Thursday, July 24, 2008

Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose

Well it is time to Review Cody Lundin's second book When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes. You may remember I reviewed his other book 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive and gave it a big thumbs up. Our favorite hippie's sophomore effort is quite impressive to say the least.

This time around Mr. Lundin writes more of a "survival bible" type book as opposed to 98.6 Degrees which was more of a primer on building a survival kit and some basic survival information. This book is roughly twice the size of his first effort and is once again packed with good information.

All your favorite illustrations are back as well. Mr. Lundin uses these characters to help reinforce his points just as he did in the first book. It is not distracting in the least and I actually found them to be quite entertaining. The book is logically organized and flows nicely. It is an easy read but at 400+ pages is not one you will sit down and finish on a lazy afternoon in the yard. This book is VERY thorough as compared to Mr. Lundin's first effort.

The book is broken down as follows:
PART 1: Head Candy
1 - How to Use This Book
2 - Flashback: Grooving to that Feeling of Impending Doom
3 - What is Urban and Suburban Survival?
4 - The Foundation of Your Self-Reliance...and Trust
5 - Predator vs. Prey: A Clue into Your Survival Psychology
6 - You Are What You Eat, and Think, Feel, Speak, Act, and Focus Your Attention On
7 - Getting Hammered By Stress and Fear
8 - The Art of Creative Cooperation and Personal Responsibility
9 - Defining Your Urban Survival Priorities
10 - How Much Stuff Do You Need... and For How Long?
11 - Finding Out What You'll Miss around the House before It's Gone

PART 2: Hand Candy
12 - Gimme Shelter!
13 - Wonderfully Wet and Wanted Water
14 - Familiar yet Fantastic Food
15 - Savvy Yet Simple Significant Substitute Sanitation
16 - Helpful Highlights of Hygiene
17 - Luminous and Liberating Lighting
18 - Crucially Creative Cooking
19 - Fundamental First-Aid
20 - Sensibly Serious Self-Defense
21 - Critical Communications
22 - Tangible Transportation
23 - Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
24 - Epilogue

You may have picked up on the Head Candy and Hand Candy stuff? Mr. Lundin breaks the book down into the needs of the mind and then the body. A very practical way to approach this I believe. Despite what some folks will tell you 90% of survival is psychological or if you prefer to say "the will to live". You can have all the equipment in the world...but if you don't want to survive or don't "think" you can won't.

You remember Mr. Lundin is from what I call "the hippy school of survival" and there isn't anything wrong with that. He is not a proponent on guns and ammo or hoarding gold and silver. He is more about surviving "the cause" of the disaster and not "the effect". I believe this is why he also spends so much time on the psychology of survival. Make no mistake though the advice he gives in quite sound. He is not a fruity, tree-hugging whack job...not that there anything wrong with that sort of thing (whatever floats your boat). Mr. Lundin runs his own survival school and has taught thousands of students so he has put all his methods to the test.

In the practical section of the book Mr. Lundin covers all the bases including shelter, food, water, defense, name it he covers it. I believe his self-defense portion of the book is a little hokey for my tastes but to each their own. Don't get me wrong there are some good recommendations in there on defense I just don't think it goes far enough. I do think that Mr. Lundin does an admirable job of covering everything else...including knowing when to bug out if need be.

I have to say in conclusion that I once again really enjoyed Mr. Lundin's book. He is a very knowledgeable individual and shares all his information freely. He is thorough yet he keeps it playful and entertaining. This book is a more complete compilation on survival than his first book (which was also good). I can recommend this book to the folks out there without any second thoughts. The information you will get will be solid and you will enjoy reading it.

...that is all.

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  1. One topic I don't see addressed nearly often enough in the survivalist community is physical fitness.

    Lots of people seem to spend a lot of time thinking about bug-out-vehicles and/or stuff that'd be in them. But if you look at examples of say, hurricane Katrina, even if you have fuel for your vehicle, the roads are likely to be jammed with all the other people evacuating. (Which, btw, is why I tend to prefer the 'shelter in place' philosophy)

    So, when the roads are impassible, and your souped-up 4x4 BOV is stuck in traffic with everybody else, how far and how fast can you go on 'two feet and a heartbeat'? Can you manage to sustain a good pace on a bicycle for an period of several hours, with a 50-100 lb pack on your back?

    Another thing I don't see addressed nearly often enough is, hand-to-hand combat skills. Your kick-ass sidearm is no good if somebody kicks the crap out of you before you get a chance to draw it.

  2. You will like this book. Mr. Lundin talks about both.