|I got one hand in my pocket and the other one is giving an ascend sign!|
Good question, and truth be known, I usually carry a few more bits and pieces of additional kit.
A certain amount of “stuff” is needed on every dive, certain conditions and environments require more, some less; it just depends on the dive. Either way, every diver needs somewhere to put all the “stuff” until it’s needed.
It is a valid question and one I asked myself when I began acquiring my vast array of scuba gear. I don’t have an instructor or dive mentor I can turn to for such things, so my old friend Google and I did some research.
The interweb gave me all sorts of wonderful advice and storage options for scuba equipment.
I was advised to clip stuff onto D-Rings, attach all sorts of wonderful cables and bits of telephone cord to my stuff, add on storage packs; or I could even buy some form of underwater suitcase that required trailing around.
All of these are viable options, and I have utilised them to a certain degree on some of my dives, except maybe, the waterproof suitcase; I only use that on special occasions. However, I didn’t really find them agreeable.
Unbelievably the answer was a little more straightforward; - pockets.
Amazing eh? Who’d have thought of just keeping stuff in your pockets?
I’m pretty sure the internet had suggested pockets at one stage, but I chose to ignore the simple answer in favour of a more technical solution; imagine that. I never stated I was smart - awesome and fabulous perhaps; but not smart.
I dive a dry suit pretty much all of the time, and amazingly enough, it has 2 pockets; one on the outside of each leg. I have found most drysuits come with at least one pocket; if not, they can easily be glued in place; the same applies to wetsuits.
So, I was pretty much sorted right? Not quite.
Somewhere in the vastness of the digital highway I found an article, I think it was in Diver Magazine, which suggested the use of bungee in the pockets. It had a picture to go with it, (which i now can't find) that really looked the part, and provided a brief explanation of why a diver needed bungee in their pockets.
|'Bungee Cord' courtesy of Rose Brand|
Why Bungee in the Pocket?
[Attaching bolt snaps to equipment demonstrated here]
The article proceeded to explain; when an item was needed, rather than rummaging around for a specific thing, you simply pulled everything out, unclipped what you wanted, and stuffed everything back in again.
A splendid system.
However, upon closer investigation, I quickly realised my pockets didn't come factory fitted with bungee; it was a moment of pure horror from which I have barely recovered.
Thankfully Google and I were able to come up with a solution for attaching bungee to my drysuit pockets; grommets.
Grommets in my pockets™ provide a method of securing the bungee, therefore allowing the clipping of stuff; simple. [sidenote: i really must patent the term "Grommets in my pockets™" - stroke of genius]
So I got to work and configured my pockets, and here’s how I did it.
ATTACHING GROMMETS TO DRYSUIT POCKETS
You'll need a grommet tool and some grommets, or eyelets. I used an eyelet with a 10mm inner diameter, 19mm outer diameter.
Repeat these steps on either side of the pocket.
- STEP 1: Punch a hole at each side of the dry suit pocket with the grommet tool. I found a hammer was useful, and fun. I like hammers, it's something you never really get to use often enough in scuba.
- STEP 2: Place the top ring on the outside of the pocket and push it through.
- STEP 3: Place the thinner ring on the inside of the pocket.
- STEP 5: Apply the grommet tool, and break out the hammer again.
- STEP 6: Inspect your awesomeness and make sure the grommet is firmly in place. Re-hammer if needs be.
ATTACHING BUNGEE CORD TO DRYSUIT POCKETS
I have found 4mm bungee best as it is thick enough to feel with drygloves on, and has a good amount of resistance without being super loose; so that when you tug stuff out of your pocket it doesn't act like a catapult beating your buddy with random pieces of kit.
Repeat these steps on either side of the pocket.
- STEP 1: Tie a loop of bungee long enough to suit the size of the pocket. Tie a strong knot and burn the ends with a lighter to stop fraying, and securing the knot further.
- STEP 2: Feed the loop through the eyelet keeping the knot on the outside of the pocket.
- STEP 3: Tie a knot on the inside of the pocket, keeping the knot as close to the grommet as possible.
- STEP 4: Check knots are secure and the bungee doesn't pull through.
BEFORE AND AFTER
This is how my suit arrived, simple pockets.
This is how my pockets look now! - Aren't they fabulous?
Having 2 pieces of bungee cord in the pocket means I can effectively separate elements of gear. For example; in my left pocket I have an smb attached to one cord, and a spool attached to the other. If I need the spool I reach to the left cord, if I need the smb I reach to the other. If the pocket is big enough this technique can work quite well; if small, it simply takes a little practice.
I appreciate this post is really boring, but it is a useful trick for all divers and I recommend everyone tries it out, plus it’s always fun to tinker with scuba gear!
In order to liven it a little up i've included this picture:
Do you have any other tricks for storing kit?