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What You Need for a Successful Dive

What do you need to dumpster dive?

If you want to get started right away, you can dd (dumpster dive) with nothing. No special equipment is necessary. But I like to have a few things always with me when I go out.


If you are going to dive at night, you really should invest in a good headlamp. They don’t cost too much. This way your hands are free to dig. And you don’t drop your phone in the dumpster while using it as a flashlight. Trust me. 🙂

Hand Sanitizer

I ALWAYS keep hand sanitizer on me. Even if I didn’t touch anything gross, I make sure to sanitize my hands. It’s a good habit to get into. Better safe than sorry. Bags

Bags of any sort work. I use reusable bags simply because I have so darn many of them. But plastic works just as well. It’s easier to throw things in a bag than pull them out one at a time. Bags also make it much easier to haul it all into the house when you get home.

Other things I don’t personally use, but others do:


Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I should wear gloves every time I dive. But I don’t. I have a weird thing about wearing gloves for anything other than warmth. If you chose to wear them, get a pair of work gloves. Just something that will protect your hands from being sliced open.Grabber

Grabbers are great for dumpster diving. They allow you to get stuff out of the dumpster without actually getting in it. I have yet to find a really great grabber. Most of the ones I get end up breaking by the second dumpster. A tip on finding a good grabber: don’t buy one that is less than $5. Otherwise you will end up leaving it in a dumpster.


If you can’t easily pull yourself up, you may want to bring a stool with you when you dive. You can use pretty much anything you want for this: a step stool, milk crate, chair, ect. Just makes it easier if you have no upper body strength. A really great idea is attach a rope to your stool. That way you can pull it in the dumpster to use to get back out.

Junk clothes/shoes

While you don’t have to have a dedicated set of diving clothes, I would recommend not wearing your Sunday’s best. I usually go in a t-shirt and jeans, or an old hoodie. I do however have a special winter coat so I don’t have to worry about tearing my expensive one.

Up next, what to do when diving goes wrong.

*Please be aware that I am using affiliate links in this post. That means if you make a purchase through my link, I get paid.*

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