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!