Matt Kirk, Founder of Kauai Nature School has studied wilderness survival and wildlife tracking since 1996 and has been a wilderness survival and environmental education instructor for over 15 years. Matt has worked as an outdoor educator and guide on Kauai and Oahu since 2002, as well as teaching wildlife tracking and wilderness survival in Washington State, Idaho, and his home state of Minnesota. He traveled to Africa to study with the famed Kalahari Bushmen. He is a 2001 graduate of the Wilderness Awareness School Residential Program and holds a bachelors of science in Natural History and Native Cultures from the University of Minnesota. On the Mainland, he has worked for Wilderness Awareness School, Power of Hope teen empowerment camp, and Boys to Men Minnesota, and has taught wilderness survival classes in Hawaii since 2002, on O’ahu at Lyon Arboretum, and on Kauai as a private mentor for youth wilderness training. Matthew is also a long time student of Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School.


Tyler Rautmann was raised in a nature awareness family. Tyler has spent innumerable hours practicing wilderness awareness and survival skills, while exploring the land and ocean around the island. A skilled fishermen and waterman, he has been called a walking field guide to the islands. He is a graduate of Kauai Nature School Teen Wilderness Program and a youth programs instructor for Kauai Nature School. He has trained with Matt Graham of Boulder Outdoor Survival School and is a 2012 graduate of the Wilderness Awareness School Anake Training Program. He brings a fun, friendly personable attitude, Deep Nature Connection and knowledge of tours.

  • Eldest son mentored in 8 Shields Way
  • Grew up on Northshore of Kauai and had an outdoor education
  • Spent most of his time outside, exploring, fishing
  • Wilderness Awareness School
  • *Walking Field Guide*
  • Surfer

Gage Rautmann has always had a fascination for adventures whether it was hiking, fishing, building a fire or simply watching the sunset from a fantastic view. He grew up on Kauai and the outdoors has always been his playground. Some say he holds the record in Boy Scouts for the fastest friction fire “13 seconds”. He’s traveled 90% of Kauai’s coastline and loves showing people new and amazing places. Gage is very easy going and fun to be around as well as very knowledgeable with Kauai’s do’s and dont’s as well as plants and animals.

  • Grew up hiking, fishing and playing in the great outdoors
  • Part Mountain Goat
  • Mentored in 8 Shields
  • Getting outside and adventuring
  • Surfer