3 Survival Tools Worth Dumpster Diving For

dumpster diving

Dumpster diving may as well be an art form. Especially considering the amount of treasures that people just throw away.

As shocking as it sounds, you can find a lot of useful survival tools in the trash. You just have to know what to look for.

Sure, trashbins and dumpsters are disgusting, filthy, and full of old food and trash. However, hidden among the “junk” are often multi-use items that can seriously come in handy – especially when SHTF.

Are we suggesting you go through your neighborhood dumpster right this minute? Not necessarily. But you’ll find it tempting – especially during a crisis – once you discover these…

3 Survival Tools Worth Dumpster Diving For

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is a very common item people throw away every day. And yet they have no idea how valuable it can be – especially in a crisis.

For one, if you get enough foil you can fold it into any shape you want. This is especially useful for making plates, bowls, cups, and more.

You can also wrap it around your food before cooking over an open flame. This will ensure your food cooks evenly and stays warm and moist.

Not to mention, you can even use this shiny material to make a solar oven. This makes it exceptionally useful for times

Aluminum foil can even be used to cook food without fire. Foil reflects light, which gives it some pretty cool solar uses. One of these uses is to build a solar oven. This is exceptionally useful when you don’t have access to fire starters.

Here’s a video teaching you how to build your own solar oven out of foil:

Of course, we haven’t even skimmed the surface of everything aluminum foil can do. Here’s a cool video showing you even more survival uses:

Trash Bags

Here’s another incredibly common item to find in a dumpster. How many trash bags do we throw away every single day without thinking about it? This is a real waste, considering how important trash bags can be for an SHTF event.

Luckily, survival uses for trash bags are practically limitless. Including…

  • Using them to make a water bladder. Bags are waterproof and seal well, so you can transport water in them with ease (just make sure to purify it before drinking).
  • Cut holes in them and make a poncho. This will help protect your skin from both rain and sunburns.
  • Make cordage by twisting and weaving together strips of trash bag. This can provide surprisingly strong rope.
  • Use the bag to form the roof of your shelter.
  • Make a camping shower by filling the bag with water, tying it up and leaving it in the sun to heat up. Then tie it to a tree branch, poke holes in it, and let the hot water run over you as you shower.

Are these all the survival uses for a trash bag? Heck no. But it’s a good start.

Here’s a video with even more survival uses:

Tin/Aluminum Cans

Tin and aluminum cans (like those containing soup or soda/beer) have the obvious use of being able to store food and liquids. However, that’s just one of their many uses.

For instance, you can pop the top off a can and use it as a cooking pot.

You can also use an open can as a shovel for digging. Then you can store whatever you dig up in the can.

Want a burglar alarm? String a bunch of empty cans together with dental floss and lay them in a line near the outer edge of your campsite. When a burglar comes creeping, he’ll trip the wire, and it’ll make enough noise (as the cans clink and clank together) to alert you of the intruder.

Have you seen the newer cans with pop-off finger tabs? Remove these tabs and use them as fishing lures next time you go to the lake.

But wait. We’re not even close to done. Here’s a couple videos showing you lots more uses for these amazingly simple survival tools.


We haven’t even scratched the surface on all the dumpster items you can use in a crisis. But hopefully this article gives you a bit more appreciation for the usefulness of the things that you (and others) throw away without thinking twice.

Remember that, as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Let us know in the comments what some other items are that you would dumpster dive for to stay alive. Remember – Prepare Now, Survive Later!