How to Make A Scuba Diving Checklist

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How to make a diving checklist for a dive trip, to ensure you’re not forgetting anything.

The Diver’s Alert Network strongly encourages using a divíng checklist each and every dive as a means of avoiding mishaps that can be annoying at best, fatal at worst. In the following article we’ll outline how you put together a simple but effective checklist to make sure you got everything covered before diving in.

As we’ve covered in a previous article here on, and for the same reasons DAN emphasizes their role in safety, checklists should be part of any diver’s dive plan.

But how to make a diving checklist?

First of all, there are loads of situations where a checklist can come into play, from packing your gear to the pre-dive buddy check.

One of the most useful places is when you’re planning a dive or a dive day trip, as forgetting things here can be extremely annoying and can making diving impossible, or unsafe.

A diver forgetting things on a dive day is extremely annoying to both dive buddies
A diver forgetting things on a dive day is extremely annoying to both dive buddies
Photo by: Matt Ragen

Follow this guide to make sure you remember everything that needs to go on your checklist.

Before leaving

Before you even set off, you should check up on the location and weather conditions. So a few days before your intended trip, add points to your checklist to check the weather forecast and tide tables, if applicable to your area.

Also add a point to pick a dive spot and make notes of things like parking facilities, entry and exit points, and areas suited for kitting up before the dive. Recheck weather forecasts the day before leaving.


Add to your checklist any equipment you and the other divers will need, including special gear for individual divers’ needs, or dive location specific gear, such as surface buoys, dive torches, or line reels for wreck diving.

Also remember to put any group items on, such as oxygen, a first aid kit, and a diving spares kit (save-a-dive kit) with backups for any item likely to break on the gear you and the other divers will be using.

Remember your checklist – Aletia
Remember your checklist – Aletia

Food and drink

If you’re planning a full-day dive trip, food and drink will be needed, to add this to your checklist. Whether you plan to pack a picnic, a simple sandwich, and a few snacks, or plan to pick something up along the way, make sure that it goes on the checklist.

Remember to add water, and perhaps a hot drink if you’re diving in cooler temperatures.

Emergency info

When diving, always make sure someone knows where you are, and when to expect you back. This is an important item to put on your dive checklist. And also put down that you’ll need to check up on current and dive conditions, as well as have emergency contact info checked up and brought along.

Emergency services, as well as coastal rescue services, are good to have on speed dial, as are any hyperbaric chambers in the area and the health insurance companies of participating divers.

Coastal rescue service helicopters are good to have on Speed-dial – Credits: Public Domain
Coastal rescue service helicopters are good to have on Speed-dial – Credits: Public Domain

Using your checklist

Your diving checklist should essentially be a physical representation of your memory, making sure you don’t leave anything important behind.

Here’s how you make your Pre-Dive Safety Check

So start it early, ideally as soon as you start planning your dive trip, and keep adding items to it as you think of them. That way, when the times comes to make the dive trip happen, you won’t have to count on your memory to keep a complete record of what you need to do before heading off.

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