Boost Your Outdoor Survival Skills and Family Preparedness at the Same Time with Quality Training

When it comes to outdoor survival skills, I defer to others for their expertise. So, as with other areas related to family preparedness, I like to put you in touch with people who have products and services that will be beneficial to you.

Have you considered taking classes at an outdoor survival school? If so, perhaps you don’t know where to start. How can you find one that’s reputable? Are there family friendly schools that offer good training, but aren’t like military boot camp?

Fortunately, the answer to that last question is yes. Here’s how I came to find out about such a school, specifically Nature Reliance School.

I became acquainted with Dan’s Depot, and they were kind enough to offer articles I could share with you. Craig Caudill, a consultant to Dan’s Depot, has written articles you can view here and here.

It seemed like a good idea to interview Craig for DestinySurvival Radio. So he was my guest this week, and I think you’ll enjoy our visit..

Who is Craig Caudill?

Craig is the chief instructor at Nature reliance school in central Kentucky. Based on our conversation, I’d say he’s an easy going kind of guy you’d want to get to know and learn from. Allow me to take a few paragraphs to help establish his credibility with you.

As the bio info on his site says, he “was blessed to grow up with parents that enjoyed the outdoors. He spent his childhood years exploring creeks, and woods at his home and at the family farm. He spent many weekends with his dad and other friends, sleeping in tipis and lean tos in reenactment events as well as caves and other wild places.”

“He also spent a great deal of time hunting and fishing, and was taught very important “woods ethics” by his dad. At an early age he challenged himself with two distinct “woods sabbaticals” in which he walked into the wilderness with very minimal supplies (a knife) and stayed for nearly 30 days each. These two experiences left him understanding the limits to his knowledge of bushcraft and wilderness living. It was those two experiences that have led him to the last two decades of practicing and honing practical wilderness skills alongside, primitive skills (i.e. Native American and other aboriginal culture skills).”

Craig has trained with notable instructors, too. One of them is Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder School. But as Craig modestly told me in our conversation, he doesn’t want people thinking he’s cool or that he’s the only one who has all the answers.

He’s also an accomplished author who has written or been featured in several magazines including Self-Reliance Illustrated and others. He’s also written a weekly newspaper column and has been featured on educational TV in Kentucky.

Craig also loves teaching both adults and youth, especially to those who are new to outdoor experiences. In an e-mail he sent me, he quoted the late Jeff Cooper who said, “You will not rise to the occasion, but rather default to your level of training.” Craig believes in promoting family preparedness, rather than “lone wolf” survivalism.

What is the Nature Reliance School AllAbout?

Nature Reliance School started in 2006. It’s a good place for beginners. Craig wants to help you have a useful set of outdoor survival skills when you complete the course. And to be sure the skills stick, you can go back and take the classes later at a next-to-nothing price. Making a fire, building a shelter, procuring water, etc., are skills that should be used regularly to maintain those skills.

Craig makes Nature Reliance School family friendly by keeping prices affordable and inviting parents to train with their children. While training is suitable for the inexperienced, the school is also open to those with more advanced skills, such as those in Special Forces who want to brush up on their training.

Different classes serve different skill levels. Whether you want to learn land navigation or survive in the woods with just a knife, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Nature Reliance School.

A chief aim of the school is to get people connected with nature. You should have the confidence to know you can learn to survive outdoors if you have to. The skills can be useful for surviving scenarios like earthquakes, which are a real possibility in the part of the country where Nature Reliance School is located.

But urban survival is important, too. Therefore, Craig has developed material on that which is provided by Dan’s Depot.

Craig makes it a point to be genuine and open with his students. Though he’s the teacher, he’s open to new ideas, too.

He and his staff want students to get a lot of hands-on experience. They also believe it’s important to work in groups, which will be essential in long term survival situations.

What’s the Connection to Dan’s Depot?

As this is being written, Dan’s Depot had asked Craig Caudill to become a consultant to help develop gear and kits and provide part of the training they offer.

Craig says he can’t say enough good things about the Dan’s Depot community. That includes the people who work at Dan’s and the people who participate in the online forums and comment on blog posts.

What About Mindset vs. Survival Gear?

Equipment that’s been tested in the field is important, and Dan’s Depot strives to make it affordable. But wherever you are–urban or wilderness setting–mindset is crucial for self reliance.

Your survival gear won’t save you. It’s your skill using it that will save you. Dan’s Depot aims to provide you and me with the knowledge and mindset necessary to use that gear.

If you’re wondering how to get started, Craig recommends watching the DVD’s from Dan’s Depot, such as the one on urban survival. Also, check out the site’s forums.

Craig and I talked about more, but to hear it all, listen to DestinySurvival Radio for March 14, 2013. Check out the Nature Reliance School at Find Dan’s Depot at


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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