Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book Review: 98.6 Degrees - The Art Of Keeping Your Ass Alive

Cody Lundin is a hippy no doubt but he also walks the walk. He lives in the Arizona desert in an "Eco-friendly dwelling", runs a school called Aboriginal Living Skills and doesn't wear shoes MOST of the time...that's right...no shoes. His book 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive is a winner as far as I am concerned. This guy is a no BS get down to business, live a simple life and leave a small footprint (did I mention he doesn't wear shoes?) type dude.

Cody's writing style is simple making the book an enjoyable read and there are crazy illustrations of characters he uses to drive home the points he makes in his book. I found the book entertaining as well as informative.


The book breaks down like so:
Chapter 1 : Survival Situations: How Do They Start
Chapter 2 : Survival vs. Primitive Living or "Living off the Land"
Chapter 3 : Survival Psychology and the Importance of Proper Prior Training
Chapter 4 : Why Fear Sucks (what a great name for a chapter - flea)
Chapter 5 : Dealing with a Survival Scenario: Attitude, Adaptation and Awareness (Great chapter)
Chapter 6 : Reducing the Threat of the Survival Situation: The Seven P's (Another great VERY SHORT chapter. Cody sums it up to planning and he does it in 2 pages)
Chapter 7 : What it Takes to Stay Alive
Chapter 8 : The Most Common Way to Push Up Daisies in the Outdoors (This guy has a talent for chapter naming - flea)
Chapter 9 : How Your Body Loses and Gains Heat
Chapter 10 : Your First Line of Defense
Chapter 11 : About Your Rescuers
Chapter 12 : Helping Rescuers Bring You Back Alive
Chapter 13 : What is a Survival Kit
Chapter 14 : Survival Kit Components
Chapter 15 : Summary
Chapter 16 : The Amazing "The drawings and photos are really cool but I am too lazy to read this book" Cliff Notes (I love this guy - flea)

The first 12 chapters are for the most part short and to the point. Cody does a wonderful job of making it perfectly clear that attitude and planning are paramount in survival. Having the right state of mind, a positive attitude and being able to make clear and informed decisions will go a long way in preventing your early exit from this planet. He spends a lot of time on hypothermia and hyperthermia, how to recognize them and more importantly how to prevent them through the proper use of clothing. Tips for making it easy to be rescued are given as well. You would be amazed how many folks wander into the wilderness without letting anyone know where they are going. My God people let someone know where you are going, so if you don't come back they at least know what area to start searching in!

The remainder of the book Cody gives some great tips on building a survival kit and why everyone should have one. He is a big believer in items that have multiple uses like garbage bags (collect water, rain gear, emergency shelter, etc). His advice on building survival kits does not require a ton of money and he is not a big believer in commercial kits. He says they are overpriced, sacrifices are made with regard to quality and you can do a better job of putting one together yourself. I won't give away too much...I do recommend the book though.

I also bought Cody's newest book When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes which I will also be doing a review of in the near future. That is all for now folks, enjoy this very entertaing and easy to read book!

...that is all.

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