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Nature Immersion - Level 1 - 3 Day

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Original price $0 - Original price $330
Original price
$0 - $330
Current price $330

Nature Immersion is our way of connecting us to the ancient methods of understanding what is going on around us.  This will include knowledge-based learning and experiential learning.  Come expecting to be in nature all weekend, not hearing a lecture. 

Class will be taught by Eric Comley and Craig Caudill who are both Certified University of Kentucky Master Naturalists (UKMN) and UKMN program instructors as well.  

This class typically contains several UK Master Naturalist program graduates as well.  Lots of great knowledge is shared. 

This class will be a compilation of various educational opportunities for participants to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world around us.  Our intent is two-fold:

  • To offer all participants an opportunity to see, understand and experience more of what is around them in the natural world.
  • To offer all participants ways, methods, and materials to help them study on their own after they leave as well as the ability to teach others.

This course will include the following (please note there will be minimal lecture on these topics to spend more time doing experiential learning):

  • Tree identification and their uses for proper woodsmanship skills.  We will identify a minimum of 10 species of trees and handcraft a project during class.
  • Forest Ecology and detailing how a forest is interconnected.  This allows for more opportunities to see wildlife, gather materials for survival and bushcraft efficiently, and to recognize more on your next hike.
  • Aquatic invertebrates and what their presence tells us.  We will wade a nearby stream and learn how to analyze the life in the stream to help us determine its biologic viability and health.  
  • Herbaceous plants identification and if time allows, photography of them as well.  
  • Game tracking fundamentals.  We will learn how to determine various species and recognize their tracks in open and woodland environments.  This will include all participants making a cast of a track to take home.
  • Nature illustration concepts.  Sketching and illustration is one of the key ways all nature enthusiasts learn their craft.  You will get to choose your subject matter and have a trained artist help you learn how to sketch more effectively.  (This portion of class will be taught by Jennifer Caudill who attended Eastern Kentucky University on an art scholarship and taught art in Clark County Public Schools.
  • Edible and medicinal plants and trees.   Snacks and medicine are all around you in the outdoors.  We will spend time learning how to identify several different useful species.  We will also make a tincture for your use after you leave.  What tincture is made will depend upon species availability at the class.
  • Dedicated time learning how to teach others.   We will teach the science and art of teaching others.  This will include specific training to help you teach, mentor, and guide adults and/or youth after the class. 

Follow this link for class normal practices and gear list suggestions/recommendations.  

Once your register and pay for class you will receive an automatic email with the location and other important info.  To ensure you don't miss it, be sure to add to your email sender list and/or look in your spam folder for an email titled:  "Important Nature Reliance School Class Info"


Course Gear List

Normal Practices and Gear Listing Requirements for Hands-on Multi-Day Classes

Class Normal Practices

  • Please bring your own camping equipment, food, and food preparation supplies.  A common hallmark of our classes is to share supplies when needed and sometimes even food.  This allows you to see how different pieces of equipment work and learn about new skills.   
  • Bring water for yourself.  A good guess is 1 gallon of water per person, per day you are there.  We will have extra if you underestimate your needs
  • No dogs allowed in any Nature Reliance School class. 
  • Unless otherwise noted in an email, please feel free to show up to weekend courses anytime after 4pm but NOT before. 
  • The exact location will be sent to those who register for a class.  For estimating travel before receiving those directions, please plan on driving to Frenchburg, KY.   
  • The recommended minimum age for this class is 13 years of age.  Younger children will be allowed only with special permission from the instructor cadre.  Please inquire at  
  • If you have any of our books and would like them to be signed, please bring them.  If you want to buy some for that purpose, then refer to this link.

Our Approach to Gear

Our approach to gear is simple.  For Level 1 classes we want you to be comfortable enough to make the learning experience as easy as possible.  For level 2 and above classes we want you to have increased your knowledge enough that you use less gear.  To save us some time in producing redundant listings for different classes, the following are our gear lists.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:

For all classes we will have loaner equipment for use.  However if you go ahead and purchase some of these recommendations you can practice with your gear to get a feel for it and our feedback on how to use it.  For each of these listings, we are offering you our recommended choice.  Nearly all purchases listed here serve to support Nature Reliance School.  So any purchase you make will continue to allow us to keep class costs low.  If you already have this gear, by all means, bring it and use and learn more of its pros and cons.  Please note when available, we have offered you a list of items that will help meet various budgets.  They are listed as good, better, best.  If you do not have the requisite equipment for class instruction you can borrow ours.  However we dont have extra camping (tent, hammock, sleeping systems) to borrow.  

Please also note that for level 1 classes, and others, where we have a basecamp setup.  You will be parking about 100 yards or so from where most people camp.  So plan on packing with that in mind.  You are also welcome to camp at your car but it is a more exposed area.  Once you register for class you will receive a follow up email that details the location so you can have a good idea of what to expect when you arrive and setup.  

General recommendations for all classes:

  • Notebook and pencil/pen, 
  • A clipboard or similar for stable writing platform.
  • Day Pack (GoodBetterBest)
  • Basic First Aid Kit (we always have an extensive first aid kit on site for more involved issues)
  • Water container (Bottle or Bladder) also bring 1 gallon of water for drinking and food prep for yourself.
  • Head Lamp or Flashlight
  • Camera for photos (cell phones welcome)
  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Weather-related gear, we train rain or shine.
  • Sleep system of your choice (hammock, tent or tarp).  NRS has very few extra items and you can borrow, please contact us early if you want some of these supplies as they go quickly.
  • Food and food-prep supplies (you are responsible for your own food and preparation of it)
  • Personal toiletries and water for your use.  There is an outhouse on site but no running water.
  • Camping/Lawn type chair
  • Bring a good notebook of any type and both pencils and pens.  You will most likely do some sketching in the class and will want pencils
  • Shoes that you dont mind getting wet.  We will be doing some creek and stream study and will be in the water overturning rocks, etc.  
  • Any naturalist books that you might have already (Peterson, etc).  Do not buy any for the class unless specifically suggested to do so.  We will have several to use.
  • A woods seat cushion or similar.  We will spend a lot of time in outdoor settings in the wilderness.  You will be more comfortable if you have a cushion.  If you are used to sitting in the woods without one, there will be no need

Additional Course Information

All participants must fill out a waiver before attending courses.  You can find the waiver at this link

Unless otherwise noted. Class times are as follows (all times are EST)

Weekend Courses:  Start time is 7pm on Friday, End time is no later than 2pm on Sunday

One Day Courses:  Start time is 9am, End time is no later than 5pm 

Week-Long Courses:  Start time is 12pm Monday - 12p Friday.

Cancellation, Refund, and Exchange Policy:

Registering for a class at Nature Reliance School signifies a commitment to attend on the scheduled dates. All tuition sales are final. We do not offer refunds or transfers for cancellations or no-shows within one week of the class start date. Transfers are available for cancellations more than 30 days before the class begins. In the rare event that we must cancel a course, participants are eligible for a full refund or credit. This policy is strictly enforced without exceptions.

Failure to attend a class without prior notification will result in forfeiture of any refund.

We recognize unexpected situations may arise, prompting a need to cancel. We'll strive to accommodate and mitigate any financial loss or inconvenience caused.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.