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98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive Paperback – Illustrated, June 23, 2003

367 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


This outrageously straightforward survival book teaches you what you need to know, now, to live through virtually every survival scenario. (Los Angeles Daily News 2003-08-14)

From the Inside Flap

A destined underground classic, 98.6: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive is a nonstop thrill ride, jam-packed with commonsense modern survival skills for the backcountry, the backyard, or the highway. Author Cody Lundin, founder and director of the nationally recognized Aboriginal Living Skills School, shares his own brand of wilderness wisdom based on the unique principle of keeping the body's core temperature at a lively 98.6 degrees.

In his no-nonsense and informative style-paired with outrageously hip visuals-Cody stresses that a human can live without food for weeks, and without water for several days. But if the body's core temperature dips much below or above the 98.6-degree mark, a person can literally die within hours. It is a concept that many don't take seriously or even consider, but knowing what to do to maintain a safe core temperature when visiting the great outdoors could save your life.

Delivered with wit, rebellious humor, and plenty of backcountry expertise, 98.6: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive is destined to not only entertain but to empower the reader with practical advice, information, and detailed instructions of how to create an effective modern-day survival kit using simple, easy-to-find items.

Buy a copy for yourself-and for your grandmother!



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith; Reprint edition (June 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586852345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586852344
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cody Lundin and his Aboriginal Living Skills School have been featured in dozens of national and international media sources, including Dateline NBC, CBS News, USA Today, The Donny and Marie Show, and CBC Radio One in Canada, as well as on the cover of Backpacker magazine. When not teaching for his own school, he is an adjunct faculty member at Yavapai College and a faculty member at the Ecosa Institute. Cody is the only person in Arizona licensed to catch fish with his hands, and lives in a passive solar earth home sixty miles from Prescott, Arizona

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

206 of 217 people found the following review helpful By Ken on August 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's about time I pick up a book that has more than a list of survival skills. In fact, this book doesn't make any attempt to teach you how to trap animals or construct log furniture in the wilderness. Instead, you learn how to idetify potential survival situations and avoid getting into them if possible. If you do, backcountry knowledge will be helpful but it will be even better if you know how to take care of the basics such as controling fear and focusing on keeping your body at a comfy 98.6 degrees. I absolutely loved this book. There is discussion of psychology, biology, and physiology, all in a basic easy to understand format. Lundin's writing style is as if he were there talking to you. One of my personal favorites of the book is the chapter on survival kits, complete with color photographs. I thought I had a pretty good kit but after reading this, I need to make a few changes. If you spend any time in the world, anywhere, I recommend this book. If you want to know how to build monster solar stills, trap wild animals, and spear fish, look elsewhere. This book rocks!
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257 of 273 people found the following review helpful By Ted Fisher on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Excellent book on survival. I am glad someone finally divides "SURVIVAL" from "Wilderness Living Skills" I would venture to say that most people that provide bad reviews of this book are looking for texts in Wilderness Living Skills. There are other books for that. I use 98.6 for a text book in our Search and Rescue Team training. In reality most victims succumb to hypothermia in survival situations other than trying to catch fish with a shoe string and a safety pin. It is reality at its best, presented in a humorous fashion.

Ted Fisher, Vermilion County Search and Rescue
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149 of 158 people found the following review helpful By onliner on May 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Prior to embarking on a rugged solo day hike in AZ's Superstition Wilderness, I read this book cover to cover. (I'm a middle-aged, East Coast trail hiker who hasn't hiked recently, so survival was a major consideration.) My desert day hike turned into an overnight stay on a canyon ledge far from the trailhead. Thanks to Cody Lundin's book, I maintained a "party on" attitude, was fully prepared (both with equipment and mentally), and spent a fabulous night watching the stars. The right attitude is everything! Enjoyed the humor and common sense approach of his writing. His examples stick with you when you need them. Great tips on putting together a practical, personal survival kit that will work anywhere. There's now one in my pack and one in my car. Lots of useful information on how to overcome fear and keep your head.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Mark on February 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book works for many reasons:

1. Unlike alot of wilderness survival books that are cut and paste jobs from military manuals, Cody's book is funny, entertaining, and highly readable while remaining on topic-hence the info conveyed will stay with you.

But don't be fooled by the gonzo approach. Cody knows what he's talking about. The first few chapters about maintaining core body temperature should probably be read more than once.

2. Cody covers the base essentials: wear proper clothing, maintain core body temperature, and prepare for the 72-hour survival window. Learning how to snare a deer, while fun, with your boot string probably won't come into play during most wilderness survival ordeals. (I did actually learn how to do this at a survival course in Virginia.)

And here's the statistical bottomline of Cody's overall philosophy: if you aren't located in the first 72 hours, your chance of survival and rescue drops to 3%. Of course this doesn't mean you give up, but that's the statistical reality.

3. Cody devotes a substantial part of the book on how to build a personal survival kit. I really like his approach: the kit should be portable and cheap; hence, you can build several, test them beforehand, easily replace items, and become intimately familiar with them. No need to buy a $120 Doug Ritter Survival Knife or $150 Delta Life Capsule unless you have money to burn or are a survival gear junkie like me.

4. And let me say one last thing...military manuals written about survival should be taken with a grain of salt; in a survival situation, your goal should be to stay loud and visible until found; in the military, even in a survival situation, our goal is to remain invisible and undetected until rescued; usually with the aid of radio and satellite.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Ragtatter on April 23, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The info contained in this book wasn't bad, but it's painfully obvious that they didn't put a bit of thought into how the lists and illustrations would appear on a Kindle screen . The Kindle registers them as images, not text, so the resizing tool is useless.
Unless you enjoy reading size 3 Arial, buy the physical book, not the Kindle edition.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Elliott on June 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK, here's the deal. If you've ever read through one of the exhaustive, "Military-FM-Type" survival manuals (some of which are really great, by the way - Lofty Wiseman's classic comes to mind), you know that they often detail a half-dozen ways to improvise and use fishing gear, maybe a dozen different snares and deadfalls, and several dozen or more species of wild edibles. Absolutely none of which are included in Cody Lundin's book.

And they darn well shouldn't be. Simple as that.

Because even a cursory glance at survival/rescue statistics will support Cody's assertion that the vast majority of wilderness survival scenarios, barring getting lost in the Amazon or something (if that's a possibility for you, by all means check out Wiseman, but AFTER you've read this -- what's here still applies), occur over a 72 hour period or less. This book is about making it through that three day period. That means that, given an average amount of body fat, you could have not eaten for a couple of WEEKS before you got lost and probably still come out okay. Food's just not an issue for short term survival, folks.

But hypothermia and hyperthermia? Now THOSE are issues, as another casual glance at the statistics will confirm. What's the number one killer? Not a failure to eat. Not a failure to navigate by the stars. Not even a failure to adequately execute a figure-four deadfall. Nope. The number one killer is a failure to adequately regulate core body temperature.

The problem is, everybody else glosses over this particular subject on their way to the really cool improvised fishing tackle and blowguns. I mean EVERYBODY. I love the books by Lofty Wiseman, Greg Davenport, Bradford Angier, and Ray Mears, just to name a few.
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