When All Hell Breaks Loose, grab a book

People who know me (and know that I am by nature a laid back storyteller) know that I appreciate the literary prowess of Cody Lundin. His writing style is super colloquial yet no-nonsense. He’s a long time survival skills instructor who teaches and makes his home in Arizona. He’s the founder of the Aboriginal Living Skills School and has published a number of books on survival: 98.6 Degrees (published in 2003 and dedicated to the importance of maintaining your core temp) and the one I review today: When All Hell Breaks Loose (first published in 2007 and focused on surviving in an urban environment). 

When All Hell Breaks Loose covers basic survival principles (food, water, shelter, fire, etc.) while also addressing circumstances unique to urban and suburban environments (where most of the world’s population now resides). The sections I found particularly useful dealt with determining how much water you need every day, and how many calories you actually need to function (let me tell you, THIS is an eye-opener even if you’re not in a survival situation as he tells you how to figure out how many calories your body needs based on your body and your activity level). His advice on which foods to sock away is a breath a fresh air in a time when vendors are quick to tell you what you ought to be doing (i.e. buying their products).

Even if you’re not interested in prepping, the information on food and water is worth a read. And, whatever your school of thought on survival and preparedness, if you were to use some of the information from When All Hell Breaks Loose you might save a little on your utility bills. And, if you have kids in Scouting (or if you’re just in touch with your inner child) you’ll love the section on cooking with solar ovens.  

Lundin, to his credit, doesn’t hand everything to you on a silver platter – or a paper plate. You have to work for it a little. You have to figure out how much rainwater you could catch from your roof every year based on average rainfall in your area. You have to do the math to figure out your basal metabolic rate based on your numbers. You have to do some thinking about how prepared you want to be for which potential emergencies. Then, it’s not as easy as going to a website and handing over your credit card number. You have to do the work. And I appreciate that. Too many people suffer in an emergency because they can’t or won’t do what’s necessary to protect themselves. You might as well get some practice in before you need it.

When All Hell Breaks Loose is copiously illustrated. Illustrations and photographs provide good visual information as well as comic relief. That may be the strongest quality of the book: it communicates sometimes fearsome information in a really non-intimidating manner. It doesn’t make the concepts themselves any less frightening, but it does break stuff down for you in a way that makes prepping seem manageable and survival seem possible.

Now, the only downside for me, was the section on self-defense. It’s not that I don’t agree, mind you.  But self-defense is a HUGE topic to try to capture in a single chapter in the latter half of a book dedicated to the nuts and bolts of urban preparedness. It’s not that it’s not important, but the chapter felt a little forced  – as if Lundin himself wasn’t completely comfortable with it. I think that Lundin could’ve handled it better by making the point that you ought to have some martial arts knowledge, maybe making some basic recommendations about where to start looking for information and instruction and left it there. It’s not bad, but that section isn’t his strongest work.

All in all, I really enjoyed When All Hell Breaks Loose.  I highly recommend it. It’s available almost everywhere, or directly through Cody Lundin’s website:  http://www.codylundin.com/  You won’t be able to beat it for no-nonsense survival advice.

As always, thanks for reading.

~ L.

Images © 2007 Cody Lundin

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2 Responses to “When All Hell Breaks Loose, grab a book”

  1. Luke Says:

    I comment whenever I especially enjoy a post on a blog or I have
    something to add to the discussion. Usually it is triggered by
    the fire communicated in the post I read. And after this post When
    All Hell Breaks Loose, grab a book | Legitimate Citizen.
    I was actually excited enough to drop a thought 😉 I do
    have some questions for you if it’s okay. Is it just me or does it look like like some of the responses come across like they are written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I’d like to follow
    you. Could you list every one of all your social sites like your Facebook
    page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    • legitimatecitizen Says:

      Thanks for the great comments.
      Sorry it’s taken so long for us to re-emerge. If you’ve caught our recent entries, you already know why. We stated this blog because we believed that people could use some information that was honest and fair — and not fueled by corporate interests. I remember reading many a prepping blog and thinking, “Gosh, can’t they just simmer down and deliver the facts?!” And that was our motivation. I don’t write anywhere else currently. LC is my primary blog.
      Thanks for reading — it really gives me motivation to know that there are still some thinking people out there!

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