John Hudson is a Cornwall-based survival instructor, chiefly involved in training new instructors to teach Land, Sea, and Extreme Environment Survival at the UK Military’s survival school (Defence SERE Training Organisation, DSTO).

He is proud to be a Founder Director of Survival Wisdom Ltd.

Formerly a helicopter pilot during regular service, now a reservist, John has worked in his current role as a full time Royal Air Force survival instructor for over ten years. He has survived the elements in the cold seas off the British Coast, the snows of the Arctic circle, in Asian and Central American Jungles, and in the high altitudes of the Atacama desert.

John designed and implemented the training and induction process for all UK military survival instructors, for whom he is also head instructor and mentor. John oversees all of the extreme environment survival training courses for the UK military, including the training of top level instructors. Passing on his many years of practical experience, John has also created the new joint services survival training manual, JSP 911, which is the reference manual for military survival instructors. He has recently been responsible for updating and editing the survival flip cards that are packed as an aide memoir to survivors in all military aircraft survival packs and liferafts. As part of John’s survival instructor training package, he also introduced a nationwide logbook system for monitoring survival instructor experience and accrediting qualifications.

John was the subject matter expert chosen to advise on all survival and Personnel Recovery content of the UK’s new SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Extraction) training film, which is watched by all service personnel annually and before their operational deployments overseas.

Most recently John has been one of 5 outdoor experts featured in Discovery & Animal Planet’s new survival series “Dude, You’re Screwed” (USA title) which premiered in Dec 2013. This has seen him tested on camera in some of the planets most demanding environments with extremely limited equipment, a challenge which John thoroughly enjoyed.

John’s other qualifications include Chief Instructor Mentor in Winter, Desert and Jungle Survival, European Defence Agency Personnel Recovery Planner and Controller trained, being a Recognised Mentor for initial teacher training with the Peninsula Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training, Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Certificate (National Level 2) and Chainsaw Licence (NPTC CS 30 & 31).

As a key member of Survival Wisdom, John enjoys setting new standards in specialist survival training for many civilian organisations, from scouts and media companies to aid agencies and disaster response teams. He is passionate about passing on his practical expertise to all sectors, either in bespoke talks, training sessions or consultancy and in front of/behind the cameras.


“John is knowledgable and passionate about his subject and given the slightest excuse he will demonstrate his skills. With nothing more than a bow, drill and some fungus, he showed me how it is possible to set fire to an office.”

-Tristan Gooley,

“John is the top Aviation Survival brain in the British Forces today. He trains the trainers. His knowledge and advice has been the driving force behind the upgrade to the British military Aircraft survival pack programme. His expertise extends far beyond this area into the deeper ethos behind survival and bushcraft. He is what a lot of so called ‘survival experts’ want to be (and he knows a lot about the Stone Roses)”

– British Military Aviation Survival Equipment Trials Officer 2004 – 2010


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