Review: Ron Hood’s Ultimate Survival Guide

I recently wrote a review of the first Ron Hood video I had ever watched. It was called “Advanced Survival Guide” and you can read that review here. I got three of his videos while I was at SHOT Show this past January and this is the second of the three reviews I have planned.

This one is called “The Ultimate Survival Guide” and it covers survival in cold climates and very hot, dry climates, as well as hot to do things we all got to do like poop. And in the case of women, deal with that time of the month. That’s what’s covered in the “Taboo Topics” chapter of this, and Karen Hood covers this tidbit of information for women, as would be expected.  If you have a lot of survival guides you may have heard of a lot of this information before. But a big part of the fun of watching a Ron Hood video is the presentation. He really has fun with it and presents the basic information in an easy to remember way, so it will not be something you really have to think a great deal about if you’re trying to remember it in a time of emergency.

For instance, the part about pooping in the woods…I watched this with my 9-year-old son and he was cracking up at all of the different ways that Ron found to say “poop.” For instance, “When you have to leave some trail timber…” Yes, Ron probably used euphemisms more times than he really needed to, because you knew exactly what he was talking about, but that was part of the fun. There’s a review of this video on Amazon that says it’s “a bit crass,” and I have to say I did not find it crass at all. I also really appreciated his attitude about people who poop in popular camping spots. He was right on in his advice to not poop in the first flat spot you come to, because that’s likely where someone is going to want to put a tent there. I wanted to see more of Karen, but she only had a couple of bit parts, talking about some women’s issues.

He started out the video with survival basics, talking about how many calories you need just to keep yourself alive. His advice, based on the amount of calories in say, beef, versus wild foods like a squirrel, which he gives, reveal that it is better to use your energy (burn your calories) making shelter than being out in the cold shivering.

He showed how to easily make a belt out of paracord, so you always have that on your body. That’s a quick and easy project that now my son wants to do. The inside of the paracord could come in handy if you follow Ron’s advice to make a bone fish hook. I appreciated that he showed how the process of carving and chipping away at the fragment of bone was actually done. He even showed that it doesn’t work exactly right all the time if it doesn’t break in the place where you want it to, but you can still fashion something useful.

There was a useful section about things to have in your car, which includes some items that did not make my recent post called “Assembling a Car Emergency Kit.” He recommends a shovel and tow chain and good gloves, which I agree is essential if you are driving in snow.

The desert survival section covered collecting water. He demonstrated that the technique of digging a hole and covering it with clear plastic that I wrote about in the how to collect water post doesn’t really work! By far the most water that he collected came from the technique of using the plant’s transpiration. And now I know the truth about how useful cactuses in the desert really are.

Remember, this is a survival guide covering basics. He goes through  what to do if someone has heat exhaustion and heat stroke. How to wrap a blanket around yourself for the most coverage. And, perhaps most importantly, what to do when you have to cut some trail timber. Al told, another recommended video. I’d say, particularly if you are a visual learner, and you want demonstrations rather than reading about something in a book, or if you have a grandchild who wants to learn DIY things. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re new to “prepping” or you’re interested in survival, you can’t go wrong.