Jess Caldwell is an outdoor educator, wilderness survival instructor, nature lover, and yogi. She’s the founder of Wildkind Academy, an immersive program of outdoor education, training, and leadership development.
We dive deep in this interview about Jess's wide ranging interests and experience.
With a degree in Health & Wellness Promotion from Portland State University, a 25-year study as a Yoga teacher and as a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Jess has developed a holistic health & rewilding program for those seeking one-on-one lifestyle design, and she's one of the most fascinating people I've met in the outdoor space.
"Always listen to the inner calling of your soul"
- How Outward Bound helped create her love of nature and the outdoors
- How Jess started Wildkind Academy as a way to write off her outdoor equipment purchases
- How losing her father led her into the home funeral and green burial industry and becoming a death doula as part of Hospice
- The difference between a “green burial” and a “conservation burial”
- How the funeral industry and cemeteries have become an ecological disaster
- How rituals and ceremonies are so important for both birth and death
- Why nature based coming of age ceremonies are essential for society and culture and how she’s implemented these in her own family
- How a 7 day solo survival trip changed her life
- How she finds a feminine balance in the male dominated outdoor industry
- How Wildkind Academy is helping people gain a new appreciation of nature and the wilderness through foraging, fishing, & hunting
- Why she’s moving away from the term “rewilding” and leaning into “wild integration”
- Why plant medicine might be the solution to overcome our environmental issues
- Why you always need to follow your intuition, especially in the outdoors
- How she has evolved from a "prepper" over the years
- What gear Jess always carries with her
- Wildkind Academy
- Wildkind Facebook
- Wildkind Instagram
- Jess on Instagram
- Jess on Tiktok
- Outward Bound
- Nature is Metal Instagram account
- Survival University
- Wazu Gear
- War Bonnet Outdoors
- Book: Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening
- Book: The Four Agreements
- Book: The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life
- Book: The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self