I had no choice.
It was a Sunday Summer evening as I arrived by bus to the small town of Narvik, situated in the North of Norway.
In the morning I planned to grab the first train back to Sweden and then onwards to Finland.
However, I was armed with one problem.
All the Shops where Closed.
Narvik Is a very small town and I had no intentions of staying for a long period of time, I had my tent in my backpack and had planned to camp by the lake.
I had not prepared myself for shops closing early on a Sunday in Norway.
I had to think on my Feet as everything was closed, The city seemed to be empty and all I could see was one closed Supermarket.
Rather than going hungry for the night I wondered if the shop had chucked anything out from that day?
It Said the store was briefly open, but by the time I arrived by bus from Tromso it had already closed.
Low and behold outside was two bins.
Surely, I thought to myself there must be at least something edible in them?
I was too hungry not to investigate.
Backpacking around Norway was one expensive trip.
Norway is ranked as one of the most expensive countries in the world and I was living off cheap macaroni and sauce that I cooked on my portable stove.
Any food for free was a much needed bonus.
As I opened the Bin I was shocked to find lots of edible food.
I did feel guilty, but this guilt quickly faded away when I realized it was just going to head directly to landfill, so why not?
The shop had only closed a few hours before and I was shocked to still find many items to still be cold.
Fresh bread, salad, juice, Ham, sandwiches, Pasta, crisps.
All of it was still good to eat, it had passed its sell by date and was mostly still fresh.
Rather than going hungry that night I had a complete feast all for free, in Norway of all places!
Even in the most expensive destinations if you have a determination to eat you can find a way.
Here I have put together some tips to help you with your journey into Dumpster diving:
Tips for Dumpster Diving:
• Some stores lock bins over night and it’s against the law to force your way into a locked bin, check before you gave it ago.
• Leave the area how you found it, don’t leave a mess around the bins or the store might decide to lock up the bins over night.
• Only take what you will eat, Don’t cause extra mess and leave food for others that might wish to do the same.
• The homeless might depend on dumpster diving in some communities, only choose this option if it’s in a less busy location. Some stores help the homeless when it’s closing time, so only use this option if you’re really stuck.
• Bakers and Sandwich shops chuck sell by date stock out daily, customers demand fresh goods. Pass by stores close to closing time and ask politely, you might be in luck.
• Avoid high risk foods such as: Dairy, eggs, Fish and meat, it’s too much of a risk to your health.
• Cans, bottles or tins are normally put in the bin due to the items being out of date, check the date first before consuming, if its within a day then it might be ok.
• items might be put in the bin for a reason, maybe a returned item or its been spoiled, make sure you check the colour of the items and do a smell test before you consume.
Most importantly I’m only suggesting this method not advising it, you can freely make the choice yourself if you wish to Dumpster Dive, please don’t complain to me if you get ill, I have stated that it’s been put in the bin for a reason so you run your own personal risk if you wish to take this path.
You never know what you might discover and save the planet and your wallet all in the process, super! Good luck with your Dumspter Diving journey!
What do you think of the concept of Dumpster Diving? Great for the environment? Great money saver or just pure gross? Let me know in the comment section below: