GUE is renowned for its standardisation of equipment, as well as the actual procedures that we use.
Regardless of where you enter the GUE curriculum the equipment we use is scalable: whether it be from the outset of your diving career during Rec 1 or pushing the boundaries in exploration.
Because many divers we educate are new to training with GUE we've created an article containing lists of equipment you will need; as well as helpful reminders so you don't forget anything for your course.
Remember that you do not need to purchase equipment for training with us. We have plenty of spares and can always rent stuff to you. In addition the GUE community in the UK is just incredible in it's generosity. There are always people ready to lend you equipment and due to the fact that we all use similar equipment, anything you borrow will be very familiar and comfortable!
We like you to be relaxed both in and out of the water, as this definitely enhances your ability to learn. Use our checklist when packing up for your course or training day - so push the easy button.
We have listed below the standardised equipment required for the recreational and foundational programme classes offered by GUE. For technical training there will be a few extra items you'll need and of course as with any sport there are a handful of "nice to have" pieces of kit which we have added for completion.
If you are investing in new equipment for your course, feel free to use us as an advice service. We have no ties to any manufacturer, so are able to give completely honest and objective feedback on equipment. If we think something is world class, we will shout it from the rooftops. If we think something is crap, we will tell you to avoid it like the plague. Choosing the right equipment is important, as no-one likes to make expensive mistakes they will later regret.
- Appropriate thermal protection/undersuit, including socks and under gloves
- Dry suit
- Rock boots if necessary
- Gloves: dry or wet
- Cylinders, ideally filled with 32% nitrox
- Single bladder, non bungeed wing, with appropriate lift for your cylinder size (30lb for single tanks; 40lb for twins)
- Back plate (aluminium or steel) and single piece webbing harness (no breaks)
- At least one cutting device attached to waist strap (knife/shears/line cutter)
- Appropriate weighting (V- or P-weights or a weight belt)
- Twist on backup torch(-es) (x2 to meet tech pass standards) with bolt snaps attached
- Primary canister light (to meet tech pass standards)
- Spare double enders
- Masks x 2
- Wet notes and pencil
- Orally inflatable SMB
- Depth gauge/timer
- Stiff rubber blade fins
- Spare batteries/chargers for torches and dive timer
Please make sure your cylinders are O2 clean and in test; your equipment is all in good working order and replace any of the worn items such as mouth pieces, bungee or cave line you use to tie bolt snaps on with. Most importantly, please ensure your dry suit is not leaking! Although kit failures can and do happen during the course, being well prepared radically reduces your stress levels. Bringing a small repairs kit is a sensible idea.
If you do not already hold a nitrox certification, please bring your cylinders empty and we will arrange for them to be filled during the first day of the course, ready for your first diving day.
The harness must contain no breaks in it. It must be a single continuous piece of webbing which has only 5 D-rings on it: one on either shoulder; one on the left hip (waist); one on the front or the crotch strap, below the waist loop and one on the back of the crotch strap above your butt.
*Regulators for a single cylinders need to have a dry suit hose, SPG hose, 1.5m primary hose and regulator, and short hose with a necklaced backup regulator as well as the wing inflator hose set up to route comfortably for you. For twin sets (doubles), GUE have a standard routing which you will need to comply with. The right post has the primary regulator (2m hose) and wing inflator coming from it. The left post has the dry suit hose, necklaced backup regulator and SPG hose coming from it. If you need further advice or assistance in setting up your regs you can contact us prior to the course. If you are still unsure, don't worry as we can help you set these up correctly during the first day of the course.
Additional Equipment for Rec 3 and Technical Courses
- 11L/80cft aluminium stage bottle, rigged according to GUE standards
- Stage regulator
- 1L suit inflation bottle
- Suit inflation bottle regulator
Obviously it goes without saying that in addition to the kit listed below, you will need to pack accordingly for staying away for the course duration. We will fill you in on the logistics of the course location prior to the class, however plan to make arrangements for snacks, drinks and money for food during the day, site entires and gas fills is also a must. Lastly, don't forget all courses have theory and a swim test/pool session which requires some kit!
- Course notes, worksheets, notepad and pen
- Swimming togs, including a towel and goggles
- Accommodation details
- Flight tickets and passport (for overseas courses)
Nice to haves
- Small tool, spares and repairs kit. Include zip lube, Aqausure or Black Witch, and dry gloves if you are using them.
- O2/Trimix Analyser
Don't own certain bits of kit?
It is not uncommon for people thinking about doing fundies to be missing certain items of the standardised kit; for example, a canister light. If this you, don't worry, get in touch with us as we are often able to hire equipment to you for the duration of the course. However, as standardised kit is integral to becoming a GUE diver, you will want to consider investing in most items.