Thursday, January 18, 2018

Putting the Survival Manual to Good Use

Matt D, Former USMC, Father, Musician, Martial Artist and American Brother, shares this personal review of Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual.

He writes: In 2009 I was gifted with this book. At the time I had a job that required me to spend hours riding and would take the book with me every day and read it; then read through it again annually so that I could retain the information. I did not know it at the time, but there would be situations in my life in the years to come where having this book would prove to be a great help.

After graduating college I had to relocate to Minnesota. It was quite a shock to go from living near the ocean to seeing feet of snow fall in one day. I always loved being outdoors and seeing new places, but unfortunately I had an undiagnosed case of PTSD from my time in the Marines. I became very withdrawn and Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual was the first tool that helped me start to come out of my shell.

One winter I found myself trapped in the woods where I was doing some logging with a friend. It was freezing cold with feet of snow. We climbed to the top of a ridge and took shelter under a rocky overhang. Starting a fire out there was very hard to do in the winter, even with a lighter. When you have PTSD it is not always easy to stay calm, but I had the book on me as it stays in my pack, and I remembered the introduction which tells you to stay calm, commit to coming back alive, and then shows you how to make it back safely. I stuck to the techniques of the book, got some dry tinder from inside of tree and went to work creating a successful fire that no doubt saved our lives.

After surviving on the ridge top I began to go outside frequently, reading through each chapter to learn more techniques. I started to be able to enjoy life again as I spent time in the woods, a place that soothed my soul. I even branched out into free climbing and tracking. What I learned from Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual helped me turn the wilderness into a haven and a sanctuary for myself. I now know what to eat, what grows that works as medicine, how to signal for help, and how to catch food even if I have very little to work with. This is a peace that helps calm fears, anxieties, and insecurities.   The more time I spend in the wilderness the less I have problems with my past.

I also owe part of my health and life to this book as I used it, and the Hawkchete, to keep myself, my kids, and an autistic woman alive and well when our team was forgotten outdoors near the north shore 3 years ago.

If you want to learn to survive I recommend reading this book. If you want something to help you recover and take your life back I recommend reading this book as well.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Shared survival story, Ruth's inspiration

I wrote a note to you and Ruth on the feed but got embarrassed & deleted it and it's bugging me that you didn't see my "thank you". I had never been so scared as I was while I looked for my daughter in the woods, and all of the technology that I thought would make all the difference in situations like this were just about useless; gps only showed me two dots in the canopy, then my phone died just as 911 picked up. I pretended that Ruth was next to me and that you were giving me instructions about how to think it through. I really don't have the right words to let you both know how much it helped to have watched MWW & be able to call upon the guidance that you guys gave. My girl has a broken ankle, but it could've been so much worse, and my husband & I are grateful that she learns these lessons while she's still close to home & under our wings. Thank you and please thank Ruth for helping to bring my girl home safely.

Thanks to Kendra for sharing this story and giving us permission to share with Y'all. Peace

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Testimonial from a Fan

Sharing these nice words from a fan:

Hi Mykel and Ruth,
I have watched every episode of your show many times over and I love it, but it has also become a training manual of sorts for me. I have made several trips in the outdoors to practice the skills I learned from your show. In one such trip I successfully lit a camp fire with a mag bar and tinder etc.. From the surrounding area in less than five minutes in the snow. I was really proud of myself. I also have your book and the orange compass/mirror/ gadget that I carry with me everywhere when I go hiking etc... (And I always bring a lighter!) Anyway, you really encourage me as my parents are really discouraging. You have become a role model for me that I look back to when I need encouragement. I wanted to say thanks to you and Ruth for everything and I would love to meet you someday and just say hi.
Cheers, Jennifer

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Shared by a fan:

I am writing to tell you how your shows have influenced my son.  Ever since he was three years old, he has been glued to survival shows. When he was five, he came into the kitchen while I was making dinner and asked if he could have an onion. Didn't know why a five year-old would want an onion but I played along. I went outside and found two sticks out of the ground holding up that onion with string--it was his little trap. So every chance he had, he would be outside setting up snares hoping to catch something. I didn't think at the time he understood having to load them with pressure, so they mostly were there for looks. But practice makes perfect; he always gets online and Googles the best way to catch something.

A few weeks ago we went camping. We stopped at the store to grab last-minute food items and I said we needed to decide on something to eat.  He said: Dad let's get some bread.  We got to the lake and he told me to save our water bottles.  I am thinking that's mighty green of you. So the next morning we got up to go fishing and he showed up at the table with his knife, water bottle, fishing line, and bread. He cut up the bottle, inverted the lid, added bread, and tied his line to it. Said he was going to trap minnows. So all day he tried and not one minnow. The next day he was more determined so he put out more and ended up catching two big minnows. Today as I was working in the garage he asked for help tying a slip knot, saying he learned about snares from Mykel and Ruth. I helped him and he built his snare. He did everything just as he saw it. We headed into town to see a movie, and when we got back, he had snared a bird. The snare worked perfectly.

 I think if he is with me, we will survive a survival situation. Thanks for being an inspiration to my son, Eli. For a long time I wasn't able to light the grill because it was not the way Mykel does it!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

An Incredible Story of Survival

We received this from Matt, who survived what could have been a bad situation, during which he utilized Hawke's survival book and tools!
A friend of mine with early onset Alzheimer's wanted me to work a road crossing for the Bear Grease Sled Dog Marathon. I ended up by county road 8 near Finland, MN. I thought I was going to be working with a young man as well, but ended up working with her 21 year-old high-functioning autistic niece, and I had my two oldest kids with me.
When I got up there both of my ears started hurting bad and I had some sinus drainage going on. I know you said that your book was not for survival experts, and I don't claim to be one, but I do think your book is worth keeping in my pack, and that's what I do. As my ears started to hurt worse, I remembered that the medical section in your book talked about antibiotics. I looked up page 511, saw the list of antibiotics, and started asking around to see if anyone had some left over or some that they use on their dogs or animals. I managed to score some Ciprofloaxin, took it for a few days, and was better. The nearest VA I could go to was out of reach for me at the time so having the ability to find out what I could use and track it down saved my butt from being sick out in the cold for the race.
In addition to the Green Beret Survival Manual, I also brought the Hawkchete with me. I know that many think of a machete as mostly a jungle survival tool, but I thought I would spend more time testing it out in the winter, and it paid off. This year the snow was waist deep in the woods. The Hawkchete let me reach some of the dead pine branches, and helped me attain some birch bark that was out of my normal reach; because it is so light, I didn't sink in the snow with it and was able to use the snow to help me reach tinder and kindling on a higher level than I usually could.
At one point, the other half of my time left us out there due to a miscommunication and I had to rely on the Hawkchete to help me process some wood I had gathered. I also brought two cold steel tomahawks with me, but they did not work as efficiently as the Hawkchete did. So to save energy and calories, I used the Hawkchete to get and process fuel for our fire.
Having that fire kept the autistic girl and my kids calm after we realized our crew had left us. Within a few hours I signaled to a man on a snow-machine for help, and he took our message to the Finland race headquarters. Soon after, one of out team members came and got us. We were all frostbite-free and okay. As soon as I could, I told my wife and thanked her for buying me all the survival stuff, which included your book and Hawkchete.
That's the  story as best as I can remember it. I wasn't lost in Alaska for a week, but I definitely feel that the book and the Hawkchete helped save my bacon as they say up here!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Father-Daughter Tribute

Hello, just wanted to thank you and your wife for your show. While my father was sick and ultimately passing from bladder cancer, we would sit together and watch your show for hours. My dad was a retired Army Major who was a former advisor for the Royal Thai Army, a Viet Nam combat vet, and a top graduate of the U.S. Army Jungle School, where he earned a machete with a very awesome sheath and award which we have passed down to his nine year old grandson. He really enjoyed watching you both!
Thank you,

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another Inspirational Story

Hello Captain,

It's been a while since our last conversation, and I wanted to let you know I have recovered from my 3rd spine surgery and adapted and overcome my disability. I was able to return back to duties along with full salary.  I want to thank you; in fact, I printed out your last email and posted it on my fridge and garage to not give up. You were my motivation and inspiration. I read it everyday, and it was hell going through all these surgeries, but I recovered slowly and went from not walking at all to walking with a walker to lifting weights, then doing 3 miles daily. I know I have come a long way, and every week that passes I am getting stronger both mentally and physically. I'm just waiting for my date to get back in my BDUs. Take care, sir, and God bless.  
PS: I'm watching your show Lost Survivors--I love it, keep it coming!  Hope to meet you one of these days.