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 I became very withdrawn and Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual was the first tool that helped me start to come out of my shell.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.