Typically when you think about scuba diving, you think of something tropical. You also think of a primarily summer time activity. However, that is not true, and in places such as British Columbia, Canada, the best times for scuba diving can be during the winter into the early spring. Now, aside from the obvious hazard of the cold weather, there are other things that you should be aware of and consider for your winter dives. So, here are some winter scuba diving tips.
Layering up is particularly necessary when you are diving during the winter. You lose about 30-40% of your body heat through your head, hands, and feet. So, by implementing a hood or hooded vest, along with extra gloves and socks, you will significantly reduce the amount of body heat you could lose in the water. Another great option is getting a Dry Suit. These are a great piece of technology that also require the right layering to stay warm in the water. Keep in mind that using a dry suit requires some specialist training. If you own one and would like to learn more on how to use it properly, you should contact your local Pro Dive.
You should plan on arriving at the show/boat with plenty of warm clothing along with a dry bag to store everything. Once you finished your dive, you will want to have a change of clothes that are easy to put on such as track pants, etc. Be sure to bring extra just in case. For those who are diving from a boat, the wind-chill will be a big factor you should consider. A great recommendation would be a Sharkskin Chillproof vest as they are windproof, fleece lined, and rapid drying which makes them the perfect layer to beat the chill on the boat.
A thermos filled with soup is probably the holy grail of winter diving. It is one of the best ways to refuel and reheat from the inside out. There are physiological and psychological benefits of drinking something warm between dives allowing you to enjoy the second dive much more. Make sure to avoid eating anything too heavy between dives as it could cause stomach discomfort, which is why soup is the ideal option for winter diving.