Educator, Author, Podcaster, Master Naturalist


Craig Caudill is the Director and Lead Instructor of Nature Reliance School.  He is a best-selling author of several backcountry skills books and a certified master naturalist. His online school and in-person course programming is among the country's most respected.  

He regularly teaches corporate, government agencies and the public sector.  He is an avid tracker and has taught various first responders on the federal, state, and local level in the science of man-tracking. He has led survival and wilderness navigation courses for wildlife and biology students from 14 different universities in the southeast. He has been featured on Public Education Television for the shows Kentucky Afield, Kentucky Life, and Tim Farmer's Country Kitchen. He has served as a consultant for the Discovery Channel and History Channel He is regularly interviewed on local news segments to share safety and survival skills. He is the author of the books Extreme Wilderness Survival, Ultimate Wilderness Gear, co-author of Essential Wilderness Navigation, Vital Survival (available online only) and The Secret Signs of Nature (his first children's book).  



Educator, SAR Volunteer, Podcaster, Former Army Reservist

Tracy Trimble grew up near Cave Run Lake which is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest of Central Kentucky and the Appalachian Foothills one of the oldest mountain ranges that exists on Earth. With little to do in rural Kentucky Counties, outside of sports, many days and nights were spent camping, hiking, and horseback riding in the woods. It was a common practice for a group of kids in the area to spend the day exploring the woods, cliffs and trails and then camp for the night. Family vacations were centered on camping in the area as well. Today, Tracy spends his time in the outdoors hiking, camping, kayaking, horse riding, squirrel and turkey hunting when not teaching and training with Nature Reliance School. Tracy still spends over 30 nights per year in the outdoors either on his own or teaching/training with NRS.

Tracy spent six years in the Army Reserve where he spent equal time learning various positions/tasks on the M1 Abrams Tank and as a Drill Sergeant. During his service he developed map/compass and land navigation skills and as such Tracy often leads land navigation classes including field exercises/challenges. He has been training and assisting Craig since the start of NRS. He continues training and studying everything from modern combat tactics and tracking to wilderness and primitive skills to flint knapping and leather working. He is an alumni of Iron Sight Defense (Kentucky), Tyr Group (Louisiana) and Tactical Response (Tennessee) and has trained with Doug Meyer in primitive skills (North Carolina).


Medicinal/edible plants instructor Social media maven. :)

Jennifer, the better half to Craig Caudill, wears many hats for Nature Reliance School. She is currently the social media maven for NRS. She is the one posting most of the wonderful things you see on our Facebook, Instagram and Youtube communities. She is also the camera lady and editor for Outdoor Core online content and other video support. She also teaches all of our edible/medicinal plants classes, whether it be dropping in on our weekend survival class or taking the presentations to public schools and libraries.

She has a BS in Education K-8 from Eastern Kentucky University. She has had a lifelong passion for artwork and has taught art in several area schools during her career. She is now leading the charge for the NRS programs to combat "Nature Deficit Disorder" for youth. Jennifer homeschooled both of her children for their entire K-12 careers.  She is now focusing her attention on developing the youth to nature programs for NRS. These program have been taught in 5 different school systems.  These programs are well on their way to helping school administrations meet their core objectives for national rank testing, and helping kids learn and appreciate more about their natural world.


Iron Sight Defense, Owner/Instructor

Rodney D. Van Zant, owner of Iron Sight Defense, is a Kentucky native, a fifteen year Law Enforcement Officer and current Laurel County Deputy Sheriff/Major and range master. He has spent countless hours refining firearm skills and techniques of instruction to better bridge the gap between every skill level of shooter and tactician.

He has spent over 9 years in L.E. Spec Ops, is a 5 year Team Leader, and certified police marksman/observer, logging hundreds of hours on operations and in training, as both an instructor and student. He is certified through the Ky Department of Criminal Justice Training and also through the National Rifle Association as a L.E. and Civilian Firearms instructor. He is a life member of the N.R.A. and a membership recruiter. He is a graduate, and holds countless certifications, from some of the nation’s most renowned schools and instructors. Rodney has, and continues to instruct hundreds of tactically minded students, both civilian, military and law enforcement.


Primitive Arts Worldwide Instructor

Doug is a good friend to NRS and has taught and mentored us in many ways beyond what is taught in his classes. Doug has been studying skills his whole life but became serious 27 years ago when he met Steve Watts and began studying with him. He learned flintknapping from Dr Errett Callahan and was his teaching assistant for 6 years. He learned tracking from Charles Worsham and has been doing skills ever since.