Essential Tools and Spare Parts for Every Save a Dive Kit
Mask straps are one of the most common items to break before a dive. Be sure to select a spare mask strap that fits your mask as they come in different sizes and configurations.
Fin strap and buckle
Fin straps break less frequently than mask straps, but they do break. Most fin manufacturers sell spare straps complete with buckles. Be sure to choose the correct strap for you fins.
Regulator mouthpiece and zip tie/cable tie
A spare regulator mouthpiece is an absolute essential. Even if you do not have your own regulator, be sure to include a spare mouthpiece in your save a dive kit. Mouthpieces develop holes and the bite tabs break off. The ability to swap out a shoddy mouthpiece from a rental regulator may save your dive.
Basic o-ring kit
This should include o-rings for low pressure and high pressure hoses, as well as o-rings for yoke tank valves or o-rings for DIN regulators (depending upon which you use). Also, consider including the small o-rings for the high pressure spool/spindle inside the pressure gauge. Most commercially available o-ring kits include these types of o-rings.
Figure-eight style octopus/alternate air source holders come in handy in a variety of applications. They’re great for securing alternate air sources to a BCD and a snorkel to a mask.
High and low pressure port plugs for the regulator first stage
Include both a high pressure and low pressure port plug that fits your first stage, should you have to remove a hose for any reason.
Small adjustable crescent wrench
Primarily used to remove hoses from the regulator to replace o-rings. Consider carrying two crescent wrenches in order to more easily loosen or tighten pressure gauges and other regulator second stages.
Hex wrenches/allen keys
Hex wrenches are used to remove port plugs, as well as for a variety of other applications. Be sure to have both an imperial and metric set of hex wrenches.
A Swiss Army Knife or a multi-tool works well. At a minimum, your cutting tool should be able to cleanly slice off zip ties and snip strings and bungee.
Needle nose pliers
Needle nose pliers are great for just about everything that needs to be pulled or tightened. They are particularly useful when pulling out high pressure spools from pressure gauges. Many multi-tools include suitable pliers.
Brass o-ring picks
O-ring picks resemble dental tools and are commercially available. These are used to remove o-rings from yokes, hoses and pressure gauge high-pressure spools.
Small container of silicon lubricant
This is used for greasing o-rings in dive gear, dive lights, etc.
Cave line/reel line and a lighter
Braided line works well for attaching clips to dive accessories, as well as for securing pencils to slates and wetnotes. A lighter is necessary to melt the end of the line to prevent it from fraying.
Zip ties and duct tape
Fixes anything and everything!
White trash bag or small white towel
Used as a work surface in dirty or wet areas. It makes seeing o-rings and parts easier, and keeps them clean and dry.
Spare pencils and an eraser
For writing on slates and wet notes (if you use these items).
Dry suit zipper wax
Essential if you use a dry suit.
Clips, lanyards, coils, carabiners, etc.
Essential for securing equipment and accessories.
For More Extensive Save a Dive Kits
Consider carrying a spare mask underwater on a dive. At a minimum, include one in your save a dive kit. Mask frames and glass do occasionally break, and masks are sometimes lost overboard. If you use prescription lenses in your mask, then carrying a spare mask is absolutely essential, as most dive shops do not rent prescription masks.
Consider carrying one high pressure (pressure gauge hose), one low pressure hose (for the regulator second stage) and one inflator hose.
It is frequently easier to swap put an entire bubbling pressure gauge than to bother with replacing o-rings in the field.
Regulator first stage and second stage
Consider carrying one complete regulator, including hoses, pressure gauge, and first and second stages which can also be cannibalized for spare parts.
A DIN-to-yoke or yoke-to-DIN adaptor
This allows you to dive with both DIN and yoke tanks.
Stainless steel clips (bolt snaps and double-ended clips)
Bolt snaps are useful in securing pressure gauges and the like, and double ended clips are needed for reels and spools.
Spare inflator mechanism
This is the gadget on the end of your buoyancy compensator inflator hose with the button that adds air to your buoyancy compensator. You can fix these in the field, but sometimes it’s just easier to simply swap them out. Be sure to bring along the correct size for your inflator hose.
Spare dump valve
These are great for buoyancy compensators with a rear or shoulder air release valve. A leaking dump valve is relatively easy to replace – most just screw right off. Again, be sure to get the right size for you buoyancy compensator.
Carry spare batteries for your dive computer if it has user-replaceable batteries, as well as spare batteries for cameras, electronic pressure gauge transmitters and dive lights.
Extra straps for watch or dive computer
And for the Technically-Inclined Diver
High pressure spool/spindle
For pressure gauges.
Diaphragm for regulator second stages
Of course, be sure to bring the correct diaphragm for your regulators, as these are model specific.
Aqualseal™ works well for sealing holes in buoyancy compensators and dry suits. You may also want to bring along patches to help seal holes.
Spare d-rings and tri-glides
Extra weight belt buckle
Many technical divers use buckles to hold canister lights in place, these are easily misplaced.
Bungee/ Shock Cord
Bungee can be used to secure lights, create necklaces for back-up regs (long hose configuration), manufacture watch/computer straps, and create octopus/alternate air source holders. Thick bungee may even be used to create a fin strap in a pinch.
In-Line Adjustment Tool
This is a tool that technically savvy divers can use to monitor and adjust intermediate pressure, as well as to tune regulator second stages to fix a free-flow. These are only useful if you know how to use it.
Tools always seem to rust themselves into a state of immobility right when you need them.
Low pressure air gun
This attaches to a low pressure hose and can be used to dry small pieces of gear and blow out debris.
Low pressure tire inflator
Attaches to a low pressure inflator hose and can be used to inflate car tires. I love these.
Simple sewing kit
For repairing tears in suits, pockets, and buoyancy compensator fabric.