How To Store SCUBA Gear
Owning your own SCUBA gear is a great advantage in the water. After the fun of SCUBA diving comes the cleaning and storing. You want to make sure the expensive gear you bought will last for years to come. When you take care of your gear, it will last a long time.
SCUBA gear should be properly cleaned prior to storing, especially for long term. After every dive day, you should rinse or soak your gear in freshwater, thoroughly dry your gear, then follow the below guidelines on how to store SCUBA gear!
Find a Place to Hang Your SCUBA Gear
If you haven’t already, you should invest in some SCUBA hangers. There are a variety of different types depending on what you want to hang. Most will have spots for mask, snorkel, fins, dive boots, SCUBA diving gloves, neoprene hood, regulator, and buoyancy control device (BCD).
You want to store everything in dry, well-ventilated spaces away from direct sunlight and kept at room temperature. Also, store all SCUBA gear away from an ozone. Do not put these items in a garage with your car. Inside the house is best. Also keep chemicals, oils, solvents, exhaust gas away from your gear.
How to Store Your SCUBA Tank
Despite everything you were told in your open water SCUBA class about not leaving a tank standing unattended, you actually store your tank standing! Make sure to leave at least 500 PSI in your tank when storing. This helps prevent corrosion and rust inside. When you store your tank, leave it standing somewhere where it will not get knocked over, like inside the back of a closet.
Store a BCD
After rinsing your BCD inside and out with freshwater, make sure to dump any excess water out through the low pressure inflator hose and dump valves. The outside of the BCD is not as important as drying the inside. Hang the BCD up on your hanger and let it completely dry. Put a little air inside the BCD by blowing into the oral inflate of the low pressure inflator hose. This keeps the internal bladder from sticking to itself. You can store the BCD in a closet or anywhere away from sunlight.
Once the regulators and hoses are rinsed and maybe even soaked in freshwater, they can be hung up by the first stage on a hanger to dry and then transferred to the storage location where they stay hung up. There are great hangers where you can attach the first stage to the hanger by screwing it in and let the hoses all just hang.
You can also just wrap the first stage and hoses around the neck of the hanger on the same one as the BCD. Make sure there are no knots or bends in the hoses. The regulators definitely don’t need their own hanger. This would be a waste of space. You can also store them in regulator bags.
A dive computer is easy to store. Once it has been rinsed and dried, it can be stored in the original case it came with. If it does not have a case, you can get store it in a bag or preferably a hard surfaced dry box to protect it.
How to Store SCUBA Mask, Snorkel, and Fins
Mask, snorkel, and fins are perhaps the easiest to clean and store. Make sure the mask is cleaned with freshwater and either air dried or dried with a soft towel of some type of lens cloth to not scratch it. You can simply leave the mask, snorkel, and fins on the ground where they won’t be stepped on, put them in a storage bin or bag, or hang them up on a SCUBA hanger and leave them in the closet. Don’t leave these pieces in direct sunlight. The fins especially can change shape and affect kicking efficiency.
Store Your SCUBA Diving Wetsuit
Anything neoprene can smell. After diving, I like to clean my neoprene items in a freshwater bath with Listerine. This helps get rid of the bacteria that causes the smells. You can also buy the standard “sink the stink” products and clean the neoprene with it in freshwater. Once done soaking the neoprene, it needs to dry. There are wetsuit specific hangers you can purchase that are wider and heavier so that the thick wetsuit can sit on the hanger and not get dents in it. Drying and storing your SCUBA diving wetsuit inside out ensures that the inside gets properly dried. There are separate hangers for just the booties, gloves, and hood.
If everything is completely dry and you do not plan on SCUBA diving for a very long time, it is possible to store gear in dive bags or plastic bins. I prefer to just leave everything hanging on hangers if you have the room for it. As always, check your gear and get it serviced if needed before diving with it again.