Mykel Hawke was happily retired from the U.S. Army's Special Forces and working in television production in Los Angeles when a turn of events changed his career.
The turn was 9/11.
"The Special Forces had a higher profile in the media," he said. And his television connections suggested his experiences might make for enlightening television.
"I never thought I'd be a TV guy," Hawke said. But the combat veteran soon found a place on shows such as "Man, Woman, Wild," "One Man Army" and "Elite Tactical Unit." He and his wife, Ruth England, soon will star on a Travel Channel series called "Get Lost."
Hawke found he was a natural, mostly because of the nature of his military training.
"As a green beret, we consider ourselves first and foremost to be teachers," he said. So no matter what the drama out in the wilderness, he believes his job is to present a teachable moment.
Sunday afternoon, he and fellow survival specialist Dave Canterbury will offer tips and tales during a show at the Clay Center organized especially because of the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. The show is open to everyone, however.
Canterbury, a survival instructor, co-hosted the reality show "Dual Survival." The two met during tryouts for that show, Hawke said. Canterbury ended up on "Dual Survival" while TV personnel decided Hawke and his wife would be perfect for "Man, Woman, Wild."
"You just know a good person when you meet him," Hawke said of Canterbury. "We have stayed friends for years."
Sunday, they'll chat about basic survival skills.
"I'd say fire making is probably the most important skill to have. With that, you can make any water safe," Hawke said. "Water is the most important thing to have, but unless you have chemicals, you need fire to make it safe."
Beyond that, Hawke said shelter and food are the next two necessary things to have.
He's pretty comfortable foraging for food anywhere in the world, and here's his most important tip: Think animal rather than plant.
"We can (safely) eat 90 percent of the animals in the world," he said, "but only 10 percent of the plants."
And yes, that means eating stuff that would make many of us cringe - think bugs and rodents.
Hawke is excited about his upcoming project with his wife, "Get Lost."
"It is very cool," he said. "The way it works is we get blindfolded and dropped off somewhere and we have to figure out where we are and how to get back."
The couple will be dropped off by helicopter - it can get them to more remote areas that are harder to figure out, he said.