When it comes to survival, some talk the talk and some walk the walk. Grady Powell does both. Many people know Grady from his work on the National Geographic Channel show “Ultimate Survival Alaska,” but to land a gig like that requires loads of street cred, which Grady happens to have earned. As a second generation Green Beret, and one of the youngest to ever wear that selective headgear, Grady is a former Army Special Forces soldier who served with distinction in both Iraq and West Africa.
For those unfamiliar with “Ultimate Survival Alaska,” the challenge pits four teams, comprised of three survivalists each, against each other in a race to get from point A to point B. The teams are divided by specialty – woodsmen, mountaineers, military veterans, and endurance athletes – and are dropped in the middle of the brutal Alaskan wilderness to find their way out.
In episode #197 of The Holistic Survival Show, host Jason Hartman talks to Grady Powell about the specific challenges of cold weather survival and how to find a credible firearms school. Grady currently runs a survivalist school in Farmington, Missouri, that specializes in the civilian market.
In This Episode:
– Why it’s critical to PRACTICE survival skills
– The sneaky trick to staying warm during cold weather travel on foot
– The problem with target range shooting practice
– How to include multi-use tools in your bug out bag
Narrator: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary for you to survive and prosper? The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, to understand threats and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show. This is your host Jason Hartman, where we talk about protecting the people places and profits you care about in these uncertain times. We have a great interview for you today. And we will be back with that in less than 60 seconds on the Holistic Survival Show. And by the way, be sure to visit our website at HolisticSurvival.com. You can subscribe to our blog, which is totally free, has loads of great information, and there’s just a lot of good content for you on the site, so make sure you take advantage of that at HolisticSurvival.com. We’ll be right back.
Start of Interview with Grady Powell
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Grady Powell to the show. He is the former senior detachment weapon’s sergeant in the US army special forces and former US army special forces Green Beret, fire arms and survival instructor. And it’s great to have him coming to us today. Hey Grady, where are you located?
Grady Powell: I’m living in Saint Louis, Missouri right know. We run our shooting schools down in Farmington now.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well welcome to the show. Tell us about the National Geographic’s ultimate survival Alaska show and your involvement.
Grady Powell: The show is actually pretty amazing. It’s a really awesome opportunity I got to have. The premise of the show is we’ve got four teams made up of three survivalists each – they were the woodsmen, the mountaineers, the endurance team and my team the military and we were dropped off at point A and told to get to point B with only what we had on our backs and the skills in our heads.
Jason Hartman: How far away was that?
Grady Powell: It depended on which expedition we were on. It varied quite a bit. If we were going by water or by the rivers it could be longer. If we were going by foot it was a little bit less, but it was definitely a challenge.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, okay. Good well tell us more about it. What were some of the things that you had to overcome?
Grady Powell: Oh, we had to fight Mother Nature, the weather, the animals, the cold, the hunger. We were trekking across glaciers – we’re pack rafting down glacier rivers and this freezing cold water, below freezing cold water. Sleeping in a snow den that we dug out of a glacier. It was an amazing experience, something I can’t wait to do again.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, well in terms of survival, and now do you run a survival school as well as a shooting school? Are those separate?
Grady Powell: No, it’s the same facility. It’s Asymmetric Solutions USA. We’re out of Farmington, Missouri. We started off training military and law enforcement in fire arms and precision shooting. But we opened up a civilian market and found that a lot of people were looking for the survival skills, things that our instructors already have. And we figured why not share these things with people? They’re great skills to have and they always translate. There’s always going to be some kind of tragedy that happens, there’s going to be weather, there’s going to be a potential government collapse.
Jason Hartman: There’s civil unrest. I think we’re right on the path to something going on. Well what can people do, besides the obvious, we’ve had a lot of people talk about store food, store water, have weapons, etc. Those kind of I think go without saying. That’s kind of survival 101. But give us some tips that people might not know, some things that might be missed frequently.
Grady Powell: Well one thing I’ve found a lot with a lot of the prepper types and a lot of the people that are preparing for these things, they have the tools, they have the food, the water, the storage and all the equipment they’re going to need. But they don’t practice with it. They don’t practice with their families what they’re going to do. The first time they break out that medical kit or try to build a fire with the tools they’ve bought. The first time they’re going to do it is when it actually counts. These are things that you have to practice – you have to make a plan. You have to make sure that everybody that is going to be with you knows that plan front and back.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, that’s a good plan. You’re particularly adept, probably because of the show, at cold weather survival. Any tips there?
Grady Powell: Don’t quit. Honestly, don’t quit. Just one tip that I found a long time ago and I didn’t believe it, but relieving yourself is going to keep you a lot warmer than holding in your waist. It’s kind of goofy but your body is wasting a lot of that energy keeping those waste materials warm. If you get rid of them, that’s one less thing. That’s a few ounces, that’s half a gallon of water that your body doesn’t have to warm up. It can use it to keep your blood going.
Jason Hartman: That’s really interesting. I’ve never heard that before, Grady. Wow. So does that mean people in general, we’re talking about mass there, with larger body mass are more susceptible to becoming cold because it’s more work to heat a larger body?
Grady Powell: It depends. Somebody with a larger body is also going to have that extra insulation with the fat – that’s a great insulator.
Jason Hartman: That’s how I would think of it.
Grady Powell: Yeah, there’s ups and downs to it. You’re not going to have that physical energy to keep yourself going but your body is going to automatically store a little bit more of that.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so eliminate waste. That’s a good one, a new one I haven’t heard. Any other tips like that?
Grady Powell: Everything you have in your tool bag, every little trick you have, everything should be multi-purpose. On the show we just had regular water bottles. I didn’t have enough space in my bag to carry a fishing line but I knew I was going to need fishing equipment, so we just used the water bottles, wrapped some fishing line around them, put a hook and some weight on it and used that as our fishing pole. It worked phenomenally. The point being, everything you have in your kit should be multi-functional because you only have a certain amount of space and you don’t want to waste any of it.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, absolutely. What about when it comes to cold weather, should they keep moving, should they stop and rest, should they only move in the day time and not at night? Any thoughts there?
Grady Powell: It depends. You were saying move during the day time or only at night – that depends on what the situation is. If there’s somebody coming after you or if there’s any danger moving at night will help you out. But it’s also going to be a lot colder. It’s all depending on what’s going on. If you need to get from point A to point B, constantly moving is going to help you stay warm but you’ve got to think. You’re going to need to get water, you’re going to need nourishment to keep yourself going. But if you don’t have to go somewhere, spending your time building a shelter is going to be good. A shelter is going to go a very long way.
However, with the cold weather if you’re moving too much you’re going to start sweating. And once you get tired or once you settle down, that sweats going to cool your body down a whole lot more so if you’re working in a cold weather survival situation and you find yourself sweating, slow down the pace. Because it might be really good for right now, it’s warming you up a lot, but in the long run it’s going to hurt you.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, very good points. Okay, so not just on cold weather, or on cold weather if you like, other tips. And feel free to talk about weapons if you like, too.
Grady Powell: Honestly, there are a lot of people that just go out and buy weapons because it’s the good thing to do now. Jim, Jack and Johnny all went out and got a rifle and a pistol because the government is apparently going to stop letting you have a rifle and a pistol. But they don’t have a clue how to use it, just like I was saying about all the tools in your bag. As far as survival goes, that’s also a survival tool. It can be for hunting, it can be for personal security. Practice. Absolutely practice every bit of it. Just because you grew up on a farm and you’ve shot dad’s shotgun doesn’t mean you’re a good shot. Those things are widespread. Get out there and do some shooting.
And I’m not talking about standing behind a desk in the indoor range and shooting a piece of paper at 7 meters away. That’s not going to do you any good. Practice like you fight. If you have your conceal carry permit, practice from a conceal carry. What we like to do at our range is full dynamic shooting. We don’t have an indoor facility. We don’t have benches you stand behind or sit on.
It’s all dynamic because when you get in a defensive situation where you need to use your firearm, you’re not going to be standing there face to face with your enemy. They’re going to be on your side, they’re going to be coming from your back. It’s going to be very fast, very intimate, very dangerous. And you’re not going to have time to slowly aim your weapon and slowly squeeze that trigger. These are things, just like with starting a fire. You need to practice everything. You don’t want the first time you have to do it to be when it actually counts.
Jason Hartman: Very good point. So get trained. Any particular aspects on training or tips you want to mention? You talked about the problem there, which is very accurate.
Grady Powell: I guess I’m not quite understanding your question.
Jason Hartman: Well just everybody would say as you said, which is very accurate, be prepared, be trained, practiced. But any particular tips on how to practice, or where to go, your school…
Grady Powell: Our facility is Asymmetric Solutions USA – our website is asusa1.com. We have a great facility run by former special operations soldiers like myself and actually my teammate from The Ultimate Survival Alaska Show, Jared Ogden is one of our employees as well. We have a great facility, but you don’t have to come to ours. Go somewhere. There are plenty of survival schools and fire arms training facilities all over the place. I would just recommend finding one that has credibility. Don’t just take their website’s word for it. Read reviews. There are plenty of phonies out there that don’t actually know what they’re talking about. And I’m not saying that they’re not a good place to go. It’s not going to hurt you to go get trained by them, but they’re not going to be able to give you the best. So, read books, read blogs, talk to other likeminded people. Just build yourself. Never settle for good enough. We can always get better.
Jason Hartman: Always get better, always learn more. No question about it. Did you want to give out a website link for the show as well?
Grady Powell: The show one is…
Jason Hartman: I think it’s nationalgeographic.com and you can find it there, but ultimate survival Alaska?
Grady Powell: Yeah, yeah. If you want to check out the show it’s going to be on National Geographic’s website and it’s backslash survival Alaska I believe. It’s pretty easy to find on the Nat Geo website.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff, well Grady I know you have a plane to catch. Thank you for joining us today. We really appreciate having you on and continued success, good luck with the show.
Grady Powell: Honestly it was a pleasure talking to you guys. You have a great day.
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Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show. Protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own, and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Transcribed by Ralph
The Holistic Survival Show
Guest: Grady Powell
iTunes: Stream Episode