Chief of these experiences is most certainly dumpster diving.
If you, like most people I know, think D.D. is only for hippies and the homeless, think again, my friend. First of all, it's not a bad way to get a thrill. It's done in the dark, clandestinely ("kept secret or done secretively, esp. because illicit") with head torches. Sometimes the cops roll up. (So what, pour the cops a cup...or offer them a Dunkin Donut). Which brings me to what equipment one would need for rollicking around in dumpsters.
1. Head torch: I would highly recommend my Petzl Tikkina 2. The AAA batteries last a while and it has two brightness settings. Great for dumpster diving and running at night. If you don't have a head torch or flashlight, you might as well stay home because even if there's a free flashlight in the dumpster, you will never see it.
2. Gum boots: rubber boots, wellies, rain boots- whatever. Just use them. One time my friend sent me in the Dollar General dumpster that had 4 inches of cesspool dumpster juice in the bottom and that was the first and last time I didn't wear boots. It was straight out of one of those scenes in a movie where the fair lady or puppy is standing on the last rock careening down a river of lava and the rock starts to sink. Except your friend is like, "I'm not saving you 'til you get me that toy!"
3. A truck: it's really not the worst to use your car/van but you will find a lot of stuff if you know when to go and it will smell like garbage inside the car if for no other reason than you're in it and you've been in a dumpster. SO much easier to hose the bed of a ute down instead of your fabric seats.
4. Obviously, appropriate clothing: don't wear anything with reflectors or a pretty price tag, you moron. Wear dark, old clothes.
5. Bandanna: forget about looking sexy. You're wearing old clothes, and despite the bandanna that generally keeps you from smearing whatever scum the reject bags of garbage left on your hands into your hair, it still falls in your sorry face. Oh, and you smell like the inside of a garbage can.
6. An auspicious attitude: so cheesy, I know. But seriously, you're dumpster diving! It's kind of like trespassing...(it solidly is) but with some serious purpose behind it. Truly, you find great stuff in there sometimes so be optimistic. No rats yet and not a lot of this-is-so-revolting-I-can't-handle-this moments either.
As I write, my lab Kiwi is reclining on the bed next to me in front of her beloved, oscillating dumpster fan. The greatest store to DD behind is one that sells lawn/tractor/farm equipment. Their dumpsters are always clean, relatively odorless, and everything in there has a label on it for what's wrong with it. "Parts missing", " hose leaks", "fan doesn't work". It's great.
So, what's our greatest find? Oh, a three foot blow torch. It gets hooked up to a propane tank. BAM.
Netflix has a cool documentary called Dive! that me and my fellow diving friend watched last weekend (she goes religiously every week and feeds her family and shares with a few others).
Here's the thing, don't knock it 'til you've tried it and done some research. I'm so over people judging things before they've tried them. Like using athlete's foot spray to combat both athlete's foot and poison ivy. Such a brilliant stroke of genius.