The dive boat has just docked after a two tank dive. You are getting bumped from every direction as you and fifteen other divers gather up your gear and prepare to disembark.
Your inside-out wet suit drips from the same support bar where six others hang just like it. Your fins are shoved under the bench along with the guy’s next to you, who also owns blue Hotshots. You’re feeling around in your mesh gear bag where you’re pretty sure you tossed your mask, though the one the guy across from you is holding looks an awful lot like yours… Sound familiar?
Don’t get all the way to the hotel and realize you have one of your size medium blue Hotshots and one extra large that belongs to that other guy! Marking your dive gear is a simple way to quickly and easily identify your scuba equipment.
How to mark your dive gear
Write, draw, and decorate!
Use Trident U-Mark It paint, a Sharpie or Uni Paint Markers on fins, mask cases, the back of wrist computers, flashlights and camera equipment. You can use your name, initials, or even a special symbol all your own!
Permanent silver markers work well on neoprene wet suits, booties, gloves and hoods.
Attach emergency military-style dog tags to your BC and mesh gear bag zippers. Have them engraved with your name, mailing address and/or phone number so anything accidentally lost or taken can be returned to you. Consider using brightly colored zip ties to attach them to D-rings.
You hoses can also be customized by using brightly colored plastic wraps or sleeves. This can be a fun way to customize your gear as well as making it easily identifiable as yours!
Attach personalized waterproof zipper pulls to wet suit and gear bags.
Time for Stickers!
For camera equipment, flashlights, fins, log books, and luggage you might consider 3M sticker labels specifically for scuba divers and boat enthusiasts. These make for an easy label method for almost every piece of gear you own.
The Complete DIY
Cut narrow strips of lime green, hot pink or orange duct tape (or electricians tape) and thread one strip through each of the zipper pulls of your booties and wet suit. Press the sticky sides together for a bright and visible marker that will make your stuff easy to find, even in a rinse bin full of black neoprene!
Tie fluorescent-colored nylon string to D-rings on your BC and straps on mask and accessories like flashlights, cameras, tools, etc. You can find nylon string or para-cord in a number of colors and sizes.
Marking your scuba tanks
To mark your scuba tanks, safety sausages, re-breather, and other larger items, check out DiveSigns.com for reflective diver identification stickers. They are highly visible in the worse of underwater conditions.
DiveSigns also sells Stealth Diver Name Stickers. As explained on their website, these are great: “For the diver requiring a more understated name marking. When fitted to a black surface, Dive Signs black-on-black reflective Stealth identification stickers are all but invisible until they are ‘lit’ by torch or sun light. When the light hits the reflective backing the stickers become as clear to read as our regular black on white stickers.”
Things to remember
- Don’t forget to mark your weight pockets! They are easy to lose in a big rinse tank so use a paint pen, Sharpie marker, or even stitch a label onto the fabric.
- Make re-marking your gear a yearly goal! When you get your gear serviced each year make sure to re-check the marking system you use. Re-write any faded labeling with Sharpie or paint pens. Make sure to replace worn out nylon string, duct tape, zip ties, or worn stickers.
- As divers, the marine environment is important to us. There is interesting article on environmentally safe ways to mark your scuba gear at TheDivingBlog.com.
All of the marking tools and product information from this article:
- Trident U-Mark It Gear Paints
- Personalized, Waterproof Diver Identification Sticker by 3M
- Emergency Contact Dogtags
- Uni Paint Markers
- Nylon String
(for tennis rackets but would work for marking scuba gear)
- Colorful Duct Tape
(also available at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s)