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281 of 292 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2008
This book is focuses on urban survival. I would recommend this for any person initially looking into the subject matter, but not to anyone that is primed already. Although well written, you will have to further your knowledge on certain topics with supplemental reading. I feel like I got a huge start with this book with a lot of direction on where I need to study further.

Written in an easy to read format, Lundin does a good job at grabbing you and keeping your attention throught the book. There are lots of silly figres with helpful tips, drawings and blocked out page sections further detailing subject matter.

The first 60 pages are dedicated to the psychological effects of a disaster and trying to mentally prep for survival. He then lays out a nice piority pyramid and starts getting into the meat of the matter, including transportation, lighting, first aid, communications, cooking, shelter, food, clothing, water, and sanitation.

Topics I feel I dont need to research further after reading this book include body temp regulation (he has another book more dedicated to this) and clothing, nutrition, water storage and sanitation, solar cooking, a preparadness "bug-out" kit, general hygiene and sanitation, lighting, and communications.

Topics I do feel I need to read more on are specific food storage, fire starting, more detailed first aid, shelter building, alternate energy sources, indoor shelter temp control, homestead and food storage defense, edible wild foods, trapping, skinning, tanning, meat curing and storing etc... In Lundins defense a lot of these topics are more for wilderness survival, and this was not really the focus of this book.
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137 of 145 people found the following review helpful
Having read Cody's "98.6" book, I was eagerly looking forward to this book. I'll say up front that this book's writing style isn't as good as 98.6 but it's a great value that I recommend.

Cody's strength is his experience and blunt comments that really try to get the message through. The book is vast in its coverage (450 pages) so you really get a great value for your dollar. I really like how the book covers non-obvious topics and gives you historical examples/studies where people learned the hard way to help reinforce the point.

Cody's weaknesses are that he comes across as more condescending than in 98.6 and often seems to repeat himself far too much. I sometimes think that Cody believes we are all scared little creatures psychologically incapable of surviving without his 80 page "yes-you-can" lecture. I don't mind some encouragement here, but it should definitely be scaled back as it isn't one of his strengths and shouldn't require so much text. And as for the repetitiveness, for example, by to 20th time you read about how worthless our government is, you feel like saying "I get it, Cody, preaching to the choir." There are indeed too many political, personal, and off-topic concepts in this book. Stick the meat of what the title advertises. Cut off the fat from this book and you'd probably arrive at about 300 pages of solid and wonderful content.

Enjoyed the coverage about water, food, sanitation, body temperature, etc. Well done and informative. The self defensive chapter was hugely disappointing. It seemed more suited for daily urban survival at the local bar and not for catastrophe survival. I agree with Cody that food and water are often greatly overlooked by the Gold/Guns crowd, but to have hardly any advice about firearms seems bizarre. I am not recommending to have guns out of fear but out of reality. Imagine if someone with a gun comes for your supplies or loved ones and the only thing you know how to do is close combat fighting. Guess who will control the situation? And know that guns were confiscated illegally by law enforcement during Hurricane Katrina from law abiding people.

Yes, there are times where it seems Cody may not have listened to his editors or earlier reviewers based on my comments above and a lack of 'polish' on the text. And yes, the cutesy drawings are out of place. However, despite my minor complaints, for a very low price you get such a wide range of very useful information. At minimum the book will make you think in more depth about the subject at large. Most likely though you will learn a amazing amount of survival information. Either way Cody may have helped saved your life someday.
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232 of 255 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 24, 2008
I had high expectations for this book and perhaps that's why I am a little disappointed. I thought it lacked organization and editing and perhaps was a little heavy on the funky side.

* Replace some of the cartoons with more specific sketches

* Rate measures as to their effectiveness and difficulty

* Serve as a foundation

There were a lot of nuggets and reminders. One was that a .22LR is a lightweight rifle suitable for most small game and certainly effective in stopping another human that wants to cause harm if properly used. Ammunition is cheap and lightweight. It is all useless without practice.

The section on hygiene was great.

More guidance on threat assessment would be helpful as what's needed depends on the prospective challenges, goals and characteristics of the area. What are the worst case scenarios, would you need to leave the place where you normally live or live in-place without outside support and stuff like utilities. Are the natives friendly? What's the prevailing weather? What are the reader's goals - personal survival, family survival, help neighbors and family.

Perhaps the real answer is a bundle of smaller books including a pocket guide to handling medical problems and a survival guide to pack with the gear.

Fun reading but time invested is not adequately rewarded.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2008
The author, Cody Lundin, is a professional survival instructor in Prescott, Arizona. He lives "off the grid in a passive solar earth home in which he catches rain, composts wastes, and pays nothing for heating or cooling."

This book on urban survival can help you prepare for such emergencies as a natural disaster in your area, a debilitating or deadly viral epidemic, or extreme and violent "civil unrest" propagating from one cause or another. Any of these emergencies can put you in a situation where no one can help you but yourself: water and food, medicine and first-aid, hygiene and sanitation, warmth, comfort and light will only be available if you've prepared and made provision for them beforehand.

Lundin surveys home-based survival needs. Topics covered are psychological preparation and mental health, shelter, cooling and heating, water, food, sanitation, hygiene, lighting, cooking, first-aid, self-defense, communications, transportation, and the bugout bag. If you don't know the survival value of household chlorine bleach, you will by the end of this book.

While the coverage is not exhaustive (it would be naive to expect it to be), each topic is given enough attention to take you from blissful ignorance to a solid foundational understanding of what it takes to survive when society breaks down, and how to prepare yourself and equip your home for (at least temporary) self-reliance during very bad times.

This book does not cover wilderness survival: it won't teach you how to construct a debris shelter, make cordage, set-up a Paiute deadfall trap, or how to create fire by friction. Nor does it cover long-term self-reliance topics such as goats and chickens, gardens, food preservation and storage, baking, leather making, or how to set up your home to live permanently and comfortably off the grid. But what it does cover, it covers well and with a real understanding of what living under such conditions entails.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2007
If you get any preparedness book, get this one. Cody Lundin, a wilderness survival expert, gives us urbanites a solid course in what you really need to survive a disaster, step by step. Where many books (and TV shows) promote a fearful attitude, I found this book calming, because he explained so clearly what you might face in the days after a disaster and how to handle each as they came.

He uses short bites of information and lists along with extended explanations so this book can be actually be used in an emergency without having to wade through pages of data to find what you need, but you get a thorough knowledge of the reasoning behind what you'll be doing.

I've read quite a few of these books and this is the best one I've found by far.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2009
Cody Lundin provides some great information once you get past the endless disclaimers, defensive fronts, and critical commentary about "the establishment". The cartoons are quite often bizarre, trying to be helpful by keeping the book from getting dull... but because they are often irrelevant, tend to cheapen the book's technical value.

One of my biggest beef's with this book are the constant criticism's of "the establishment". I found myself thinking frequently, "Yeah Cody, we get it... FEMA sucks, the government is corrupt, and depending on the grid is bad. Can we move on?"

Beyond that, the other point of feedback I have to offer is the amount of time and energy spent in the book trying to educate people on how to live happier, healthier lives. Making lifestyle changes, leveraging the power of positive thinking, evoking forces of the cosmos to respond to the words "I AM", etc. While I do not dispute any of these suggestions for living a more fulfilling life, it seems these tangents are a bit off topic and, in some sections, Cody's anti-God spiritual opinions are not welcome.

In Summary, I would probably be more accepting of all the off-topic diatribe if the title and description of the book were more accurately coined "Cody Lundin's thoughts on how to live life before, during and after a disaster."
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97 of 118 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 4, 2008
When All Hell Breaks Loose

"If you are going through Hell, keep going."--Winston Churchill

Once upon a summer day, a Grasshopper hopped and danced and sung to his heart's content. An Ant passed, dragging a huge sack of powdered milk, beef jerky, and salt.
"Why not come and sing karaoke and do a Jell-O(tm) shot with me," chirped the grasshopper, "Instead of breaking your back, working all day?"
"I am preparing for hard times ahead," said the Ant, "and I recommend you do the same."
"Why worry about winter?" said the Grasshopper. "There's plenty of food right now."
But the ant continued his hard toil. When winter came, the shivering grasshopper had no food and found himself slowly dying of hunger. So, he kicked down the Ant's door only to find out that the Ant had completed a comprehensive martial art training regimen that focused on close-quarters combat and self-defense, and that food was not the only thing the Ant had packed away. Only then did the Grasshopper realize that...

It is best to be prepared for the days of necessity. Haven't you ever stayed awake late at night running through "what if" scenarios? Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornados, zombies, asteroid strikes -- you didn't build that bomb shelter in the backyard just for the kids to use as a playhouse. Well, grab your gasmask and a copy of When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cody Lundin.

He is not another paranoid survivalist huddled in a cave spouting Bible verses and lovingly stroking his guns. 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. His expertise in practical self-reliance skills comes from a lifetime of personal experience, including designing his own off the grid, passive solar earth home.

This book is not going to teach you how to wrestle an alligator, or try to convince you that all you have to do is gaze into your backyard to find endless amounts of wild edible plants, or that wild game is there for the taking. Hunting and trapping are true arts and require practice, the right equipment, and the proper environment to be successful. What this book will do is provide the knowledge to help you survive the standard survival scenario, which lasts about seventy-two hours, in the most practical, affordable, simple and realistic way possible.

The book is divided into two parts. Part one deals with the psychological aspect of surviving. According to the author "surviving a life-threatening scenario is largely psychological on the part of the survivor(s). Get this fact into your head now that living through a survival scenario is 90 percent psychology, and 10 percent methodology and gear." He covers how to define your survival priorities with his "Pyramid of Needs" and great checklists for preparing you physically, mentally and emotionally, as well as spirituality and the equipment you are going to need. This section will give you the common-sense foundation upon which to base your survival plan.

The second part of this basic survival guide contains the information to keep your physical body alive. Specific chapters on emergency sanitation, water, food, first aid, communication, and more are presented in the most practical detail as possible. Entire books have been devoted to each of the above subjects. So, don't expect this book to cover every possible aspect of these skills, but appreciate the excellent overview..

Perhaps the greatest survival skill of all is being able to keep calm in the face of chaos. This is accomplished by being sensibly prepared and not scared. It may sound romantic to live off the fat of the land. You may have a great yearning to live wild and free. I sometimes get the urge to grow a beard, live in a cave, and become a combination of Grizzly Adams and Daniel Boone, and then I realize that many indigenous peoples died young and died hard. No one plans to find himself in a survival situation. That's part of what makes those situations so terrifying when they happen. This book can be a useful for keeping you and your family alive, or you can pray and wait for FEMA...

Are you an Ant, or a Grasshopper? [...] Hurry, before the world ends: get"Hobo Finds A Home", a children's book about a cat that didn't wait to inherit the earth. Grab your popcorn and get ready for "Hobo: The Motion Picture", coming in 3D and Dolby surround sound.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2008
Ive known Cody for a long time. This book is not only a manual on how to survive an urban catastrophe its timely message for us to examine or spiritual connection to the earth and the reason where on the planet. Heres a great video with Cody catching,cooking and eating a rat. Its hard to imagine having to do such a thing but just imagine that this is already taking place in many countries where water,famine,war are at the doorstep.
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64 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2011
Save your money. Very little real world advice unless you think you're going to have to survive on bugs and rats, and enjoy cute little cartoon character illustrations. This guy is a wilderness survival instructor, not any kind of expert on how to survive any kind of major disaster, collapse or calamity in an urban or suburban setting. He lives "off the grid" in AZ near Prescott. He's appeared on TV in various survival shows an isn't particularly scintillating there, either. There were a couple of bright spots around sanitation and figuring basal metabolism rate to determine caloric needs, but not much worth reading beyond that. For example, he spent an entire chapter on "sensibly serious self defense" where he simply recounts a conversation with a martial arts expert. Most of what they talked about was simple common sense, "don't look for trouble, don't look like you're looking for trouble" and take a street fighting self defense course, not karate. Not a bad idea, but a whole chapter of almost nothing but? If you want to read a book with real suggestions for dealing with real world disasters and collapses that can be applied to almost any scenario where there is potential for rioting, looting, violence and economic hardship, read "Surviving the Coming Economic Collapse" by Aguirre. He and his family actually lived through it in Argentina, which is something few of these authors have done. It doesn't have everything you might like to learn about, but it does advise how to deal with so many of the issues we'll face if the "system" collapses for whatever reason.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2008
I like Cody's casual writing style, however, I was anticipating a book with more meat and potatoes instead of the philosophy of survival which a vast majority of this book is actually about.
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