Friday, March 16, 2012

When All Hell Breaks Loose

No, this isn't a rant about electoral dysfunction.  It's a thumbnail review of a great book that could literally save your life!  Anyone who has seen The Discovery Channel's program "Dual Survival" will recognize Cody Lundin.   He is the braided, barefoot "Bush Hippy" half of the duo.  Cody is an expert on primitive living and outdoor survival skills.  He may look like a Hobbit that went to Woodstock, but his creativity and effective use of applied physical science deeply impressed me.
Cody is an author of multiple books, including the one I'd like to discuss here, "When All Hell Breaks Loose:  Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes".  This isn't a how-to manual for surviving a zombie apocalypse or an invasion of blue-helmeted peacekeepers.  It is a series of chapters on how to use materials that are probably already in your home to meet the basic survival needs:  shelter, water, food, hygiene/sanitation, illumination, cooking, first-aid, communications, etc.  There is even a brief chapter on self-defense.

The first twenty percent of the book is devoted to mindset; the mental strength and perspectives necessary to prevail when the basic infrastructure that most of us depend upon is unavailable.  From there he discusses each of the previously mentioned topics in a thorough but easy-to-read style.  Cody is not a gear-whore.  He will recommend good equipment, but he is an expert at utilizing common household items in surprising ways.  Some examples: 

How to pasteurize contaminated water using only clear plastic soft drink bottles and direct sunlight.

How to use clear plastic sheeting to build a surprisingly warm shelter.

How to construct an efficient sleeping bag from trash bags, duct tape, and newspapers.

How to safely build a latrine that won't kill everyone around from typhus.

The point of this book is to help you get through whatever disaster has broken down our comfortable utilities safely and in good health.  I encourage everyone to at least read this book once.  It costs less than having a pizza delivered and having it in your home could save you a lot of grief when that hurricane or that ice storm leaves you without power or running water for a week straight.

Buy it.  Read it.  Be prepared, not scared.  

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