Anchored Podcast Ep. 166: Brad Salon and Sarah Corrigan on Primitive Skills

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Brad Salon and Sarah Corrigan prove that you don’t have to be raised in the wild to cultivate a traditional outdoor education. They were both raised in the suburbs and yet they still developed a passion for the outdoors. Brad and Sarah understand that feeling of being alive that only the outdoors can bring. 

Their passion for the outdoors led them to seek careers in outdoor education and ultimately open the Roots School in Vermont. The Roots School strives to bring about long term relationships with the natural world to its students. Find out what kinds of skills they teach at the Roots School and why so many people are drawn to learning traditional outdoor skills on this episode of Anchored. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:15] You don’t have to be raised in the wild to cultivate outdoor skills
  • [8:55] What classes do they teach?
  • [12:09] How does one even make a basket?
  • [17:19] What is important in bow making?
  • [23:56] Foraging has gotten popular over the past few years
  • [30:25] Learning how to hunt for mushrooms is not as easy as it seems
  • [36:35] They also teach hide tanning

What classes do they teach at the Roots School outdoor education program?

The Roots School teaches all kinds of survival and traditional skills. Their outdoor education programs range from traditional crafts to self-reliance. Brad and Sarah each have their own specialty classes that they love to teach. In addition to the ever-popular basic survival skills, Brad teaches a bowmaking class where students learn how to take a log and craft it into a bow capable of hunting. Sarah loves teaching others how to make baskets and other types of vessels. Listen in to discover all the different types of outdoor education programs that Brad and Sarah teach at the Roots School.

What is important to bow making? 

Brad’s passion for bow making is evident in his voice. He describes how he works with students to craft their bows from logs. The right bow starts out heavy and then the weight is reduced until it is just right for the individual. Even more important than the bow itself are the arrows. Brad mentions that learning proper care and maintenance of the arrows is integral to the bow making class. Would you like to learn how to hunt effectively with a homemade bow?

Foraging is a popular outdoor skill to learn 

The recent popularity in foraging is both exciting and worrisome at the same time. Ethical questions arise when all of a sudden everyone starts harvesting edible wild plants. Sarah and Brad teach sensible foraging so that their students don’t overharvest the plants they are learning to identify and eat. They teach their students to develop an intimate relationship with the land so that they understand how the plants are involved in the ecosystem at large. 

Learning how to hunt for mushrooms is not as easy as it seems

Mushroom hunting is not for the faint of heart. There are so many look-alikes that it can be easy to be fooled into eating a poisonous mushroom if you’re not careful. One way to take extra care is by making a spore print since the difference between some mushrooms can only be seen in their spores. Have you ever made a spore print? Find out why it is important to help propagate what you pick by listening to this interview with Sarah and Brad from the Roots School on Anchored.

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Anchored Outdoors is an ever-growing network of fly fishing experts who’ve been brought together by podcaster and fellow outdoorswoman, April Vokey.

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