“As a survival instructor, I help people learn how to become self-reliant in remote, difficult situations. I can show you how to make yourself comfortable and calm, where otherwise you'd feel stressed. These skills and thought processes are easy to adapt to your everyday life too – wherever that is.

When I was learning to fly in the RAF I was in a very small minority: the tiny group who really enjoyed their survival training. Stretching myself beyond those first experiences, I’ve been lucky enough to live by my wits – and often with only the contents of my pockets – in some really remote parts of the globe. 

Learning how to develop the right mindset in extreme environments has become a lifelong passion, and I enjoy passing on the self-reliance skills I’ve gained over the years to people with all sorts of backgrounds; from Aid Workers and A-Listers, to Youth Groups and Zoologists. 

So, whether you’re planning a deep jungle expedition, a desert trek, or an arctic adventure – or just want to know how to handle unfamiliar situations whilst travelling – I can show you how to prepare, and explain what’s best to take with you: in your pockets and in your head..."


key skills & expertise

Here's a taste of the kind of things I do, in more detail:

  • I'm the UK military's Chief Survival Instructor, running courses worldwide

  • I've created the UK forces' survival training manual and pocket-guide for downed aircrew

  • I've tested my skills on international TV in front of millions during Discovery Channel's Survive That!/ Dude You're Screwed

  • I design training for self-reliance in extreme environments, for people from all walks of life

  • I've worked with world-leading survival psychologists on innovative research projects

  • I am qualified to plan and organise rescues on a global scale, during peace or conflict

  • I advise industry on survival equipment for any scenario or environment

  • I enjoy passing on my knowledge and opinion about all things survival-related through TV, radio, podcasts, writing and public speaking


Photograph courtesy Discovery Channel


John Hudson is the UK military’s chief survival instructor, designing and implementing the training of instructors in Land, Sea, and Extreme Environment Survival. Prior to joining the RAF as a helicopter pilot, John studied Product Design at Leeds College of Art. He has penned the joint services survival training manual, revised the RAF’s aide memoir found in all military aircraft survival packs and advised on the UK’s SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Extraction) training film, watched by all service personnel before deployment overseas. John has also been a resident expert on two series of Discovery’s Dude, You’re Screwed (Survive That in the UK), putting his skills to the test in some of the planet’s most demanding environments. Amongst others, John has survived the elements in Asian and Central American jungles, the Arctic Circle and the high altitudes of the Atacama Desert. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and his book How to Survive: Lessons for Everyday Life from the Extreme World is released by Pan Macmillan on 27th June 2019.

John is the top survival brain in the British Forces today. He trains the trainers. His expertise extends far beyond this area into the deeper ethos behind survival...He is what a lot of so called ‘survival experts’ want to be (and he knows a lot about the Stone Roses)
— Alf Evans, UK Military Aviation Survival Equipment Trials Officer