Dual Survival update: Grady Powell talks fan concerns

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The latest Dual Survival update is a big one: we’ve got a veritable treasure trove of new information about the present and future states of the show, thanks to current co-host Grady Powell! Grady answered hundreds of fans’ questions during a far-reaching Facebook Q&A session yesterday, before a brand new episode of the show brought its own Dual Survival update.

Before you dive headfirst into this thing, a quick note: we’ve taken the liberty of arranging some of this particular Dual Survival update’s questions and answers by topic, instead of laying everything out as it appeared during the Q&A itself. Grady got a lot of similar and / or related questions throughout; as a result, not every single response is here. In addition, the questions and answers have been edited here and there to remove grammatical hiccups and improve clarity. If you’d like to see the unadulterated version, you can check out the entire exchange over on the Dual Survival Facebook page.

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Let’s get this lengthy Dual Survival update started with a series of logistical questions:


Favorite survival knife? Hammock or tent? 9mm or 45acp? What are your daily EDC items?
I use a BK2 right now. Hammock all day. Blade, watch, wallet, metal bodied pen, phone, 9mm, and extra mag.

What type of knife do you carry with you? Also, what is your favorite pistol?
Camillus BK2. But I am designing a line of survival tools with them, so, soon, I will be carrying my own.

Are you particular about your survival footwear? If so, what are your must haves?
I have been wearing ASOLOs for YEARS. Ever since my first backpacking trip in Colorado, I haven’t worn anything but ASOLOs paired with SuperFeet Insoles.

Do you carry a bug out bag or a survival bag in your car? If you do, what is in it? I am thinking about keeping a backpack size bag of things that I might need if I get stuck out somewhere.
I do, and it changes throughout the year, or depending on where I am going. It is more of a bugout bag geared toward a catastrophic or terrorist event….I’ll let your imagination run with that one.

Who decides what items are provided in each survival situation? Are they items that could have been with the original people in the original situation? Or items that actually were in the original situation? Or are the situations fabricated by the producers? And do you and Bill have advance knowledge of the items?
The items are to recreate a potential situation someone in that environment may find themselves in.

If you could only have one survival thing with you, what would it be, and why?
A satellite phone…to get my happy ass the hell out of a survival situation, and back to civilization.

Are you able to take a camera of some sort to photograph scenery? I know there are video cameras, but it would be a shame to not be able to capture them yourself.
There is no way in hell I would travel to all these places without a camera. Usually one of the production crew carried it for me.

Let’s say you didn’t have a knife, but really needed one–like in your first episode. Will the production crew always carry your extra gear?
HA…they loved seeing us fail.

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Of course, no self-respecting Dual Survival update for Season Seven would be complete without addressing the ongoing fan controversy regarding Bill. It looks like Grady has won a lot of the show’s fans over, but Bill remains pretty well disliked….


Grady, what do you consider the most important trick you’ll use that you’ve learned from Bill?
I need to spend more time learning the edibles. I’m a meat man. Never got into salad. But its important in long-term survival.

Did you and Bill eat that whole pig in Chile?
No; we were only out for another day or so after the kill. We smoked what we could carry, but gave the rest to production to give locals as not to waste it.

Grady, how do you put up with Bill’s constant [bragging] about his awesome fire and survival skills? He’s the reason the show is failing.
It’s been one episode; give it a chance.

Is Bill really that annoying face-to-face? Or does he just seem that way on the show?
TV magic. We were in a very stressful situation; we had great times out there; but, as you see, we also butt heads quite a bit. We all have our days. You just haven’t seen mine yet.

What plants, berries, or seeds could you shove into Bill’s mouth to stop him from talking?
He is just more vocal than I am. I tend to just keep my mouth shut and drive on; he likes to chat. Which actually surprises me, [as he is] a primitive survivalist who prefers to be out surviving alone.

There has been a lot of negativity towards you and your partner. I absolutely adore you. Would this be something you would want to do again next season?
Already in the works. Thank you for the kind words.

Bring back Joe and Matt–the show sucks with you guys on it.
Thanks for your wonderful insight…feel free to watch something else. You’re stuck with me for the entire season at least.

Do you read the criticism from fans, which seems to be mostly directed at Bill, or do you choose to ignore it? Because some people are just plain rude and mean, and you rock, Grady!
I read it all, and it is humorous to me. Most of the angry people have terrible grammar, and are just angry. It confuses me why people choose to latch on to anger, and feel the need to be rude to complete strangers.

Is Bill really that dramatic?

Be honest, Grady. Do you ever want to tell Bill to just shut the hell up and get moving?

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Speaking of hosts and former hosts, Grady also got fans excited by bringing up–several times–the likelihood of a future collaboration with none other than fan favorite Matt Graham:


Who’s your favorite survivalist thats been on television besides you and your new partner?
Good question. I just recently had the honor of meeting Matt [Graham], and, I’ve got to say, I understand why all of you boogers love him so much. Plus, he is a freaking god in the wilderness.

Have you seen Matt’s work on Dual Survival? Would you like working with him in the future?
I would LOVE to. Met him a week ago, and we discussed this possibility. Hope it works out.

How would you like to be paired with Matt?
I’ve been working on making that happen. Stay tuned. You never know what can happen.

I’d like to see you and Matt together. Do you think that will ever happen? 
We met and talked the other day, I would love to have that happen. Very awesome person, and wonderfully talented survivalist. Hope it happens in the future.

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In addition, Grady spilled a few beans regarding future episodes of Dual Survival–both later on this season and, potentially, next. And, after that, he did drop perhaps the most significant Dual Survival update of them all–the status of his controversial man bun:


Grady, have you spent any survival situations in the Utah high deserts?
You’ll just have to watch.

How many episodes [will there be] this season? 
We went to eight locations so far. We have more set up. But [I’m] not sure if they are for this season or next.

How does it feel to know that if you succeed, and become popular, and ask for more money or control of the show, that they will just replace you like all the other hosts?
You are assuming that is what happened with the other hosts. I suggest trying not to assume.

Can you do a apocalypse episode?
I would love to do that. Showcase different types of survival situations….THAT’S my game.

Are all adventures this season going to be two-part episodes?
Nope. We just had a LOT of content from the first one. I think a few of them turned out that way.

What has been your favorite location of all the places you’ve been? 
One of the locations in Africa. Stay tuned.

Grady, is that a man bun you have been cultivating? What brought you to that interesting hair choice–and could you not?
I was bored…cut it into the dreaded bun…hated it. Had to keep it for the show. Finished season, CHOPPED IT OFF.

Does the man bun serve any purpose in a survival situation?
Ha…short answer is NO.

Do you find a man bun makes you more likeable on television?
HELL NO–I hated that thing. Had to keep it for continuity throughout the season…but you best believe it disappeared RIGHT when we finished filming the finale.

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And now comes the grab bag portion of the Dual Survival update. Enjoy!


Where would you recommend someone that’s never fit into society to run away to live in confinement, surviving solely off nature?
If you don’t mind cold, Alaska. Make sure you prepare yourself mentally and physically, train, and make sure you are doing it all for the right reasons.

How difficult is it to adjust to working with someone who doesn’t have the same mindset as you in a survival situation? I get the feeling that Bill, like Matt before him, would just camp in place and wait it out if he found all the necessities to survive in one place.
It is easy for me. Coming from a background in the Green Berets, we are masters of working by with and through indigenous personnel. Thats how I viewed working with a primitive survivalist coming into this.

Is this a walk in the park in comparison to Ultimate Survival Alaska?
It’s a completely different game. That was three months straight, one environment, no break. This is four months, eight grueling locations, very few breaks. It’s like comparing apples and whiskey.

What’s the most difficult survival situation you’ve been in?
I went hiking out in the mountains outside of Colorado Springs where I was stationed. Was driving a Jetta in the back woods, no cell service, during a snow storm. Got stuck. But, thankfully, I had set a plan in place with a buddy prior to leaving, so it ended up working out. He knew where I would be, and came out with a suitable vehicle. I now drive a truck as well.

Honestly: do you prefer Dual Survival or Ultimate Survival Alaska?
I love how this show affords me the opportunity to test my skills in pretty much any environment out there. Alaska honed my skills in the Alaskan terrain.

How has being on Dual Survival changed your life?
This show has given me an opportunity to write another chapter in my life. and I am thankful for that. I live by the mantra, “We only get one chance at this life; make your story one worth reading.”

Grady- what is the most frightening animal encounter you’ve experienced in the wild?
Got chased by a Mother Grizzly and her two cubs when I was Salmon fishing once in Alaska….F that.

Is there a particular species of wildlife that you fear or dread coming in contact with during Dual Survivor?
Freaking snakes. I hate snakes.

What’s been more fun so far: Dual Survivor, or your military career?
Military career, hands down.

What are some of the coolest things you’ve learned while shooting this show?
I am one patient M#*%%$*&%#@r.

Whats the toughest enviroment to survive in, resource-wise?
A vast desert. Little vegetation, near-zero water, respite from sun is lacking…just wait and see, Episode four or five. We hit it hard.

Are you married with kids? If so, what does she think about the show?
Not married, but me and the girlfriend (Kristi) have three fur babies.

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Has there ever been a situation in all your experiences that you were actually scared and were unsure what to do?
As a child, I was swept away in a riptide in Gulf Shores. Being unable to breathe and having no spatial awareness terrified me. [My] older brother saved me from that one.

Do you experience PTSD from serving in military? Would you consider working with a woman? What are you’re views on gun control and second amendment? 
Zero Post Traumatic Stress–I am one of the lucky ones. I would work with a woman. I am a 2A supporter, but feel that people need to be more responsible with weapons and go get trained.

Would you consider having a huge fan come with you to one of your excursions? I would absolutley love to be a part of that; I love the outdoors, I grew up hunting, tracking, [and] fishing, and I have also done a few minor survival trips. 
That would be a question for the production team. I’m always down for anything.

What is the most important physiological factor not only in surviving difficult situations, but getting along with someone completely opposite of yourself? All at the same time?
Your patience is tested to its limits out there, that is for sure. Just the stress of the situation, paired with the stress of social experiment that goes on…it’s rough.

Do you think you’ll be able to live up to the expectations from the die hard Dual Survival fans?
That is up to the die hard Dual fans. I have skills; I would love the chance to show people how I work. I am not primitive, so if people are expecting that from me, they are looking in the wrong place. I am more modern; [I like to] use what is available to macguiver a solution.

What is the most challenging environment or place you would like to visit in the future for the show?
I want the worst. [We] never know what we are capable of until we do what we can’t.

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Is it true you have your own signature beer coming out?
Damn skippy–an Imperial Smoked Brown Ale called “Looking Up” in collaboration with Alpha Brewing Company. Should be [available] for purchase here pretty soon. Will ship to your door.

You ever seen Naked and Afraid? How crazy are those people? What do you think?
I was asked to do the show, and said, if I did…they had to make my blur go down to my kneecap. Didn’t work out.

What are your top three favorite things about nature?
Ability to test self sufficiency; exploring places that could very well have never been touched; and, as much as I am a social being…I love being alone sometimes.

Whats harder, as a type-A personality in a survival situation with a partner? Compromise, or trust?
Survival is all about being fluid. Trust is huge, so they are both equally important. [You] have to be trusting enough to compromise with your partner.

What kind of environment are you most uncomfortable in? And why?
I HATE THE COLD, and, if it’s wet on top…kill me. I may be some tough Green Beret, but, dude, I’ve been there, done it, got the teeshirt. Now, I complain about EVERYTHING. And cold pisses me off.

One thing I never see on the shows: what do you use for toilet paper?
(SHHHH–don’t tell; I always stash some baby wipes.)

Ok: What is the secret of the universe?
Don’t be an a**hole. It’s pretty much that simple.


Sounds about right! While we’re all working on that, remember that Dual Survival airs Wednesday nights at 9 PM EST on Discovery.


(Photo credits: Dual Survival update via Facebook, Instagram)

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