Alaska’s outdoors people may think they’re tough, but how about paddling 40 days in a dugout canoe in the rains of Southeast Alaska in October and November, dressed in wool, without modern gear? That’s what John Muir did, and his writings about the experience changed science and started the Alaska tourism industry. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about Muir’s historic expedition and others. What these guys did will amaze you.
KSKA: Thursday, July 3, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
It’s a fair bet that the stampeders who flowed north during the Klondike Gold Rush never thought of mining as recreational, but the hunt for gold is something people do for fun, as well as profit. We’ll find out how and why modern recreational miners persist in sifting Alaska’s streams with pans and other obsolete equipment, going after glittering flakes of gold, and hoping for something much richer. It’s a hobby that gets them outdoors, and it’s a treasure hunt.
KSKA: Thursday, June 26, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
The marathon is the pinnacle of physical challenges, an event that few are able to finish, much less excel in. But more and more people are taking the challenge to train and to run 26.2 miles, and this weekend Anchorage’s oldest marathon is taking place, the Mayor’s Marathon, which also includes a half-marathon. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to discuss tips and training advice, and also the philosophy of the race. Why do something that is so hard?
KSKA: Thursday, June 19, 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Our biggest dog park in Anchorage seems to be Chugach State Park. On any sunny day on the trails into the mountains, you will encounter a lot of dogs and their people. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will talk about enjoying the outdoors with your dog, fun stuff you can do, what to be careful of, and how to avoid being a jerk around non-dog people.
KSKA: Thursday, June 12, 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
The poet Homer called the ocean a “whale road.” Some people in the town of Homer seem to have a similar inspiration. They are inaugurating a water trail on Kachemak Bay. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to learn more about the Kachemak Bay Water Trail, which is about to have its grand opening in early June.
KSKA: Thursday, May 29, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
You’ve seen the t-shirts. The ones with a picture of a mosquito with the caption “Alaska state bird.” Mosquito season is upon us. Join host Annie Feidt and two entomologists to talk about what’s biting us. We’ll also learn about the ecological role the buzzers and biters play in Alaska’s ecosystem.
KSKA: Thursday, May 22, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Athletic events in Alaska often have a purpose. The heart run, the ski for women. We look at cause-driven events, and why they’re important to the people involved and to the entire community. Host Charles Wohlforth is joined by a bicyclist who lives with diabetes and rides to help raise money to fight the disease, and a runner who got inspired by Leukemia survivors to help get others involved.
KSKA: Thursday, May 15, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
In Anchorage you head for the mountains, but on the other side of the city there is another wild habitat to explore, summer and winter: the coastal wetlands that extend from Potter’s Marsh to Ship Creek. We’ll talk about the swampy, muddy shoreline of Anchorage, and the many birds and animals that live there.
KSKA: Thursday, May 8, 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The terror of being attacked by a bear is a nightmare for many outdoors people, and a lot of time is spent worrying and planning for it. We’ll put wildlife hazards in context. What should you know to be safe, how can you improve your chances, and why aren’t you thinking about all the other things that could get you, and that are a lot more common. Join us for an opinionated discussion.
KSKA: Thursday, May 1, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Taking kids on an outdoor vacation can be the most rewarding and memorable time of your life. And the most stressful. Ever been without a campsite with hungry, tired kids when its getting past bedtime? Now THAT’S an extreme sport. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about family trips. Host Charles Wohlforth wrote a book on the subject and he is joined by two other authors of advice on family travel in Alaska and taking kids outdoors.
KSKA: Thursday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The ice will soon go out soon on our lakes and rivers. The sea otters are ready to pose for our pictures. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re getting ready for paddling season. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will be talking about canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rivers, lakes and the ocean — gear, safety, planning and packing. We’ll be dreaming about the trips we would love to take, and talking to folks who have done them.
KSKA: Thursday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Alaska’s beauty inspires artists and sometimes overwhelms them. It’s hard to convey how you feel about our spectacular country. But its an important part of the wilderness experience. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about wilderness art with artists who have made expeditions to pursue their work, sponsored by some of our public land agencies. Host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a writer, photographer and a mural artist to talk about expression outdoors.
KSKA: Thursday, April 10, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The Inupiaq people of the North Slope have hunted bowhead whales for at least 1000 years. As spring arrives, they will once again be building trail on the sea ice and building camps to launch umiats of oogruk skin, armed with harpoons and 19th century bomb guns. On the next Outdoor Explorer, host Charles Wohlforth and guests calling in from Barrow will talk more about how Eskimo whaling is done and what the tradition means.
KSKA: Thursday, April 3, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 pm.
You see them zipping around Turnagain Arm and in the backcountry. Brightly colored kites and their human drivers adorn Alaska’s airspace, harnessing the wind to power an extreme sport. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will talk on all things kiting.
KSKA: Thursday, Mar. 27 at 2:00 p.m.
The Eklutna traverse is a popular spring trip for local and visiting mountaineers. But the 38-mile trip is changing. Host Annie Feidt and her guests will explore whether changing glaciers means a changing adventure on the next Outdoor Explorer.
KSKA: Thursday, March 20, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Have you gotten a little sedentary over the winter? Host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a coach, a physical therapist and a dietician to talk about how to safely and successfully start a fitness program, to control weight, improve health or just enjoy life more. For those who already work out regularly, we’ll talk about how to take it to the next level, and even to endurance competition.
KSKA: Thursday, 3/13, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The annual statewide competitions are coming up soon, as well as the international Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks. These games are spectacular, like the high kick, and sometimes require toughness and courage. Their cultural roots are for preparing for outdoor survival and hunting success. We’ll have athletes and cultural experts in the studio.
KSKA: Thursday, 3/6 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Backcountry skiing opens more of Alaska to access by muscles alone than any other sport, and can take you to the most awesome and fearsome spots, too, for self-reliant adventure. But it’s complicated. We’ll learn about the several kinds of backcountry skis and techniques — telemark, randonee, touring — what each is best for, and the most reasonable route to find your way into the sport.
KSKA: Thursday, 2/27 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Antarctica is a land of extremes. Spectrum Radio reporter Glenn Zorpette takes listeners to the world’s southernmost frozen expanse in the hour-long radio documentary, “Antarctica: Life on the Ice.” This piece is a co-production of the National Science Foundation and IEEE Spectrum Radio Programming. Outdoor Explorer will return next week.
KSKA: Thursday 2/20 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.