Your Questions About Watering Equipment Uk

Mark asks…

I am going to dive in the Maldives, and I need to buy equipment, but I also dive in the UK. What should I do?

I have recently qualified as a PADI Open Water Diver in the UK where the water can be anything from cold to freezing, and I am looking to start purchasing some equipment. However, I am also hopefully going to go to the Maldives to do a lot of diving there. I don’t know what to buy that will last me a long time, and I can use in both warm and cold temperatures. Can anybody help?

Tony answers:

The basics (mask, snorkel, fins) can be used anywhere, regardless of temperature, provided that the fins are open-heel, so you can fit them over both thin tropical and thick coldwater booties/drysuit boots. A dive computer is also usable anywhere — and some are even clever enough to modify their algorithms according to water temperature (coldwater = more conservative).

Obviously you will need different levels of exposure protection for diving in the UK vs. The Maldives, but if you’re going the wetsuit route, you might consider getting a modular system, e.g. A thin (2-3 mm) shortie which you can either use on its own in warm water or as an extra layer over a thick (5-7 mm) semi-dry steamer in cold water, or a 5-6 mm 2-piece combo (longjohn+jacket or shortie+steamer). A thin (2-3 mm) hooded neoprene vest could also be useful here, although you’ll probably also need a thick (5-6 mm) hood and gloves for UK diving.

If you’re going for a drysuit for your UK diving, just get a 3-5 mm shortie for diving the Maldives (which can also be used in the Med or Red Sea in the summer months).

If you want to have your own regulator, then I would recommend you get one which is designed for coldwater diving, i.e. Environmentally sealed, with metal heat-sinks. Although these can also be used in warm water, the downside is that coldwater regs tend to be somewhat heavier than warmwater regs, which means using up more baggage allowance (or taking your reg bag as hand luggage) if you want to carry it on a plane.

Similarly, lightweight ‘travel’ BCs are fine for tropical diving, but may not have sufficient lift for diving in cold water, where thicker wetsuits or drysuits — and hence more lead weight — are required. If you want a BC which can be used in both cold and warmwater, a small wing and harness system (without a metal backplate!) may be worth thinking about here, as this will have lots of lift without being overly heavy/bulky.

You really only need cylinders and weights if you’re planning to dive independently of a dive centre in the UK. I would recommend a steel rather than an aluminium tank for coldwater diving, as that will reduce the lead required (allies float when they’re empty, steels are neutral to negative). It’s never worth paying the extra baggage costs to take them on a plane, though, since (1) you can rent them wherever you want to go diving (tank/weight rental is almost invariably included in the price of a dive in holiday resorts) and (2) it’s a major hassle these days (cylinders have to be vented and the valves removed to prove you’re not smuggling drugs/bombs).

As far as specific brands go, all the big name brand regs are durable and reliable, provided you look after them properly (rinse in freshwater after every dive, don’t leave them in the sun, don’t drop them, etc.). I’ve used Apeks regs my entire diving life, but other people swear by their Scubapros or Mares — it’s basically down to personal preference.

For BCs you can’t do much better than Buddy (AP Valves). They have a lifetime guarantee, the company is UK-based (if that’s important to you), and they will repair / recondition battered BCs for a small consideration. No, I don’t work for them(!), but I’ve been very happy with everything I’ve bought from them over the years.

Ruth asks…

Backpacking UK (Equipment Check)?

Ok, so my friend and I, both 17, girls, and American, are going to backpack the UK very cheaply this summer.This is our plan:

Fly into london from Philadelphia, stay in the piccidilly backpackers hostel in London for two weeks, then hitchhike/walk to Edinbourough, Scotland, then down through Wales and eventually back to London. The exact routes haven’t been determined yet, but we will have maps and an international cell phone with gps capabilities.

This is what we think we are going to bring: (please tell me if you have anymore suggestions on what to bring, or if we don’t need an object, or any advice you have)

In nice hiking backpack with shoulder support:

Light two person tent (if you know of any, please tell me)
Small LED flashlight
1000 matches
foldable pocket knife
Mace/pepper spray
Four water bottles
Ramen noodles and fruit snacks
small silver pot thing for ramen noodles
International Cellphone
Solar charger for cellphone
battery powered electric razor
extra batteries
regular razor
foldable toothbrush
roll of paper towels
wetones wipes
hand sanatizer
small bottle of shampoo
bar of soap
two of those tiny thin blankets that are like a sheet of metal, keep your body heat in

Nice shoulder support hiking back pack number two
Four tee-shirts (two for each)
Two pairs of cut off jeans shorts (one for each, etc)
Two pairs of nice skinny jeans
two nice blouse shirts (for bars in london)
two warm sweatshirts
six pairs of socks, one pair for each of us being long
six pairs of underwear
two thermal shirts
two tank tops
two gym shorts
Some extra cash, about 100 dollars, and like 300 pounds, and 100 euros (incase we end up taking the chunnel to paris or a day trip to ireland)

Side messanger bag (me)
the cellphone (we will only have one) (has gps and money converter)
a notebook
another space blanket

Purse (my friend)
basically all of her medications, and a two month supply of inhalers
maps, pamplets, other random stuff

So what do you think of our supply list?

Any thing else we need/don’t need?

Tony answers:

Mace and pepper spray are illegal here and will get you deservedly in trouble. Possibly even straight back on the plane.

I am assuming that you do realise how far Edinburgh is from London, and that while this isn’t a very violent country hitchhiking is not a good idea. I would never pick up international tourists anyway, people who can afford plane tickets can afford bus tickets. The amount of luggage you two are bringing will also put people off giving you a lift.

You can evidently afford to drink in London so buy a bus ticket; megabus is cheap.

Buy a SIM card when you get here.

BTW sweatshirts and jeans are daft for travelling; too hot or cold, too heavy, and take ages to dry. Lightweight travel trousers and fleeces, lose the jeans. And the cut-off jeans shorts for similar reasons. As for the battery powered razor….

Don’t bring food either, buy it here.

Don’t forget your travel insurance. You might need it.

Richard asks…

What are the legal/other requirements for operating a Shabu-Shabu (cook your own food) restaurant in the UK?

I wish to set up a healthy “cook your own food” restaurant, similar in concept to a Sukiyaki, Shabu Shabu or Hot Pot (Chinese Fondue) restaurant from Japan or China, in London, England.

I wish to know what legal restrictions there will be for allowing customers to cook their own food and for each table to have thermostatically controlled cooking equipment (i.e. hot pots with boiling water in them).

Are there any special restrictions in the UK for eating places where raw food is to be delivered to the customer and then cooked by them above and beyond what “normal” restaurants require to conform to?

Thanks in advance!

Tony answers:

The commerce bureau on line has all the details

Donna asks…

Whats the minimum weight and equipment for single person camping ?

Please could I have some suggestions on weights for tent & other items I’d need for UK summer camping. Bear in mind I can’t carry much, weak heart. Obviously I’d need water, food too. eg 3 nights.

Tony answers:

How much do you have to spend and how many compromises are you willing to make with a little comforts.

For example, you can take cutlery from the kitchen draw and that is there and no extra costs, or you can but a titanium cutlery set which weighs half the weight but costs £10. So there is a compromise between weight and cost.

For a single person tent you can get some weighing 1kg (, for £330 on that web site. Sleeping bag – again you can get them at about 1kg (that’s for a summer bag, so no good for winter camping) ( – same weight as the tent, £70 from that web site).

So far 1 1/2 kg. Then you can find a ruck sac – try looking at the OMM range of equipment – all light weight and they do things like waterproofs as well.

I think that’s the basics you need – some shelter and something to carry it all in.

Now comes choices of comfort and what you can stand. For example, you can buy a camping mat to make your sleep more comfortable, but you don’t have to. You can take 3 t shirts with you (no spares so if one gets soaked you might have to wear one for 2 days and be prepared for people to avoid you until you change).

What to eat is a big weight thing. If you can cook cleverly you can take 1 pan with you and a small burner – about 1kg and eat out of the pan rather than take a plate. That can save weight.

The next largest weight is food itself. You can save loads by taking dehydrated food but you need to get a source of water. Depending where you go you can often find water. The further away from people you are the better the water is and you can generally drink stream water in the hills.

Overall with some thought and going to the basics and nothing more I think you can manage 3 days on 10kg. You might have to spend some cash to achieve that but you can do it.

Mandy asks…

I want to snorkel in UK waters! Tips?

I have snorkelled once before but this was abroad in warmer waters! I have never tried snorkelling in the UK.

What do I need to do to get started?

Do I need a wetsuit or drysuit?

Any other equipment / preparation?

Also how do I choose a site to snorkel?

And… what am I likely to see?

Haha sorry for the 20 questions! Thanks 😀

Tony answers:

My advice is visit this website and go from there. There’s a lot of info at this site and once you are there you can see the links listed there and go where your interests, time, and budget allow.


This is the British Sub Aqua Club’s website. Also, in Wales, in August on the national Bank Holiday, there’s a huge Bog snorkeling event-races etc. You can find info for that on this site too I’m sure-just follow the links.
Good luck and have fun. Be safe. I love to snorkel and am looking for places in Florida to take my college age daughters over xmas.
Happy Holidays

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