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Dive Logging: The Basics

Last updated: October 14, 2021
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Dive Logging

If you regularly scuba diving, something you should do is log your dives.

For those who don’t know, logging a dive is the simple act of recording the relevant information about a specific dive, with various information being covered.

This can be in a physical dive book or using dive logging software. 

So let’s talk about why you should keep a dive log, what information should be included, and the best ways of doing so. 

Why Log Your Dives? 

Let’s quickly go over the most important reasons why it is a good idea to keep a detailed log of all of your dives.  

Skill Improvement 

For many people, scuba diving is a regular activity, a hobby, a passion, not just a one-time thing.

Therefore, if you plan on having the best diving experiences, you must learn from your mistakes and improve your diving skills.

Not only will this make diving easier and more enjoyable, but much safer too.  

We all have our weaknesses, and this goes for divers too.

For example, you may have trouble with controlling your buoyancy or with air consumption.

Keeping a log of the relevant details can help you identify areas where you need improvement, and if your logs are good enough, you should also be able to determine how to solve these various issues.  

It’s all about improving all aspects of your scuba diving to maximize the results.

For instance, if you keep a record of your air consumption and factors that affect it, it can help you get that much closer to your maximum no-decompression time limit.  

Dive Logging

Future Reference 

Another reason is simply for future reference. It could be as simple as you wanting to dive in a location that you have previously dived, but do not remember what the conditions were.  

Keeping a dive log will help you prepare for future dives in the same location.

For instance, the first time you went, you may not have had the right amount of weight compared to the temperature of the water, thus negatively impacting your buoyancy.

It’s all about being prepared for a dive site in every way.  

Proof of Experience 

If you plan on going further in the scuba diving industry, such as if you want to become a professional diver or scuba instructor, you will need to have proof of all of the dives you have done.

Divers get certification cards, but these do not say how many dives they have completed, simply that they are certified.  

A high-quality scuba diving log is acceptable proof of experience.

Moreover, when you go to dive shops, the pros will examine your log to see if you have the necessary experience and skills to take on the type of diving you are planning on.

No reputable dive shop will accept you without first taking a look at your logbook.  

Capturing Memories 

All of the above points are true, but that said, you may want to keep a dive log is simply to capture all of the great memories, even to make a scrapbook.

Remember, diving can be and generally is fun, and it should create memories that will last you a lifetime.  

Relevant Information to Include in Your Dive Log  

So now that you know why you want to keep a record of your dives, you need to know the kind of information you need to include in your dive log.  

  • Location 
  • Date 
  • Average depth 
  • Maximum depth 
  • Time in 
  • Time out 
  • Water temperature 
  • Tank pressure – start and end 
  • A list of all of your gear 
  • Buoyancy and weight  
Dive Logging

Two Types of Dive Logs 

The other thing to cover is how or where to keep your dive logs.

The old-fashioned method of pen and paper has not gone out of style, at least not yet. You can choose from a variety of dive logbooks from dive shops and online.

Some people like the feel of pen and paper.

That said, you obviously don’t get any special features, nothing automatic or tech-based.  

However, you can always go for a dive computer that will track all the information for you.

These dive computers and dive log apps for phones, tablets, and computers can be beneficial and easy to use, often doing much of the work for you. 


Now you should have what you need to know about how and why to log your scuba diving experiences.  

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