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An Elitists Guide to Dumpster Diving - How to rock your dumpster style

Updated on January 23, 2010

Now I would like to talk about the important thing about dumpster diving, well to a girl at least, and that is what to wear!

What to wear, how to rock your dumpster diving persona. Okay, so, being a girl, I love costumes, so I may go overboard, but please follow these simple guidelines. They apply to both men and women. Women can dumpster dive too!!

Wear real shoes, meaning combat boots, work boots, boot boots. Tennis shoes are okay. No sandals or flip flops, heels or pumps. Nothing open toed. Nothing that can fall off. The thicker the sole the better. And something that you don’t mind getting messed up or dirty. Mind you, you are jumping into unseen territory, there may be broken glass or even worse, NEEDLES. Make it a thick sole, and personally as high up the ankle as possible. You may be jumping into a pile of chow mein, and you just didn’t know.

Clothing wise, just be smart. Long pants. I like cargo pants with as many pockets as possible, so that you can stash the little stuff you find, like jewelry – yessss jewelry. Jeans are great. And again, something that you can mess up and throw right away if you have too and there will be many a night that you will come back home having gotten into something stinky that will not come out. In this case don't even bother trying to get the stink out, just toss toss toss. Shirts, eh, long sleeve if you want, to me this didn’t matter, but I have gotten scraped up, but it never stopped me from wearing a T-Shirt or a tank. The problem with long sleeved shirts is that they can get stuck on stuff and who really wants that. But truly, it is a personal decision as to what you want to do and a long sleeve shirt can be a barrier from all of the ick for some.

You may like a hat, or a hair tie, to keep your hair out of your face, if fact I recommend it unless your hair is really short. Oh, and of course, we now come to the discussion of...

Gloves or no gloves.

Its your choice, work gloves, latex, kitchen, chemical. You will be getting into some gnarly things. Its inevitable. But, for me, I choose to go gloveless. Gloves just get in my way. But if you are squeamish or a little freaked it might be wise to wear some, or keep a pair in your pocket, and keep hand sanitizer in the car or find another hobby. One note on gloves, if you are into something cool, wet, and oozy, you can still feel that through the gloves.

You can just go on a whim dumpster diving and have great success, maybe the best, because I truly feel that is a sport of luck and fortune and hunches, but it is good to have a small arsenal of supplies with you, maybe a special kit that keep with you in the trunk of your car for those just in case, “Will you look at that can!” moments. Most of these are common sense and you should have with you anyways, but it is nice to know that they themselves can have a special purpose for your new hobby. Lets look at what might be useful.

A magnet, a little one a big one, one on a stick or string, something you can fit in your pocket and it is a good idea to bring more than one because these babies get stuck to something and they are gone. A magnet is one of the most important things you will need, especially if you are recycling. For the most part, if the magnet sticks to the metal, like it does to your refrigerator, or really at all, the metal is not good for recycling. You want you magnet to NOT STICK on metals like aluminum or copper, then we know that we have a metal that can be sold.

Rope to tie things to the roof of your car or your cart or to use to tie your trunk shut. String would be useful to use with a magnet to dangle into a can to see if something is worth recycling. I found that the more I scrapped, the more my eye was on those recyclable metals.

Flashlight any kind really but I like having one on a string to wear around your neck. It is so easy to lose things while you are out there. Oh, and don't forget the extra batteries, this is just not something you want to do in the dark, or have to give up on a good can because you can't see anything.

My personal favorite is a poking stick, or grabber. It really helps to have that thing to poke around with to see if the can is even worth it to jump into. You see, we are just not jumping into ANY can.

Tools, ah yeah. I like to carry a full tool bag with me, you will always find that you need something. It seems I always need some screwdrivers, open ends, and real important here, hex keys.

Some water, seems simple, but it is nice to have something to rinse your hands or whatever else off with. And nice to drink too!

Bags, which you can find while diving, just empty one out. You need bags for your recycling, because that’s what we are initially doing, right?? You will need them for your loot too.

A friend to go with you, its safer that way. But you will have to fight over some loot.

So now that you are stylishly dressed and loaded with your gear for dooms day we will next explore whats out there and what we can find and where we can find it!

Why not read them all?! Other exciting hub posts that can be found in this series are:


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      deanoman777 5 years ago

      I was thinking of something to add to your hub.....nothing. You covered all bases. Very well worded hub. I am an avid diver. It pays more than half my bills each month. Good luck and keep posting about diving.

    • peggypat profile image

      Peggy Patrick Medberry 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Wow.. actual dumpster diving fashion.. now that is something I hadn't thought of!!! But hey- who would really dd with heels on... scratch that.. I am sure there is someone that would. :)