English: Mykel Hawke
English: Mykel Hawke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have several survival books at home and one of my favorite is from former special forces Captain Mykel Hawke. His book Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual is chock full of Knowledge that will help you get out alive in any situation.

There are a few things I disagree with Captain Hawke on though. For instance, like Bear Grylls, he is a proponent of drinking urine if you need to, as opposed to many other survivalists who agree that the best use of urine is to distill it. That being said, just because he may be wrong on one thing doesn't mean everything else he says is wrong.

One of the things that Hawke says to do if you find yourself in a survival situation is to S.T.O.P.! I didn't see this in his manual, but he used to talk about it a lot when he was on Man, Woman, Wild on the Discovery Channel. S.T.O.P. is an acronym that means:
  • Situation - Think about what your actual situation is. What happened to you? Did your car break down? Were you trekking in the back country when a storm rolled in and you lost visibility and got disoriented? Are you in an actual survival situation?
  • Threat - What can kill you? Hypothermia in a wet or cold environment? Hyperthermia in a desert or really hot environment? Bears, mountain lions, moose, etc?
  • Observation - What do you see around you? What do you have on you? Take an inventory. Les Stroud recommends this as well. What can you use or do to survive?
  • Plan - Come up with a game plan. Should you stay or should you go? If you decided to go, what direction should you head to find people to get rescued? If you stay, what's your plan for shelter, water, fire and food?
You get the idea. Taking this approach forces you to calm down for a minute, and get your mind in the right place to concentrate on what you need to do to survive. It also makes you slow down and truly make the right decisions instead of rushing off half cocked and doing something stupid.

Do you agree with Captain Hawke? Do you have a similar acronym you like to use that accomplishes the same thing? Let us know what you think in the comments.