As the co-host of The Discovery Channel’s popular Dual Survival series, Cody Lundin is becoming one of the most recognized survival experts in the world. Cody is the author of two bestsellers 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive and When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes, and he has become famous for walking through swamps, deserts, forests, and mountainsides in his bare feet.
Cody’s expertise in survival skills is a result of a lifetime of personal experience in exploring self-reliant living. He spent two years in a deep forest brush shelter sleeping on pine needles, and has recently designed and built a solar earth Arizona home where he captures rainwater, composts all his organic waste, and has brought his heating and cooling bills to zero: A tall order in the Northern Arizona high desert where temperatures can range from -20 to +110 degrees F.
Cody is now in his twentieth year at the Aboriginal Living Skills School which he founded in Prescott, Arizona, and where he trains people of all ages and from all backgrounds Skills Courses to provide hands-on experiences of primitive and survival technologies; and Adventure Courses which include prolonged cross-country treks while hunting and gathering for food.
CY Interview magazine called Cody The Most Famous Barefoot Man Since Fred Flintstone, and I had the opportunity to discuss his trend setting shoeless lifestyle with him in a recent conversation.
Cody explains that his choice to spend more than two decades in bare feet is a personal lifestyle choice which makes him feel comfortable. As an aboriginal skills expert he is well aware that many native people did not use footwear, and he reminds us that shoes are a fairly recent homo sapiens invention and that “human history and time” is on his side.
The barefoot lifestyle has its limits for Cody, but they are only in the most extreme settings. In Peru, he had to craft makeshift sandals out of a Volkswagen tire in order to cross searing hot, sharp volcanic rock expanses covered in prickly cactus. He will also put on three pairs of woolen socks for extended forays into arctic snow. Civilization forces Cody to compromise as well. He claims that he has to force himself to wear flip flops to enter restaurants and board airplanes.
Cody Lundin testifies that his barefoot Abo Dude image which Backpacker magazines termed Heavy Metal Meets Ancient Native American “is a lifestyle for me, not just a way to make a living.” His commitment to walking barefoot is a reflection of his overall philosophy about outdoor survival: “Most backpackers today travel in a gear bubble. And when your livelihood is totally reliant on modern gear technology, the prospect of that technology failing can be pretty scary.”
My conversation with Cody proved him to be a worthy torch bearer for the advantages and healthful benefits of the barefoot lifestyle. Walk on, Cody Lundin, walk on!