Dumpster Dive for These Survival Tools

It sounds hard to believe, but you can find some life-saving survival gear in the dumpster when SHTF.

People throw away all sorts of stuff. Old clothes that don’t fit anymore, cooking equipment, and old tools are just some of the things you can find.

The stuff we think of as trash in everyday life can be made into amazing tools when SHTF. Here are just a few of these “junk” items that you’ll want to go dumpster diving for, or hang onto, when SHTF.

Aluminum Foil

It might not seem like it, but aluminum foil isn’t just junk…it’s a useful survival tool when SHTF.

You can change the shape of foil into anything you want. It’s especially helpful at mealtime where you can use it to make cups, bowls, and plates.

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.

Tilt each panel of the foil so the sun’s rays are focused in the center. This will allow you to cook food even if you don’t have the luxury of a fire.

Of course, aluminum foil found in the trash is going to be dirty, so you’ll need to clean it off first.

Trash Bags

Trash bags are a versatile survival tool when you know how to use them.  And luckily, they’re extremely common and mass produced, so there won’t be a shortage of trash bags any time soon.

The uses for trash bags are limitless. Here’s just a few of the most common uses.

Trash bags can be used as a makeshift water bladder, so you can bring water reserves back to camp.  You can use them to carry pretty much anything. Water, food, or any extra supplies you need to gather.

Trash bags can be worn as clothes for protection against the elements. Wear one like a poncho to avoid getting rained on or wear one as a shield to protect against sun burns.

Trash bags can also be used to make cordage. Twist and weave the trash bag to create surprisingly strong home-made rope.

Aluminum and Tin Cans

Aluminum and tin cans are good for some of the same things as aluminum foil, but they aren’t as flexible, which limits their usefulness somewhat.

The obvious use for cans is that they can be used to store liquids. This makes them convenient cooking tools. Take the top off a can and you can use it as a small cooking pot or a stove.

You can also make a can into a makeshift shovel, an alarm system when strung together with other cans, and the tabs can be used as fishing lures.

A can also works as a self-defense weapon in a pinch. Pull the top off a can and the sharp edges of the top can be used as a jagged knife.

Trash Can

While trash cans aren’t as versatile as the other items on this list, they’re still worth scavenging for.

Trash cans are usually fairly durable and make good water containers. Having the ability to store large amounts of water is important because you never know when you’ll get another large supply.

You can also use them as pots to grow edible plants. This is especially useful during winter because you can bring your plants indoors to protect them from the cold.

They can also be used to make small animal traps. Catch small animals like squirrels and rabbits to add much needed protein to your diet.

There’s so much more that can be found in dumpsters than just these items, but this should give you an idea of where to start.

You’d be amazed by what people throw away. It’s true what they say: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Go searching sometime and see what cool stuff you find! Let us know in the comments below what amazing stuff you’ve found on the side of the road or in dumpsters.


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