Book Review: Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual

Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual- Survival Rifle - Survival Knife

While there are many books about survival, few are willing to tell the cold hard bitter truth that really is Survival.  Some authors withhold the real information for fear of liability but that is definitely not the case with Mykel Hawke and he is not afraid to point that out.


The cover of the book reads “Essential Strategies For: Shelter and WaterFood and Fire • Tools and Medicine • Navigation and Signaling • Survival Psychology and Getting Out Alive.”  To back this up Mykel Hawke includes an in depth chapter on each of these topics.  One of “Hawke’s Laws” is “Everything you plan and pack, will be lost in the event that causes the survival scenario” and that is how he tackles all the sections in the book, as if you had nothing or next to nothing.  In other words “if you have a tent and sleeping bag you are camping and not surviving.”

About the author:

You would probably need another book to go through all of Hawke’s accomplishments so I’ll just use the books description. “Mykel Hawke is a Green Beret and Captain in the U.S. Army Special Forces; director of Spec Ops Inc. (an international outdoor-survival training company); and popular television personality/survival expert from the Discovery Channel, History Channel, MTV, Channel 5 in the UK, and more.”


This book is just plain and simple raw survival with the focus on attitude.  ”Never Quit” is the Mykel Hawke Green Beret Survivalreoccurring theme.  If you’ve never thought about things like extracting water out of feces or which part of a fellow survivor you would want to eat if they didn’t make it, then you need this book.  I’ve read many books and articles about navigation but I learned more in one chapter of this book then all of the rest of them combined.  This book is like a cross between “Survival for Dummies” and a crash course in medicine all at the same time.  At Six Hundred and Thirty pages, I can’t think of much you would need to survive that didn’t make it into this book.


When you like something it’s really hard to find any “Cons” with it, so I will give it my best shot with that disclaimer.  At 630 pages, the size of this book will scare away some (Sorry, not available for your Kindle), but with the large print and some blank pages here and there it is an easy read.   I would love to see this book in a pocket sized edition similar to the SAS survival guide, there is just way more info in sections like first aid that I want with me all the time.  Coming from a Green Beret I would’ve expected a little more on firearms and self defense, but then again it is a “Survival Manual”.  Maybe that will come in another book.


Buy the book, read it, when you get to the last page take a breath then turn back to page one and read it again.  Information overload.  If you can retain even half of this book your chances of survival are better than most.  I give this book my highest recommendation.

To buy the book from Amazon click here.

Also check out “8 Common Mistakes of Wilderness Survival”

Contributed by Jason, a reader of

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Joshua January 27, 2011 at 10:34 am

I totally agree. This is a monster of a book but contains so much great info. A must have, for sure.


kc7cjo November 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I just checked on line and Amazon DOES have this for the Kindle! Just wish I had a Kindle! :)


LesStroudfan February 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I like Mykel Hawke's show Man, Woman, Wild so I believe this book would have the same chain of thought in it. still, it would be cool if the book was more travel covenient.


T.Rapier February 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I did get this book and are only half way through it , I find myself going back and re reading parts before I continue ahead . You hit it perfectly when you called this book ” information overload ” .
Fantastic .


CO_horseman March 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Something to consider. I haven't checked his book, but I find a lot of basic and useful information in the SAS survival book. At least the author was kind enough to enclude color photos of edible and poisonous plants. The info is basic, but much easier to pack in for quick reference than 630 pages. Would be a great shelf peace to practice skills in the back yard or on weekend excursions. But when packing out, something much more basic and too the point is preferable.


ToBroke4That September 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

Not sure if I'm viewing this correctly or how old this article is, but it's showing new copies for $750! Now they do say 1st edition and "rare" book, but come on. I tried to google it and and even Barnes and Noble wanted almost $500 for it. The $22 one is sold out EVERYWHERE! I want this, I really do but give me a break.


survivalguy7713 December 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

it is expensive however if it as good as they say it is, it may be worth it.


squiddy1 October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

I found it to be a very easy read. Well written that talks to the reader not over his head


roberto March 1, 2012 at 5:36 am

Its available on the Kindle! And for 10 bucks vs 200!…


stealth April 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

the dang thing on amazon cost $249 new and $149 used. be prepared to shell out some serious cionage for this book. you forgot to mention that in your cons list.


terraform_mars May 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

Amazon shows they are releasing it as a paperback, list $19.95, Amazon price $12.20, you can put it on pre-order (5/11/12)


Craig August 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Amazon says it's available on Kindle


term paper service March 29, 2013 at 6:13 am

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