wilderness survival - craig caudill

Meet America’s Wilderness Survival Expert

Wilderness survival is admittedly not one of my strong areas, being from a “big city” and all…

So today, I want to introduce you to someone whom has taught me a lot about that and a lot more over the past several years.

Chances are he will humbly disagree with the title I gave him above, but for me I like to think it suits him well. 🙂

Keep reading and I bet you’ll want to learn from him, too!

(Want to see more biographical features like this? Be sure to let me know in the comments!)

Why This Guy?

I first heard of this person through Disaster Readiness Expert and Bug Out Bag Academy contributing writer, Jim Cobb.

Like Jim, I was immediately drawn to Craig’s common sense, cool-headed approach, and passion for teaching survival skills.

In an area so easily filled with fear, hype, doom and gloom, and all that, Craig and those like him are a much needed breath of fresh air these days.

I like to think we have a few things in common, but in truth, like Jim, this guy is in a completely different league!

A True Survival Expert and Gentleman

Craig Caudill is a bonafide professional in his area of expertise. 

Wilderness Survival Instructor Craig Caudill
Craig Caudill, Chief Instructor @ Nature Reliance School gathering cattails, a natural fire tinder.

If you have yet to come across his books, magazine articles, his highly informative YouTube channel, Podcast, Facebook page or educational Facebook group, then you should see what you’ve been missing.

Equally as important to me, he’s an all around great guy who knows there is always something new to learn. 

I added that last part because, while he knows A LOT, he also is not a “Know-It-All.”

For example, Craig will often say while instructing —

“Now this is a way, but not necessarily the way.”

He knows that techniques can be specific to the individual and/or situation and that not everything works the same for everyone.

I think this is a very important quality to look for when finding a mentor or instructor to learn from. And this is just one of several reasons I follow Craig.

So let’s dive in…

Craig has a southern gentleman-like, genuine approach to teaching others what he has learned experientially.

I say experientially, because if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to survive in the wilderness for 30 days with nothing but a knife, Craig is your man. 

He’s done it. 


However, even if you’re just wanting to get your feet wet, there’s something here for you as well. 

For instance. Have you ever felt too intimidated to take a wilderness survival course or hesitated to ask the most basic of questions because you are afraid of ridicule and coming across as a newbie? 

You need not worry about any of this around Craig and his team.

It doesn’t take long to see that he has a warm, genuine and inviting approach to educating others. And he has the ability to explain things in a way that even the most inexperienced novice can understand and appreciate.

Email subscribers to Bug Out Bag Academy may recall in an earlier email where I outlined a few key qualifications to look for in order to separate the true experts from the pretenders.

By these standards, Craig Caudill checks many, if not all, of the boxes needed to be classified as a true expert… some of which I’ll touch on below.

With over 40 years of “hands-on” knowledge, you’ll find he not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk. Daily. 

A Place Where Everyone Can Learn Something New

His company, Nature Reliance School, regularly holds on site course intensives. Here he has hosted various government agencies, corporate teams, educational institutions and individuals like you and me looking to improve upon and learn new skills in the areas of wilderness survival, emergency preparedness, and disaster readiness.

While he isn’t one to boast of his achievements, his resume is extensive and impressive. (And in case you think I’m one for hyperbole, you can read more about those accomplishments here.)

A 5 Star, Best Selling Author

As if that weren’t enough, Craig is also the author of three excellent books, with more surely to come. Just check out those 5 star reviews below… 

I’ve had the pleasure of reading all but his latest, but it’s on the list. 

These books are, of course, what you’d expect from someone with his level of knowledge and experience. (Note: If you buy through these links I may receive a small commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you. As always, your support is greatly appreciated.)

His book on wilderness survival gear is great for anyone looking to learn from an expert what specific gear to choose and use when spending time in the great outdoors.

Extreme Wilderness Survival covers everything from mindset, survival skills, tactics as well as gear selection.

If you want to, in essence, earn your ‘Wilderness Survival Merit Badge,’ then putting what you learn in these books into actual practice would be a great start.

In addition to all the above, Craig also finds time to regularly write wilderness survival articles for popular magazines including: 

Prepper’s Survival Guide, Backwoods Survival Guide, Self-Reliance Illustrated, Wilderness Way, American Frontiersman, American Survival Guide, Backwoods Self-Reliance magazines, just to name a few.

Now you may be thinking, “This is great, Andrew! Does he have anything for Bug Out Bags or wilderness survival kits?

Yep, he’s got that, too.

Bug Out Bags / Survival Kits Designed By Experts

Craig teamed with Jim Cobb and Survival Supply Co to put together some of the most basic, yet comprehensive Emergency Supply Kits / Bug Out Bags on the market. Quite affordable too, compared to others I’ve seen.

Now, if you’re looking for something to survive a zombie apocalypse, this particular kit probably won’t get you very far… 

…But if you’re looking for a great starter kit to prepare for a more likely power outage or emergency evacuation, then these pre-built 72 Hour Bug Out Bags from Sustain Supply Co. are worth serious consideration.

His Latest Project: A Beautiful Wilderness Survival Knife

Even with all that, if you were to ask him what he is most excited about currently it would rightfully be his new creation in collaboration with L.T. Wright Knives.

As with anything L.T. Wright touches, this knife is beautiful.

wilderness survival knife
Craig Caudill’s latest creation: The “Shemanese”

The “Shemanese” which means “Long Knife” in Shawnee, appears to be the ideal companion for anyone who spends a lot of time in the wilderness like the colonial pioneers did.

While not priced for casual use (just under $300), I imagine any serious outdoorsman or woman would be well served to give it thoughtful consideration. You can learn more about the Shemanese knife and all the thought that went into it, here.

And be sure to check out this article if you’d like to learn more in general about what is the best knife for your bug out bag.


Well if that isn’t enough to have you sold on Craig and the great things he is doing at Nature Reliance School, then I don’t think anything will!

Please do take a moment to look him up using the links above. You won’t be disappointed. And if you’re near Kentucky, sign up for one of his classes.

I’m sure if Craig could send a personal invite to you right now, he would say “COME ON, JOIN IN, LET’S LEARN, TOGETHER!”

PS: I think it’s important for me to note that Craig didn’t even know I was going to write this until shortly before hitting publish. I’m not receiving any compensation from him or his school either, other than the satisfaction of knowing I may be improving lives in one way or another by putting you two in touch. 

I simply want to make you aware of some of the people that I’ve learned a lot from over the years and continue to receive great value from on a regular basis.

So how about it? Have you been a fan of Craig Caudill for some time or is this the first time hearing about him? Is there someone similar you look to for your wilderness survival training?

Either way I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And, please, if you enjoyed this article, it’d mean a lot if you liked and shared it with your like-minded friends!

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  • Craig says:

    I am completely humbled by your words. Thank you. I will use this article to continue working hard to maintain a standard of education that focuses on people learning ahead of anything else. Thank you again!

    • Andrew says:

      I appreciate you letting me introduce you to my readers, Craig. I just took the time to say what everyone that knows you is already thinking.