There is a lot of water running through Idaho. It is a land of rivers that crisscross the state like a human circulatory system, filling it with life and green things. There is a lot to do in this water. River rafting in Idaho is a big pastime, and there is no river in the world that does not have an endangered species that has not been fished (And some that do have endangered species, unfortunately). But beyond these things, you might be surprised to learn that scuba diving is a popular thing to do in Idaho. You might think it is something you can only really do if you are out on the ocean, but lake diving is a common activity, and Idaho has plenty of lakes. If you have never been scuba diving before, it can be a little daunting. Getting down beneath large amounts of water is a dangerous thing, and the smallest problem can mean a drowning disaster. To help you keep from getting in over your head, here are some things you should know about scuba diving so that you can avoid problems and have a safe and fun time.
The route you are almost certainly going to take is scuba lessons. Anything else would be very dangerous or not much fun. While scuba diving is not uncommon in Idaho, that does not mean it is common either, so you might have trouble finding a place that will teach you to dive for a good price. Regardless, you will need to find somebody who will help you with this, otherwise, you are not going to be doing any scuba diving. Furthermore, any scuba instructor is going to take the learning process very slow. They want to do everything possible to avoid accidents that might result in your harm or death. This means you are probably going to be doing a lot of “kiddie pool” diving so that if any problems come up all you need to do is stand up in shallow water and take off your mask. You have to be ready to take small steps toward your larger goal of being a scuba master. It is going to take time, and you need to be patient.
One thing to keep in mind is that a scuba mask is not comfortable the first several times you put one on and breath through it. All your life, you have been getting very used to breathing normally, and if you are ever breathing abnormally, chances are it is of your own volition (Holding your breath, for example). Sure, putting the mask on is your choice, but suddenly your breathing is different and irregular, and it can be kind of panicking. This is especially true if you are afraid of or uncomfortable in confined spaces. Whatever your instructor says—and he or she will probably agree with me—you probably want to try putting the mask on and breathing through it before you get in the water. This way (Again), all you have to do is take the mask off if you start to panic or breathing becomes too difficult. There will not be any flailing around in the water because you think you are suffocating. You can also learn whether or not scuba diving is for you. Maybe you just cannot handle the stress of having your breathing and vision restricted and—knowing there is no shame in the fact—you come to the realization that scuba diving just does not fit your personality and needs.
Additionally, as I just mentioned, scuba masks make it hard to see. They need to be air tight, which means a lot of strong material to keep water from getting in. When trying the mask on in safe conditions, this might just be an annoyance, but when you are actually diving, your restricted vision can be kind of dangerous. As you get deeper, your vision will get worse as light from above water starts to diminish. If you know anything about deep sea diving to find ships wrecks, you have probably heard that one of the most dangerous things that can happen is losing where you are, and not having enough air in your tank to find your way to the surface. Most of the time, you are not going to have any trouble, as you probably are not going to do much ship wreck exploring, but you have to keep in mind that scuba diving is done in the dark without a full field of normal vision.
Movement in water is both easier than movement on land and harder. On one hand, you are lighter underwater, especially if you have a buoyancy compensator that can keep you from floating up or falling down. You have total freedom of movement and can go up or down at will. On the other hand, water quite a bit denser than air (Everyone knows this the second they learn how to swim). Quick and powerful movements will be slow and taxing on your body. You will get tired faster, and the more you try to move quickly, the more the water is going to get in the way. One thing you should learn is: slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Panicky and thoughtless movements will earn you mistakes. While being deliberate and careful, you will make a lot more progress.
Scuba diving is a very freeing experience. It is a feeling like no other to be floating in an open and blue space, suspended or supported by nothing but the water around you. However, it can be dangerous. If you do not keep an eye on your air, or if something unexpected goes wrong, it will not take very long before you are in deep danger of drowning. You need the knowledge and safe experience to make scuba diving work, and that means practice and a teacher that knows what they are doing. Otherwise, you are better off just grabbing a snorkel.