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Equipment care when sea-diving multiple days in a row

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Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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Agreed that that would be the best. But the point of the thread was what to do when you don't have access to stuff like bins with water, washing mashines or proper drying racks. Like what to do if you're camping on a beach far away from fresh water and spending all non-sleep time in the water.

I just got back from a overnighter at a remote location, but the night was warm and the rocks smooth, so drying the suit was fast and without danger damage to the neoprene. But most places have sharp rocks and trees full of sharp bark and spikes, not really something to use as a drying rack.
 

popgun pete

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Jul 30, 2008
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Then you need a drying rack, you can make something out of plastic plumbing pipe using elbow bends and Tee sections, just don’t glue it together. You can fill the base sections with sand for weight to stabilize it if the base is not broad enough.
 
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Woohoo

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Aug 13, 2015
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Then you need a drying rack, you can make something out of plastic plumbing pipe using elbow bends and Tee sections, just don’t glue it together. You can fill the base sections with sand for weight to stabilize it if the base is not broad enough.
That’s not the issue mate. He’s clearly talking about camping on a beach for long periods of time where he couldn’t possibly have any kind of rack with him.

The answer is very simple. He has no choice but look after the wetsuit exactly how he’s currently looking after it. It then simply comes down to how long it takes before it becomes unpleasant and then eventually unusable. If he is happy with that amount of time and can then afford to buy a new one when needed, all is well. If it deteriorates quicker than he can afford to replace it then clearly something will need to give.

Not sure if you were joking or not but updating the thread over the next year or two would actually be quite interesting. I get the feeling you’d be honest either way.
 
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Woohoo

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If he has a tent then he can carry a few more rods, poles, etc. Been there, done that.
Yeah that’s true I guess, but without clean water to rinse it off I don’t think how, where or if it’s hanging to dry will make any difference.

I think the only saving grace and the only reason the suit might last a while is because of the constant almost daily use. If it was to regularly dry out and be left unused for several days at a time without being cleaned, I just can’t see how it lasts more than a few months.
 

popgun pete

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We washed the sand off at the shoreline and hung the suits to dry, they had salt on them, but no sand. Turned them inside out and back to dry out. Zippers used to corrode when nickel plated brass, now they are plastic except for the zipper slider, so will last a bit longer without a proper rinse. Boots were hung on plastic sneaker hangers which have curved prongs on either side. Thirsty ants were a problem if they found the suits, but were generally happy with our food.
 
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Leander

Leander

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I wasn't joking with the three-year-update, Woohoo. As a permanent traveller I often find myself pushing the limits of my equipment, whether that's a wetsuit, phone, bike or even something 'designed for outdoor' like a backpack or tarp. (I use a tarp, no tent :) ). So it might actually be interesting to see how stuff holds up. Often the specs and care guids of manufacturers are generic, like for example a diving mask: silicone, nylon, glass and glue. None of those materials cannot handle a permanent salty environment, yet they advise to clean with fresh water. Other times manufacturers advice limits that are very much on the safe side, like a max. 80kg load for a bicycle.
I have stuff that failed me on day one. I also have stuff that went to hell and back and still works.

make something out of plastic plumbing pipe using elbow bends and Tee sections, just don’t glue it together.
That's a good idea. Maybe not so much for when I'm travelling by bicycle, but I wanted to make a 'big float' to do some travel-by-water multi-days as well. Something that would enable me to bring enough drinking water even if it slows me down. It would be good to design it in such a way that it can double as a drying rack and perhaps even as backpack-frame. That's the thing about travelling unsupported, everything is ballast until you find a way to make it fulfill multiple functions. (which means my wetsuit is actually the biggest ballast :D )
 
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Leander

Leander

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We washed the sand off at the shoreline and hung the suits to dry, they had salt on them, but no sand. Turned them inside out and back to dry out. Zippers used to corrode when nickel plated brass, now they are plastic except for the zipper slider, so will last a bit longer without a proper rinse. Boots were hung on plastic sneaker hangers which have curved prongs on either side. Thirsty ants were a problem if they found the suits, but were generally happy with our food.
Since you mention zippers I can assume these were double lined suits? I would think a nylon coated inside would go nasty more quickly than open cell. How long did they last / how nasty (and how quickly) did they get between proper washings? As for open cell I am mostly concerned with wrecking the material either by tearing it during drying on makeshift 'racks' or by salt-glueing it together by not drying it enough before turning it right side out.
 

popgun pete

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Double lined suits, they seemed to stiffen up when salty and recovered when finally soaked in fresh water. Less than a week before they got a proper wash, the salt crystals got into the nylon lining which was smooth inside and textured outside for abrasion resistance (Moray wetsuits). Wetted them down to put them on. Smooth skin neoprene would not have lasted long around the rocks and we used hard sole boots with open heel fins.
 

DiveHacker

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Jun 17, 2020
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I have this on at least half my outtings. Everyone says "rinse everything in fresh water". Ok. Well what if I am camping in the boodocks?

I feel ya, you just gotta grin and deal with the damage. Freshwater is always on short supply for me but i do try to keep a little container of my used water to rinse off knives and small stuff.
 
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Leander

Leander

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My knives are the least of the problem. The stainless knives are de-rusted by simply wiping them with a cloth or a light abrasive like mud, the carbon knives I cut enough acidic food with that they have a protective patina.

So it's just the rubber and fabric stuff that might dry out and crack at some time because of the salt. But as you said, deal with the damage. Not diving or staying in the popular places accessable by road is not the solution either as part of the whole adventure is to go to the middle of nowhere and to live of the catch.

Sun-drying some fruits now for a portable source of vitamins. :) But my portable solar-still is still on the drawing board.

Brilliant name btw, DiveHacker. :D
 

DiveHacker

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Jun 17, 2020
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My knives are the least of the problem. The stainless knives are de-rusted by simply wiping them with a cloth or a light abrasive like mud, the carbon knives I cut enough acidic food with that they have a protective patina.

So it's just the rubber and fabric stuff that might dry out and crack at some time because of the salt. But as you said, deal with the damage. Not diving or staying in the popular places accessable by road is not the solution either as part of the whole adventure is to go to the middle of nowhere and to live of the catch.

Sun-drying some fruits now for a portable source of vitamins. :) But my portable solar-still is still on the drawing board.

Brilliant name btw, DiveHacker. :D
I just try not to sun dry my wetsuits. When they hit that crusty phase after being sun dried you know you did some real damage.

I didn't see it get mentioned but i would not leave a wetsuit wet just for the wetsuit's sake because i would have to put it on wet! I buy my stuff to make myself comfortable, not miserable :)

I actually dive with a leatherman because i am too cheap to buy a $10 dive knife, and I like the fact that it serves a multipurpose weight and dive knife. Hell even some wire cutters if i got into real problems. Not ideal though, haha.
 
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xristos

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Really interesting read your adventures @Leander are you Greek ? Living in Crete year round ? Would love some background if you like to share.
As for the practical matters. I used cressi mask 7 years not single freshwater rinsing did it experience. Yet it works wonders to this day.
The wetsuit gets me abrasions if i dont clean it. I have heard people keep their wetsuit in a barrel with tap water between sessions saying its better. I havent tried but i expect it to be better even with salt water barrel for your scenario. For the drying isnt some line tied to the olive trees good enough?
 
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Leander

Leander

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Really interesting read your adventures @Leander are you Greek ? Living in Crete year round ? Would love some background if you like to share.
I'm not Greek, but my parents gave me a Greek name. They probably guessed where I would end up. Or the name makes the person of course.

I'm from the Netherlands. I'm embarrassed to say as people sometimes link me with the damage Dijsselbloem did to Greece. I don't feel Dutch, it's just a passport, but trying to escape the question by saying the name of the last village I travelled through never works. :)

I'm someone who values life, nature, living outdoors and taking care of my own food. The Netherlands has none of that, instead it values career, being nice and compliant, order, materialism... <Where is this puke: icon when you need it?>
So after too many years of trying to adapt to Dutch standards I gave up. I packed a bag, got on my bicycle and just started cycling. I ended up on Crete and stayed. I did leave a few times, but always seem to gravitate back. Learning Greek now, slowly, one word per day. I don't want to end up as most of the local foreigners here who don't speak a word Greek even though they live here already for 10+ years.

What is funny, is that in the Netherlands my life was a never ending financial struggle. I lived in the cheapest house, ate for €1 a day and had no car or other big expenses; but with the current trend of 0-hour contracts and temporary-jobs, I never earned enough to have something left at the end of the the month.
On Crete the weather is good enough to live outdoors (and partly in a friend's caravan) and food is cheap if you know where to look. With just the olive work in the winter I make enough to cover the financial expenses and to save some as well! Not forgetting to mention the freedom this way of living brings!
But it's not always fun (I never knew the value of a hot shower, now I do!), and even here people sometimes look at me with a lot of question marks floating around their heads. But I like it and as a side effect it enables me to focus on stuff most people don't have time for, like the lionfish problem.

What the future will bring I don't know. Don't really care for that either. Life is too chaotic to make plans and have them work out too.

- - -

For the drying isnt some line tied to the olive trees good enough?
I've seen people do that, but I always feared the creases it would get that way, especially when drying the opencell side.
 
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popgun pete

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The stitching rots out if wetsuits are left wet for a long period of time, ditto if left salty as salt being hygroscopic picks up moisture from the air. A long period means more than a couple of weeks. In winter when suits are hard to dry this rotting of stitches can be a problem. Suits are both glued and stitched. Mauser stitched suits suffer more with exposed stitching on both sides of the suit. Most suits are cup stitched with exposed thread only on the inside.
 
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Leander

Leander

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Oct 17, 2017
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With the stitching you mention a good one as it has a structural purpose. But do they generally use nylon for the stitching or polyester? I never seen polyester fail from exposure, not in tarps, backpacks, clothes, rope... My experience with nylon however is that it degrades quite rapidly by sunlight, certain bacteria and by micro-cuts from salt crystals.
 

popgun pete

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Jul 30, 2008
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Australia
With the stitching you mention a good one as it has a structural purpose. But do they generally use nylon for the stitching or polyester? I never seen polyester fail from exposure, not in tarps, backpacks, clothes, rope... My experience with nylon however is that it degrades quite rapidly by sunlight, certain bacteria and by micro-cuts from salt crystals.
When I used to dive in the winter my wetsuits deteriorated in the stitching, so this is my experience, not my imagination.
 
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Leander

Leander

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I don't think you are the type that makes stuff up. :) I was just wondering about the (salt)water resistance of different materials, mostly nylon vs polyester, as both are used as fabric and as thread.
 
The lockdown is over and the good weather and warm nights are here, so I'm planning a few multi-day spearfishing trips, either by bicycle or swimming. Now my question is:

How to care for the equipment, especially the suit, when sea-diving multiple days in a row?

I normally don't care for rinsing with fresh water (univeral recommendation given by manufacturers and on the internet) as fresh water is a precious resource over here and not to be wasted (I have to carry all my water from the public tap a few km down the road), however I do dry the suit. But is drying it needed/wanted/wise when diving on consecutive days, especially when dive-camping on the beach? Would it be better to keep it wet (with seawater) instead, by stuffing it in a big plastic bag or something? I could imagine hanging it every night for the whole summer season to be more damaging.

* added some extra seawater to the post to drown any confusion about whether I dive in the sea or in the bathtub.
 

DiveHacker

Member
Jun 17, 2020
33
22
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47
Bangkok
I'm not Greek, but my parents gave me a Greek name. They probably guessed where I would end up. Or the name makes the person of course.

I'm from the Netherlands. I'm embarrassed to say as people sometimes link me with the damage Dijsselbloem did to Greece. I don't feel Dutch, it's just a passport, but trying to escape the question by saying the name of the last village I travelled through never works. :)

I'm someone who values life, nature, living outdoors and taking care of my own food. The Netherlands has none of that, instead it values career, being nice and compliant, order, materialism... <Where is this puke: icon when you need it?>
So after too many years of trying to adapt to Dutch standards I gave up. I packed a bag, got on my bicycle and just started cycling. I ended up on Crete and stayed. I did leave a few times, but always seem to gravitate back. Learning Greek now, slowly, one word per day. I don't want to end up as most of the local foreigners here who don't speak a word Greek even though they live here already for 10+ years.

What is funny, is that in the Netherlands my life was a never ending financial struggle. I lived in the cheapest house, ate for €1 a day and had no car or other big expenses; but with the current trend of 0-hour contracts and temporary-jobs, I never earned enough to have something left at the end of the the month.
On Crete the weather is good enough to live outdoors (and partly in a friend's caravan) and food is cheap if you know where to look. With just the olive work in the winter I make enough to cover the financial expenses and to save some as well! Not forgetting to mention the freedom this way of living brings!
But it's not always fun (I never knew the value of a hot shower, now I do!), and even here people sometimes look at me with a lot of question marks floating around their heads. But I like it and as a side effect it enables me to focus on stuff most people don't have time for, like the lionfish problem.

What the future will bring I don't know. Don't really care for that either. Life is too chaotic to make plans and have them work out too.

- - -


I've seen people do that, but I always feared the creases it would get that way, especially when drying the opencell side.
Have you tried using your gun propped up somewhere as a wetsuit rack? That seems to obvious to be your answer.

Your post reminded me of some thoughts I have been having recently. *** prepare yourselves, i am going off topic *** We have this "currency" nowadays, and it is all about who is supposedly "smart" enough to get the most of it. These are the brilliant people among us, supposedly.

But then you look at these people a bit closer and names like Epstein and Trump pop up. People may say something likr "Epstein was a sick bastard, but he was brilliant (with money or whatever).

I don't see the world like that at all. People have it backwards. It is the world that is messed up because it rewards sociopaths like Epstein.

You go back in time, and what was the "currency"? We are right in the middle of it here... the ability to hint, catch food, ability to defend yourself and others. Things that were actually admirable were the currency.

It is not that you were born in the wrong era, I do not view things like that, but you were born in an era when having the skills you love to develop just so happen to not be admired nearly as much (I have gotten the feeling this may be different in Greece compared the the US though).

As far as I am concerned, old currencies like gold are still good. So you still have the currency. It sounds like you are doing well already, but to use it in today's age you just live simply and almost completely eliminate your food bill. I also see gifting or trading fresh fish as a very useful, pleasurable and rewarding "currency". If any of that made sense there is something wrong with you for sure.
 
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