Outdoor Explorer

On "Outdoor Explorer" from KSKA-Anchorage we invite you to step outside into Alaska. Follow us to a new trail or fishing hole, learn what to pack, when to go and most importantly, how to stay safe. Learn about life-long fitness and get inspired to go outside in the back country or on the bike trails. We’ll hear from the people who know the land best - outdoor guides, park rangers, coaches, authors, lodge owners, bush pilots, educators and you, the explorer. Listen Thursdays 2:00 – 3:00 pm on KSKA FM, streaming live at alaskapublic.org. We're looking for your show ideas! Please send your thoughts for upcoming shows to: cwohlforth@alaskapublic.org

Starting in Washington, going over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon, through the Bering Sea, up river to Lake Iliamna, finally ending up in Anchorage's Westchester Lagoon, Bob Vollhaber paddled a canoe five thousand miles in five months. He’d never done anything like the before. On the next Outdoor Explorer, listen to an interview with Bob recorded on September 17th, just days after he completed the extraordinary journey. KSKA: Thursday 10/24 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday, June 01, at 2:00p.m. Staying healthy in the backcountry is a prerequisite to having a good time. But it’s more important than that. Getting sick in the wilderness, away from health care, can magnify the hazards of a situation. On the next show, we’ll talk about health issues, mostly having to do with food and water, and how you can keep your group in good shape on backcountry hiking or remote boating trips this summer. LISTEN HERE

You can’t always assume the places you love to recreate will still be accessible for the next generation, especially on the edges of urban Alaska where development happens rapidly. The Matanuska Valley contains some of our favorite places. We'll discuss the work being done to conserve it by a private non-profit organization, and about fun spots like Bodenburg Butte, the Palmer Hay Flats, and the many other hiking, biking, hunting and fishing areas to enjoy. KSKA: Thursday, August 21, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

A huge proportion of Alaska is covered with ice. A lot more than has towns and cities or anything man made on it. That’s a lot of country to explore, and its truly beautiful, like another world. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 30, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Ski swap time is upon us. It’s become a season in Anchorage, when used gear comes out of the garage and goes on sale in these giant rummage sales, which can be as competitive as a Walmart on Thanksgiving. But is this really a good way to get quality gear? KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 16, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

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. Listen now:

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The feel of the air at night has changed. Fall is coming. Time for berry picking. It’s been a great year for berries across Alaska, and on today's show, we will talk in detail about where, how, and what to pick, and how to handle your harvest with experts on the art, science, health and culinary details of berries, and share the warm feeling of this wonderful family tradition. KSKA: Thursday, 8/22 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 10, at 2:00 p.m. The Alaska Range is the most dramatic topographic feature in Alaska, and among the greatest in the world, with North America’s tallest peak. On the next show, we’ll be talking about the Alaska Range, and the effort to capture it in a new book. In the second half of the show we’ll have the treat of hearing from Art Davidson, a member of the first climb ever to summit Denali in the winter. LISTEN NOW

Parents of three Anchorage Olympians join us in the studio. Some of them are headed to Sochi, where the winter games start Friday, so we pre-recorded the show. We’ve heard from athletes, but as a parent it is easier to identify more with the parents: with their pride, and trepidation, and with knowledge of the sacrifices made for a young person to succeed at the highest level. We'll learn how parents produce an Olympian, and how it feels, good and bad, once you have one in the family. KSKA: Thursday 2/6 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. Boat building is much more than carpentry. Boats can be an extension of a builder’s heart, connecting to traditions and place, and relating a paddler’s physical and spiritual being to the ocean. The guests on this show are skilled craftspeople who have spent their lives building and repairing wooden boats, and building traditional Inuit kayaks. LISTEN NOW

When Russians first came to Alaska in the 1740s, they were seeking fur, and fur-bearing animals were an important element of Alaska's economy for more than 200 years. Today, Alaska still has thousands of trappers, both those who make a living at it and those who do it for fun. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll hear more about an activity as old as Alaska itself. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 5, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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. Listen now:

Hatcher Pass is in our backyard, an easy day trip from Anchorage, but it’s also a really special place that attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see that gorgeous alpine country, and the historic Independence Mine. We have several guests to cover the many aspects of Hatcher Pass: outdoor activities, winter and summer, history, and as a place to spend a weekend. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 15, at 2:00 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 22, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

This edition of Outdoor Explorer comes to you from the backcountry of Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Earlier in the summer, Charles flew with friends to a mountain pass in the massive, incredibly spectacular Wrangell mountains where they spent an extended weekend on dayhikes in the alpine environment, near the Russell Glacier. We'll learn about the park, the trip, and how you can do a backcountry adventure in this amazing park. KSKA: Thursday, August 6, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, September 22, at 2:00p.m. and Thursday, September 29, at 8:00p.m. Alaska’s rivers are the best path to see the backcountry for non-motorized adventures, traveling in relative comfort and seeing the grandeur of Alaska. Still, cold moving water in remote areas can also be dangerous. Every summer, we hear stories of tragedies and of near misses on Alaska’s rivers and in this episode we'll tackle that topic head-on. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. Fly fishing is the art of catching fish with style. It’s about the journey, not the destination. But going to exotic destinations can be a big part of it. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about traveling for fly fishing with some very accomplished anglers. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, July 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 21, at 8:00 p.m. Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, averaging 47 miles a day. David Johnston finished the 350-mile Iditarod Invitational in four days, running on snow. They’ll both join us as we try to understand what makes ultra-endurance athletes tick. LISTEN NOW

Alaskans are making winter gear here in Alaska that you can buy, tuned for local conditions, often made of Alaskan materials, and decorated with Alaskan artwork. We’ll meet outdoors people who have turned their passion for snow into businesses manufacturing products you can use. We’ll learn about their wares, and the inspiration and struggles of making snow gear locally. KSKA: Thus Dec 10pm at 2 and Thus Dec 17 at 8pm Download Audio

Have you ever been to a regatta? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll be in the field with the Anchorage Rowing Association as they put a crop of beginners through the basics in time for the Dave Thorsness Challenge -- a newbie-friendly regatta. Join host Charles Wohlforth on his fun foray into competitive rowing. KSKA: Thursday, July 16, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

KSKA: Thursday, June 30, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 07, at 8:00 p.m. Something about human-power, pedals and wheels inspired inventors, and if you spend much time on Alaskan trails, you will see some odd contraptions rolling by. On the next Outdoor Explorer, I’m talking to guys who would like to convert you and everyone to recumbent bikes and unicycles. DOWNLOAD AUDIO