John 'Lofty' Wiseman

John 'Lofty' Wiseman | Trueways Survival

For people in the Survival Training world, Lofty Wiseman needs no introduction, but for those who are new to survival, it would be difficult to believe that there is a serious survival training specialist in the world today who hasn’t read and learned from Lofty’s The SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea. Currently in its 3rd Edition (2009), first published in 1986, translated into 18 different languages, having sold over 2 million copies, it remains undoubtedly the seminal work on survival available today. It also forms the basis of the Collins Pocket Guides publication The SAS Survival Guide, which has remained on the Collins Bestseller list since publication, carried by professionals the world over, selling over 300,000 copies consistently every year.

His much respected publications include:

  • The SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea
  • The Ultimate Survival Guide
  • Outdoor Survival
  • The SAS Urban Survival Handbook
  • City Survival
  • The SAS Self Defence Handbook
  • Who Dares Grins - the lighter side of living the SAS

John “Lofty” Wiseman joined the Parachute Regiment in 1958. He applied for service with the Special Air Service Regiment in 1959 and set a record as the youngest person ever to pass selection at the age of 18. John served with 22 SAS for 26 years (and, as he likes to point out, 55 days)! He saw active service worldwide, in every theatre of operations and special operations required of the British Army between 1959 and 1985.

Amongst other things, John was
Sergeant Major, B Squadron (Sabre Sqn) 22 SAS
Sergeant Major 22 SAS Training Wing
Head of Operational Research 22 SAS
Set up the SP Team (Counter Hi-Jack)
Set up the SAS Counter-Terrorist Team (you know…those chaps who ended the Iranian Embassy siege)
Trained the first members of the US Green Berets to return to the USA to form the famous Delta Force (US Special Forces).

John also ran the famed SAS Selection Course, deciding who was fit to join the Regiment. By the time he retired from active service in 1985, he was held in such high esteem that it could be said of him, to directly quote the Commanding Officer of 22 SAS at the time, “Lofty is a legend in this Regiment”.

In addition, John ran the Survival Training School for 22 SAS at Hereford, specialising in all aspects of survival training (land, sea, jungle, desert, arctic, mountains - wherever a special forces soldier or civilian might find themselves). After retiring from 22 Special Air Service Regiment, John set up the Survival School at Hereford. John has trained survival instructors and consultants, expedition members, overseas survival training specialists, military and civilian. It is upon the principles of survival which he introduced that the methods and philosophy which make up Trueways are based. With over 50 years of professional survival experience, John is a valuable and much respected member of the Trueways Team whose input cannot be overestimated.