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Hawke's Outdoor Survival Handbook [Paperback]

Mykel Hawke
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 May 2011
U.S. Special Forces Captain and outdoor survival expert Mykel Hawke provides the most practical and accessible survival skills and information necessary to survive in the outdoors. These methods are based on Hawke's 25-year career as a Captain in the U.S. Army, as founder of the survival training company Special Ops Inc, and as a popular survival expert on television--including his new series,Man Woman Wild, which debuted on The Discovery Channel in summer 2010. Geared to the untrained civilian, Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook provides illustrated how-to info on shelter, water, fire, food, first aid, tools, navigation, signaling, and survival psychology. Now with a flexibind cover and small format perfect for the glove compartment and backpack, this edition gives readers the tools necessary to survive the worst circumstances and make it out alive.

Frequently Bought Together

Hawke's Outdoor Survival Handbook + Mykel Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual + When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes
Price For All Three: 33.45

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (19 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762440643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762440641
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 13.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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

Mykel Hawke has over 27 years of military and professional survival experience. He is a Special Forces Green Beret and co-founder of Special Ops Inc, a civilian survival-training outfit. He has appeared on many TV shows in the US and UK as a survival expert, and his new survival show Man Woman Wild debuted on The Discovery Channel in summer 2010. He lives in London, but travels to the United States frequently.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read in an easy format 4 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Practical, straight talking guide with easy to follow steps and practical advice - I bought this and Ray Mears to help in my research in this area. Recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hawkes special forces survival handbook 8 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A superb read.Full of really useful and practical tips.The best book of it's type i come across so far.
A bit bigger than say'pocket book' but ok to put in a bag rucksack.Contains really useful diagrams too.For the money i cannot fault it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars compact, military style handbook 15 Mar 2012
It's a compact military style handbook.
It covers all the basics of protection, rescue, water and food. Sometimes Hawke gives a modification of a skill like firemaking or waterpurification that is not covered in other survivalbooks. This is what gives it an additional value to the large amount of books.
Because Hawke was a medic he also spents a lot of pages covering first aid. Very handy for people who might want to learn more then the basics.
It,s a comprehensive guide with sturdy pages you can put in your pack for when things go wrong and you need advice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  118 reviews
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Quit when it comes to Survival 20 April 2011
By Tradecraft - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook: The Portable Guide to Getting Out Alive by Mykel Hawke is an excellent follow-up to his book Mykel Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual: Essential Strategies For: Shelter and Water, Food and Fire, Tools and Medicine, Navigation and Signaling, Survival Psychology and Getting Out Alive! In this portable guide you will find a ton of useful and relevant survival information that is small enough to throw in with your gear to have as a valuable resource should your situation turn south.

In this great handbook Hawke will go over the essentials of survival to include:

Survival Psychology:
-Make a plan
-Never quit
-Expectation is the source of all unhappiness; but never give up hope

-Covers basic shelter designs such as an A-frame, tree shelter, swamp bed, ground based shelter, etc
-Reviews shelters for different environments such as the jungle, desert, arctic, seashore/island, woodlands, mountains, swamp and urban

-Water needs to be one of your first priorities
-Be aggressive in your pursuit of water
-Signs and symptoms of dehydration
-Making water safe for consumption
-Keys to finding water

-Always carry a lighter on you and matches
-Alternative fire starting methods include Magnesium bars, magnifying glass, chemicals, fuel, electricity
-Primitive methods include friction, percussion, combustion (you will wish you had a lighter)

-Phases of starvation
-Hunting styles: Tracker, Waiter, Baiter, Ranger
-Snares and traps
-Fishing techniques
-Eating plants and plants to avoid
-The Universal Edibility Test
-Universal edibles
-Eating bugs - one of the best survival foods if you can get enough of them

-Weapons to include a stick and knife
-Potential weapons include dirt, rocks, throw sticks, clubs, spears, slingshots, bow and arrow, bolas
-Tools include utensils, baskets, bowls, backpack frames
-Making rope and cordage
-Knots to include the overhand knot, half hitch, square, granny and Prusik knot

-Dead reckoning
-Maps and compasses
-Reading the sun, moon and stars
-Estimating distance

-Signals can include radios, lights, fire, smoke, mirrors, Morse code, etc.

First Aid:
-Anatomy and physiology
-Trauma medicine
-Immunizations, diseases and antibiotics
-Real first aid to include CPR, shock, exposure, self treatment, sprains, strains, dislocations, fracture, cricothyroidotomy, amputation, bites

The book wraps up with Hawke's recommended survival kit items that you carry on your person and in your bug out bag.

Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook is a must have portable survival guide that is an excellent reference. Its small size makes it convenient and easy to carry as part of your gear. The book cover and internal pages are pliable yet durable so they will be able to handle some abuse as part of your gear. I highly recommend reading Hawke's first book mentioned above prior to reading this book as it goes into significantly more detail. This book will reinforce all the lessons of his first book and will provide excellent guidance during a survival situation.

I highly recommend Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good info in a portable format 20 July 2011
By gDane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like the cover says, a 'portable' guide. It's an extremely condensed version of Hawke's full edition. I own both and recommend them highly.

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.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want Usable Information? This book is Outstanding 11 Jun 2011
By David Alderwind - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I caught "Hawke" on a survival show about Jungle Survival in the Amazon, it was on Netflix. I didn't know the guy but it was so informational and well done (and I really liked his machete) I went back to review the credits to find out who the guy was. That lead me to this book.

I purchased the "Kindle" edition (love Kindle) - and I just completed reading the whole book.

It was an enjoyable reading and learning experience. Having read the book - I feel like I am WAY more prepared for survival in any climate or situation that I was prior to simply reading the book. The information and insights are so straight forward and practical - usually these books have so much information to digest its overwhelming.

This is truly a "Handbook" - and I think he's written a "Bible/Encyclopedia" version prior to this one. I hope they make it available on "Kindle" because - I carry with Kindle with me all the time, I'm not going to have a "Library' with me in a survival situation - unless its on a Kindle, and I can have an ebook on my Laptop, Kindle or even Phone - so this life saving data in this format is portable and effective.

My recommendation - read it in either format, but make sure you have this Handbook available in Kindle format. Some of these things do require review and practice if you want to master the skills - that is to be expected - but after reading this - I can honestly say my odds of survival after just "reading" this book - has increased dramatically.

This is real life - life preparedness kind of things. This isn't a "combat" manual - it is a survival manual/handbook. Don't let the "Special Forces" tag through you off. This is real life, practical skills information.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best I've Found... 6 Sep 2012
By The Gyro Captain - Published on Amazon.com
I love reading any book about outdoors skills, and I regularly practice the skills I find valuable. That being said, I'm the furthest thing from an expert--more of a perpetual student. I'm always looking for new techniques or tricks. With that in mind, I received "Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook" in the mail yesterday, and spent all night reading it cover to cover. In short, it is now my favorite go-to survival manual.


* Hawke's writing style is conversational, and easy-to-read. It reads as if he is standing in front of you, explaining the concepts directly.

* Hawke's survival techniques are part of a system, which he easily explains. This framework helps because it shows the reader why & when to perform the techniques. Since so much of survival is mental, Hawke figures that in, as well.

* The diagrams stand on their own; unlike many survival books I've read, where you have to flip between the diagrams and the text to figure out the concept.

* The medical section on first aid is fantastic. I went through the Combat Lifesaver Course when I was in the Army, and this chapter blew that away.

* Hawke's descriptions on how to forage for wild plants is the most straightforward & easy to remember that I've ever read.

* I found the book to be lightweight and well built. The cover and the pages are water resistant. It is also small enough to fit in the dead space in your pack (or in your cargo pocket for a day hike).


* None. I've seen some reviewers who were upset that they found this book heavy; they might want to try cutting off the front- and back cover, that will help a bit.

In all honesty, there is no "one" survival book. Each has something to offer, and some technique you have not seen before. Of course, you can't go around carrying fifty different survival books. So if I can only have one book, it has to be the book that has the most useful information. For me, that book is "Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook."
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Survival Tool 16 April 2011
By C. Kirk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read Mykel Hawke's first survival book--a hefty and handsome volume that is easily one of the most comprehensive survival manuals written--I knew what to expect in the follow-up edition, described as a "portable" version. Even so, I was absolutely delighted to find that not only is it lightweight, concise, and durable, it makes a perfect companion to the first book, with all the categories Hawke covers organized in a way that allows quick seek and find. The first book is the ultimate survival reference, with much in-depth information and discussion, while the portable guide is a field manual that can be--and most certainly should be--carried along with the most essential survival gear on any expedition. And because it is so lightweight and handy, it's perfect to keep in your car, backpack, or even a purse. Like the first book, it's as enjoyable to read as it is informative...and you never know when a piece of Hawke's survival expertise just may save a life.
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