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 at 2:00 & 8:00 pm on KSKA FM, streaming live at alaskapublic.org.

We’re looking for your show ideas! Please send your thoughts for upcoming shows to: bork@alaskapublic.org

Salmon and Alaska

Salmon are an iconic symbol of Alaska: plentiful and wild. On this week’s Outdoor Explorer we’ll being talking with Amy Gulick about her new book “The Salmon Way.”

Revisiting adventures in field science

Alaskan geologists, biologists, archeologists, and lots of other kinds of ologists cover the wilderness in their work, in search of knowledge but avoiding something many outdoor folks are looking for: adventure. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll hear from field scientists about their challenges studying Alaska, and how they keep safe and work effectively in places where other people go to test themselves against the elements.

Volunteering in the outdoors

Volunteering in the outdoors is a great way to contribute to the quality of our outdoor experiences, and is rewarding in itself. More and more land managers rely on volunteers to maintain the quality of trails, pull invasive weeds, and monitor campsites. On this week’s show we’ll be talking about opportunities to volunteer in the outdoors.

Formidable women of Alaska

Alaskan women have a reputation for pushing the adventure boundaries. Lael Wilcox, an internationally known endurance cyclist, and producer Lee Hart and rider Jill Simek of the fat bike short film Blue, have stories to tell about their epic adventures and projects.

Outdoor summer camps

On the next Outdoor Explorer we are learning about outdoor summer camps for kids. Once school is out camps are a ritual for many families, however camps have changed a lot in the last 20 years. Camps have become more professional and are not just a month living in the woods.

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame: 2019 Trajan Langdon Award recipients

Larsen Klingel and Andy Beardsley at the Boston Marathon. Photo by Katie Beardsley. Andy Beardsley, Larsen-Klingel...

Getting kids and adults outside

Now that the snow has melted, the pavement is dry, the trails are almost dry, and endless daylight has arrived, more Alaskans are spending more time outside. This week on Outdoor Explorer we are talking about how to connect kids with the outdoors. And, in anticipation of Bike to Work Day we will talk to the folks at Bike Anchorage and find out what they are doing to make Anchorage more bike friendly.

Hidden animals in Alaska

Costa's Hummingbird. Photo: Mr. WhitekeysAnna's Hummingbird. Photo: Mr. WhitekeysCosta's Hummingbird. Photo: Mr. WhitekeysOtter in Campbell Creek. Photo: Laura BurzinskiFlying Squirrel. Photo:...
Photo: National Park Service

Climbing Denali

While most of us are storing our skis for the summer, the Denali climbing season is just beginning. Climbing rangers are putting in Kahiltna Base Camp and the first climbers are on the mountain soon to be followed by 1000s of others. Join us for the next Outdoor Explorer as we talk with two veterans of Denali, climber Colby Coombs and Denali Ranger Melis Coady. Thanks for listening!

Accessing Alaska’s rivers

Spring is in the air and the river ice is thawing out. Whether rafting, canoeing, kayaking, or inner tubing, there are plenty of ways to access Alaska's rivers without a motor. This week on Outdoor Explorer, we'll be speaking with Les Gara and Eric Downey about their experiences on Alaska's rivers, and about how the rest of us can get out there and join them. Thanks for listening!

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to Teach, Honor, and Inspire. On the next Outdoor Explorer we'll be joined by the Executive Director of the Hall who will tell us about the class of 2019 and representatives from the Alaska Run for Women, which is entering the Hall in the event category. Thanks for listening!

Surfing and hiking

When most of us think of the outdoor activities that Alaskans love, we tend to think of hiking, biking, skiing, and skating. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we talk about one not so common Alaskan outdoor activity, surfing - we talk about where to do it and how to get started as a beginner. We also talk about a more common outdoor activity, hiking, and how one woman prepared for her trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro by hiking in Southcentral Alaska. Thanks for listening!

Learning from our elders

The outdoors can teach us many lessons, from skills like pitching a tent and cooking a hot meal to life lessons such as communication and decision making. Alaska is full of women and men of all stripes that have lived full lives in the outdoors. Join your host, Paul Twardock, on the next Outdoor Explorer as he speaks with Alaska ski pioneer Jim Mahaffey and retired Denali Mountaineering Ranger Daryl Miller. Thanks for listening!

Hiking in southcentral Alaska

With our long days and easy accessibility to the mountains, many residents of southcentral Alaska look forward to hiking as a main summer activity. Whether you want some great views, you are training for Mount Marathon, you are looking for a place to take visiting friends or you just want some solitude, there are guidebooks to help plan your hikes. In the first segment of our next show, we’ll be talking with Lisa Maloney, who has authored the most recent guidebook, “Day Hiking in Southcentral Alaska.” In the second segment we’ll hear from Corrie Smith and Greg Martin, a couple who decided on the challenge of completing all the hikes in one book, “50 Hikes in Alaska’s Chugach State Park.” Thanks for listening!

Adventure and science

Over the course of humanity's time on earth we have learned much from nature. In modern history science and adventure have had a symbiotic relationship. On this show we’ll be talking to Dr. Caroline Van Hemert, who travelled from Bellingham to Kotzebue by row boat, skis, packraft, canoe, and on foot. In the 2nd half of the show we’ll be talking with Dr. Kathy Kuletz, who has studied seabirds in Prince William Sound and the North Gulf of Alaska since 1978. Thanks for listening!

Health, healing and the outdoors

Most of us are aware of the physical benefits of being active, but what about our mental health? On the next Outdoor Explorer we will be talking to three people who use the outdoors and exercise for their health, but in very different ways. We talk about the role it plays in moving through the grieving process, its role in managing lifelong, chronic illnesses, and how it can improve mental health. Thanks for listening!

Talking Iditarod with Bill Sherwonit

The next Outdoor Explorer will air during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and we’ll be discussing Alaska’s signature sporting event with nature writer Bill Sherwonit. Bill spent many years covering the Iditarod as a newspaper reporter and he has lots of stories from the trail. He’s recently put out a new book about the race. Tune in for a discussion with author Bill Sherwonit about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Thanks for listening!

Active vacations

In 2017, Men’s Health named Anchorage the most adventurous city in the United States. We do love to adventure in our state with our friends. We also love to travel; why  not combine adventure, travel and friends into a vacation? On this week’s Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking with avid swimmers, bikers and runners who combine their vacation with activity. And although we all love to spend some time on the beach doing nothing, there is no better way to see the world than through movement in the outdoors. Thanks for listening!

Exploring the Chugach

The Chugach Mountains form Anchorage’s scenic skyline.  While during the summer the trail heads are full of people and access is easy. Winter is a different story.  For quiet and solitude a winter week day in the almost 500,000 acre Chugach State Park is hard to beat.  On this week’s show we’ll be talking about exploring the Chugach Mountains in the winter.  Thanks for listening!

Outdoor photography

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be discussing outdoor photography with mountain photographer Charlie Renfro. There's a lot to talk about. Later in the show, we’ll be talking with Gus Schumacher, an Anchorage cross-country skier who recently won gold at the World Junior Championships. Thanks for listening!