Joel Graves

Plant walk florida and Arkansas

Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk and/or Wilderness Navigation – JAX

Join us just for the plant walk, slingshot workshop or both classes!

9:00-11:00 – Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk ($20/person)
11:30-12:30 – Break/Lunch
12:30-3:30 – Wilderness Navigation  ($40/person)

PLANT WALK

Take a walk on the weedy and the wild side with American Survival Co. Trek through the woods and around our Jacksonville, FL base camp with our expert survival instructor, identifying edible and medicinal plants that are readily available in your area. Learn the benefits and modern uses for these plants, as well as how indigenous cultures used every day weeds as essential medicine and cooking ingredients. You will leave with a valuable knowledge of every day weeds that can be brought into your kitchens and medicine cabinets.

Wilderness Navigation

Make a slingshot with American Survival Co. and learn how to shoot it in this short class. We will use inexpensive, modern materials and common natural resources to construct a sling shot and learn proper shooting techniques in a half day class. These primitive weapons are often overlooked, but slingshots really offer great portability and a short learning curve. With practice, your accuracy can become deadly and make this method one of the easiest, short-term, food procurement options available.

All of our classes are available for private training and group events. Visit our private training page here or americansurvivalschool@gmail.com for more information. Class terms and conditions here.

Plant walk florida and Arkansas

Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk (with add-ons)

Join us just for the plant walk, slingshot workshop or both classes!

9:00-11:00 – Edible & Medicinal Plant Walk ($20/person)
11:30-12:30 – Break/Lunch
12:30-3:30 – Make a Slingshot  ($40/person)

PLANT WALK

Take a walk on the weedy and the wild side with American Survival Co. Trek through the woods and around our Jacksonville, FL base camp with our expert survival instructor, identifying edible and medicinal plants that are readily available in your area. Learn the benefits and modern uses for these plants, as well as how indigenous cultures used every day weeds as essential medicine and cooking ingredients. You will leave with a valuable knowledge of every day weeds that can be brought into your kitchens and medicine cabinets.

SLINGSHOT

Make a slingshot with American Survival Co. and learn how to shoot it in this short class. We will use inexpensive, modern materials and common natural resources to construct a sling shot and learn proper shooting techniques in a half day class. These primitive weapons are often overlooked, but slingshots really offer great portability and a short learning curve. With practice, your accuracy can become deadly and make this method one of the easiest, short-term, food procurement options available.

All of our classes are available for private training and group events. Visit our private training page here or americansurvivalschool@gmail.com for more information. Class terms and conditions here.

backpacking shelter

Modern Shelters: Lightweight Shelter for Backpackers – FL

In an emergency situation you have 3 hours to secure shelter in extreme temperatures. Students learn to quickly make a shelter using a tarp. With a system of easy-to-learn knots, students will be able to construct reliable tarp shelters in a matter of minutes. We will explore a variety of tarp pitches for different environments and situations, to create the most effective shelter to withstand inclement weather. Our tarp pitches in Florida, even survived Hurricane Max and Irma with little to no adjustment. While we cover tarp shelters in EDC Wilderness Survival, we will go deeper into shelter creation, exploring even more pitches and variations. This is great for anyone looking to make their pack ultra light on the trail.

Takeaway: Students will learn to quickly and effectively construct a reliable tarp shelter for a variety of environments and situation, to withstand the worst of mother nature. This is great for anyone looking to make their pack ultra light on the trail.


All of our classes are available for private training and group events. Visit our private training page here or americansurvivalschool@gmail.com for more information. Class terms and conditions here.

wilderness survival fundamentals class

Intro to Survival – FL

This one-day introduction class to basics of survival is perfect for anyone just starting to learn survival skills or an experienced adventurer in need of a quick refresh. We will examine the key components of survival: shelter, fire, water and food, students will also learn about survival psychology and signaling. This course is a great starting point, and the information can be life-saving in an emergency situation.

Survival psychology and mindset are the single most important factor in determining someone’s likelihood of survival. Mindset trumps skills and training trumps gear any day of the week. Our combat-tested veterans have gone through the most rigorous military training available, accomplished dangerous missions in austere environments, and have survived many life or death situations. They bring a very unique perspective to survival psychology mindset and understanding of survival priorities.

Join us for one-day of critical instruction. We promise you will have fun too, but you will leave feeling more prepared for the unexpected.

Take away: Students will feel more comfortable adventuring into the great outdoors and handling an emergency situation should one arise. Following completion, students will have a better idea of their next steps for deeper survival training.


All of our classes are available for private training and group events. Visit our private training page here or americansurvivalschool@gmail.com for more information. Class terms and conditions here.

Build a Bamboo Horse Bow in One Day

Build a Bamboo Horse Bow and Learn to Use It – FL

Make a high-performance horse bow and arrow with your hands and learn primitive archery all in one day. We have partnered with Dave Mead Longbows to provide hand-crafted kits for a unique, primitive bow with impressive quality at an affordable price. Upon completion of our class you will leave with a great shooting bow, handmade arrow and the skills required to use them effectively.

This bow does not disappoint. Stable, accurate and smooth to draw, the horse bow is very compact with no stack, finger pinch, or hand shock. These bows can be made as takedowns for ultra portability or as a sing high-performance unit.

Takeaway: Students will leave with a hand-crafted, great quality horse bow and the knowledge to use it.

Required Equipment: Mead Longbows kit required (allow 3 weeks prior to class for production) – $159


All of our classes are available for private training and group events. Visit our private training page here or americansurvivalschool@gmail.com for more information. Class terms and conditions here.

*Note: American Survival Co. has a modified version of this class offering PVC bows (no bow kit expense), which is great for kids and birthday parties.

Recurve Bamboo Bow Archery class

Build a Bamboo Recurve Bow from Raw Materials (2 Days) – FL

Make a high-performance, unique bamboo recurve bow and arrow from raw materials and learn primitive archery in two days. We have partnered with Dave Mead Longbows to provide hand-crafted kits for a unique, primitive bow with impressive quality at an affordable price. Students will have the benefit of shaping and tillering a bow, and the satisfaction of making a high-performance bow completely by hand.  Upon completion of our class you will leave with a great shooting bow, handmade arrow and the skills required to use them effectively.

This bow does not disappoint. Stable, accurate and smooth to draw, the horse bow is very compact with no stack, finger pinch, or hand shock. These bows can be made as takedowns for ultra portability or as a sing high-performance unit.

Takeaway: Students will leave with a hand-crafted, great quality horse bow and the knowledge to use it.

Required Equipment: Order bow kit here (provide 2 weeks for production prior to class) – $89


All of our classes are available for private training and group events. Visit our private training page here or americansurvivalschool@gmail.com for more information. Class terms and conditions here.

Florida Survival Instructor

Joel Graves – Lead Instructor Florida & Maine

Joel Graves, Owner of American Survival Co. & Former Special Warfare EOD on Seal Team 2

Florida Survival InstructorJoel brings an extremely extensive military and tactical background. Completing 355 missions as Naval Special Warfare EOD on Seal Team 2 & 4, which is arguably one of the most elite and highly trained bomb squads in the world. He has served tours in Iraq, Bahrain and Afghanistan, personally disarmed improvised explosive devices with minimal tools in some of the most austere environments in the world. He has provided secret service protection in multiple countries for President Bush, President Obama and VP Biden. Today, Joel leverages his tactical and combat experience to prepare civilians, military personnel and organizations for international and domestic threats. Training and consulting opportunities with Joel include: international traveler, SERE, active shooter preparedness, self defense and organizational security.

Joel’s bushcraft and survival skill set is as equally impressive. Following his retirement from special forces, Joel spent six months in a long-term survival program where he slept in the field for 5 months, living off the land and honing his craft.. Since a very young age, Joel has been hunting and fishing all over the country. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida and spends much of his time fishing on the coastal waters, gator hunting, building bows, and keeping his self reliance skills sharp. He also put up fierce competition in Discovery Channel’s Bushcraft Build-off and truly has a great love for teaching people of all ages the skills they need to survive!

Train with Joel in Florida, Kentucky, Maine or request private training at your location.

Highlights: US NAVY EOD NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE OPERATOR, MK16 rebreather and SCUBA diver, static line and military free fall parachutist, diving supervisor, demolition operation supervisor, helicopter rope suspension technique (HRST/CAST) master, the Shaw’s Mid-South Shooting Institute and advanced expeditionary combat graduate, emergency vehicle operators course (EVOC), supported numerous US Secret Service missions for POTUS and VPOTUS, extensive combat medical training and real world experience using them.

Explosive Disposal Team Leader on over 355 missions with SEAL Team 2 and Seal Team 4. 2 Tours in Iraq, 1 Tour Bahrain, & 1 Tour Afghanistan.

Explosive ordinance disposal operator for ten years worked with: army, infantry, rangers, marines, SEAL teams, Green Berets, Secret Service, FBI, and police bomb squad units. Joel personally disarmed improvised explosive devices with minimal tools in some of the most austere environments in the world!

Experience & Training:

  • SEAL TEAM 2 & 4
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, 6, 12
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment Mayport
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom: Deployments to MNF-N and MNF-W
  • Operation Enduring Freedom: SOTF-Southeast Afghanistan, Village Stability Operations
  • Military Level B SERE School Graduate

EOD Diving Operations:

  • Diving Supervisor
  • Deep Diving operations down to 300 ft

Shooting Schools:

  • Shaws Mid South Institute
  • Advanced Expeditionary Combat School
  • Blackwater USTC training center
  • TAG long range military shooting school
  • Military Medical Certifications
  • Navy Special Warfare Tactical First Responder medical training (Live Tissue)
  • EOD Combat First Responder
  • Army Combat Life Saver

Military Schools:

  • Pack Mule Operations
  • High/Low Angle Rope Rescue
  • Small Technical Rope Rescue
  • Swift Water Rescue
  • High Altitude Navigation
  • Military Free Fall Operations:Unknown-2
  • Static Line Jumps (80 jumps)
  • HALO/HAHO (High Altitude Low Opening/High Opening) 50 Jumps
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