for actual training for that level of maintenance, but just a few basic things can get you in the water quickly and safely.
THE MAIN ITEMS IN YOUR KIT
These are the most important things in your save a dive kit. No you don't need a 50 piece ratchet set, or do you? Seriously, there are only a few things you really have to have and they won't break your bank. Some are even available at your local hardware or discount store.
|Multi tool. This will have some basic tools such as an o-ring pick, screw drivers, hex keys and a tank valve knob tool. It is a must have in your kit and you can find many varieties at your local dive shop. Note: there are metric versions which work as well.|
|2 adjustable wrenches. I like 4 inch ones such as this, it's made of chrome Vanadium steel and stands up well to salt water environments, just don't dive with it! 2 wrenches come in handy for|
O-ring kit. There are more than just tank o-rings that can go bad. Hose rings, port plug rings and spg spools. These are all user changeable with little effort. A small tube or container of silicone grease is a must as well. You can find these kits at your local dive shop
|Zip ties. These are the duct tape of scuba. You use them to secure your mouth piece to your reg, clamp down your inflator hose and make break away ties for bolt snaps on things such as flash lights. The size of your zip ties matters. Too thin and they will snap all the time, too thick and they may not grip as well. Look at the size that's on a regulator, it's what you want to shoot for. You can find these at your local discount store. Note: zip ties are great but don't be a MacGuyver, they are not a cure all for everything. Don't use them to repair broken gear!|
|Scissors. Another must have for your save a dive kit and more. I have so many of these laying around it seems like there is one in every room. They have fancy ones made of titanium and stainless steel but beware. The rivet that holds the blades together is usually made of cheap metal and is the first thing to fail. I bought a bulk order of cheap ones on Ebay for around 20 dollars|
|Leatherman. You may already have one of these clipped proudly to your belt or at the bottom of a drawer in your kitchen. It doesn't have to be a top of the line titanium inspector gadget make fries while you wait tool. You can find them surprisingly cheap online, I've seen as low as 10 bucks. Remember you aren't building a rocket ship, you don't need a 100 dollar pair. Chances are it will sit in your save a dive box/bag unused for weeks or months|
Some other things you can carry include: mask strap, fin strap, clips, shock cord, thin bungee cord, key rings, batteries, memory cards, tweezers, mouthpiece and the list goes on. Never let a minor fix keep you out of the water.