Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose

In the words of BackHome magazine, “When All Hell Breaks Loose - Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes is aimed toward educating and preparing you and your family for change and the unknown.

Despite the serious nature of the subject, Cody Lundin approaches it in a matter of fact, frequently entertaining manner, without the doomsday approach of typical “survivalist” tomes.” That statement pretty much sums up the whole book. It is one of those non-fiction books that you can read like a novel.


The first addition was published in 2007. It has 450 pages crammed full of info. The book is divided into two major parts. Part One: Head Candy provides you with the common sense foundation upon which to base your survival plan.

Part Two: Hand Candy is all about physical preps and gear. The book is written in an easy to comprehend, elementary monologue. It is full of pictures, illustrations and point making, yet still funny cartons.

About the Author

Cody Lundin is the author of this and one other title (98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive!). He and his Aboriginal Living Skills School have made numerous appearances in the media, including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, CBS News, Fox News, USA Today, CNN, The Discovery Channel Field and Stream magazine, and on the cover of Backpacker magazine.

His expertise in practical self-reliant skills comes from a lifetime of personal experience, including designing his own off the grid, passive solar earth home in which he has an ingenious rain catchment system.

Survival Applications

I really got a lot out of the chapter on sanitation. The author goes into great detail on how to improvise and build stand-in toilets and outhouses. He also teachers you how to effectively compost and dispose of human waste.

In other chapters there is in-depth info on how to dispose of dead bodies, and the author actually includes a couple of recipes for cooking and eating rats and mice. The entire book is filled with many more such practical survival tips.

Favorite Part

My favorite part of the book is probably the chapter on water. Lundin provides you with lots of cool facts and gives you some neat unconventional ideas for purifying water. He gives a really cool recipe for a homemade rehydration solution, a lot of good info on various types of storage containers, and how to keep your water fresh.


It is very hard to find something wrong with this book. The author is not trying to preach any thing radical or unsoundly, he is just getting the word out there. I really enjoyed this book, it may very well be the best book I have read on the topic.


It is a very enjoyable read. I would recommend it for the new survivalist, but I am sure that even the most experienced prepper can find something new in its pages. I would say it is a valuable addition to any survival library.

When All Hell Breaks Loose - Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes -by Cody Lundin

Written by Josh

Josh is a Boy Scout and an avid outdoorsman. He specializes in knives (and other such tools), various knots & lashings, traditional skills such as blacksmithing & woodworking, bushcraft and fire starting. Read his full interview here. Read more of Josh's articles.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose”

  1. I agree that one of the most useful parts of the book was on water purification, which why I will retain the book. But overall I had a difficult time getting though the text due to the writing style I found very annoying. Buy used!

  2. Suburban,

    I haven't read this one yet but from what I understand from Josh the book might be most useful to some newer survivalists.

    As for the writing style, to each his own I guess. I'm going to get have to get a copy soon so I can weigh in.

  3. I am a real lundin fan but I have just started this book and so far annoying cartoons and psychology I hope it gets better as i get deeper.

  4. Have to agree. This book is awsome; and I don't use that phrase often. After checking it out from the library, I ordered two: one for each of my daughters.

  5. Cody gets into the "create your own destiny" stuff pretty thick in the beginning of this book. Its basically a synopsis of another book called The Secret. Skip it, read the rest of the book, color in the pictures or do whatever you have to do to get past them, then go back and read the beginning. I think he is trying to give you the positive mindset in the beginning. Sadly, most people will disbelieve, and would rather hear a pesimistic or armaggedon style preaching to get them motivated.

  6. new to the group here and will definitely check out this book….was curious what a good book for my 9 yr old would be as I am getting her interested in learning these techniques. Was looking for a book that she could read and figure out herself….any thoughts would be appreciated.

  7. THere's another great book called 'SAS' by John 'Lofty' Wiseman…although, like all survival books, it speaks of hunting and things like that, a vegan would have to modify his/her own way. But, this book is a great book to have, trust me.


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