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Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook: The Portable Guide to Getting Out Alive Hardcover – April 26, 2011
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Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2011
Whether you decide to tote along the handbook on your next intercontinental flight or save it for that long-awaited summer cookout, a priceless resource that’ll pay off even if the cataclysm never hits.
About the Author
Top customer reviews
I've purchased three books on wilderness medicine (Auerbach, Forgey and Wilkerson) and two on outdoor survival methods (Cody Lundin, John Wiseman) in the last year. They are rated highly on Amazon; all have good information. However, Hawke's full edition is a Merck Manual, if you will, on outdoor survival. It's more comprehensive than any other survival book I own. This version, while eliminating a LOT from the full edition, is small enough to take with you. It's the one I take camping.
If I could buy only one book on survival, it would be Hawke's full edition. If I could buy two, I would add this one. The guy knows his stuff.
This is an excellent survival guide book (note there is a difference between emergency preparation and survival). Mykel Hawke has a background with the US Army Green Berets and has recently been seen on television in “Man, Woman, Wild” with his wife, Ruth.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Psychology of Survival
Hawke has a bare-bones attitude about surviving and expresses it well in an easy to read conversational style. He often explains why he does things in a particular way and offers alternatives that also make sense. He is trying to point out that you must think for yourself in order to survive and offers his unique perspective on how to do it. Hawke stresses repeatedly that mental attitude is one of the most important survival factors and shares his insights. It quickly becomes clear that he has a vast amount of experience. Diagrams and illustrations help where they are needed. This is one of the top survival books and should be included in any survival library.
NOTE – there are two different editions of the same book. The version with the dark green cover is the original and is a thick and heavy volume suitable for library or home reading. The “portable” version is smaller, less than half the thickness, much lighter and designed to be used in the field. The portable version has a lot of content removed in order to reach that goal, but in comparing the same passages in both volumes, the editing tried to remove passages that were not essential and kept everything really important to know when you need to know it. The extra material in the heavy, home version is worth reading – consider buying both copies, one for extended study and one for field use. I did.
I like the clarity of the instruction and the understandable illustrations.
Topics about knives and tools were basically ignored.
Another good attribute of this book - the cover and pages are thick enough that it won't fall apart if you put in in your pack, bug-out bag, or camping gear.
Captain Hawke tells the TRUTH in this book, tells the reality behind the survival methods that others gloss over. For example: friction fire. You can read any survival book and get an idea of how friction fire works. Only in this book do we read that igniting a fire by friction is hard, and requires sweat, muscle and persistence and will likely result in blisters and frustration for the inexperienced. Examples like this, and to overcome the difficulties, are in every chapter and almost on every page.
The chapter on first aid, emergency medical treatment, is alone worth the price of this book. Captain Hawke is a fully qualified, and highly experienced, Special Forces medic. Most people have no idea what this really means. I'll cut to the chase on this point. I served with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 7th Special Forces many years ago, and from that experience I will tell anyone that in many cases I would rather be treated by a SF medic than an MD. These guys know emergency treatment like few MDs do. They can deliver a baby, diagnose and treat typhoid or anaphylactic shock, repair a compound fracture or save a life by treating a sucking chest wound with total competence, and faster than many MDs can prescribe aspirin for a headache.
Read this book, believe it, learn from it, and survive. It's written by the best.