Outdoor Explorer

On “Outdoor Explorer” 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

Trail Tales, storytelling events from Alaska Trails

Alaska Trails is excited to present the Trail Tales storytelling series. With a new format and partnered with a different community trail group each time. ​In the spirit of Arctic Entries, storytellers will share seven minute stories about their trail experiences, adventures and life in general. Enjoy listening to your fellow active and outdoorsy Alaskans.

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!

Learning from our elders: Eberhard Brunner

Alaska is full of people that have lived full lives in the outdoors. This week on Outdoor Explorer our guest is Eberhard Brunner. Eberhard was an alpine ski coach, owned a hunting lodge, ran a sporting goods store, and is a professional photographer.
Les Stroud

Enjoying the outdoors is more fun when you’re prepared

On this week’s show, our guest is Les Stroud. You may know him as Survivorman but his passion for the outdoors extends far beyond survival. Our discussion covers many topics including survival, getting kids outside, urban adventures, and we talk about his numerous upcoming projects.
Red coronaviruses float around

Returning to activity after a Covid infection

On this Outdoor Explorer, the journey back to activity after a Covid infection. Our guests will include the team physician for the University of Washington football team who has been researching the impacts of Covid on athletes, a physical therapist who treats post-Covid breathing issues, and an Ironman athlete who has had his season turned upside down.

An Interview with Alaska musher Aliy Zirkle

Aliy Zirkle didn't grow up thinking she would become a famous musher. But she always loved the outdoors. And when she was studying biology at the University of Pennsylvania, she walked into a lab one day saw this sign on the door: "Why are you studying biology in downtown Philadelphia when you could be in Alaska?" A few years later, she was mushing her first team of dogs in the Interior community of Bettles. On the next Outdoor Explorer, Join host Annie Feidt for an interview with this remarkable musher. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 26, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

The mountain climbing community

KSKA: Thursday, March 02, at 2:00 p.m. The conversation is about why and how climbers challenge themselves with Alaska’s mountains, but also how the experience affected them, helped them grow, and connected them with others like themselves. It’s a deep topic worth thinking about. LISTEN NOW

Enjoying the fall season

Some Alaskans think fall is an in-between season when we’re waiting for winter and the skiing, skating and snowmachine riding that is coming. But that’s a mistake. Fall lasts a long time around here these days-- we can easily get three full months of it. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about the joys of autumn, when the tourists are gone and many good days remain, if you know how to dress for them. Thanks for listening!

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.

REVISTING Hidden Animals

On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking about the hidden animals of Alaska. There are animals in our urban spaces that you may never see and there are also animals that are making their way to Alaska, including a new prey animal and its predator that are a random presence in our state now but may soon be a permanent presence.
A drone

Drones: Uses and regulations

Drones, or unmanned aircraft, are becoming more common in Alaska and elsewhere every month. We'll discuss the capabilities and challenges of drones on this Outdoor Explorer.
Yukon Classroom

Alaska University Outdoor Degree Programs

March is decision time for college bound students. This Outdoor Explorer features Alaska's outdoor university degree programs and the value they add to the outdoor profession.

Revisiting Paragliding

KSKA: Thursday, July 21, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 28, at 8:00 p.m. Probably everyone has imagined flying like a bird at one time or another. But these days, you can do more than dream. Paragliding makes soaring up in the sky into a regular weekend activity. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to learn about what paragliding feels like, how you do it safely, and ways to gain entry into the sport. LISTEN NOW
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Traveling to the SSWC 2016

KSKA: Thursday, June 22, at 2:00 p.m. This show covers two topics to achieve the same goal. It's one part travel show, discussing what it takes to travel overseas with a bicycle and all the gear one needs to visit another country. The second part is about what it's like to attend, and race in, the Single Speed World Championships (SSWC). It's a crazy fun time, and we'll try to share what it's like to travel half-way across the globe to be there. LISTEN HERE

Urban outdoor exploration

According to The Trust for Public Land, 54% of the nation’s residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park. In Anchorage, that number is 74%. For many residents of an urban area, access to a park near their neighborhood as a child is the first outdoor exploration of life. For adults, a neighborhood park offers a quick trip into nature to recreate and relieve stress. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with the visionaries, the planners, and the builders of our urban park space. Thanks for listening!

Kodiak archaeology with Patrick Saltonstall

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with Patrick Saltonstall. Patrick is the curator of archaeology at the Alutiiq Museum, which means part of his job is to explore the Kodiak Archipelago, documenting the ancestral culture of the area.
A runner in an orange windbreaker and wearing a red running backpack descends a dirt trail with wet vegetation in the foreground and mountains rising into fog int he background

The Alaska Long Trail

On the next Outdoor Explorer, Lisa will be joined by Alaska Trails board secretary Chris Beck, former Governor Tony Knowles, and videographer Max Romey. They are all part of an effort to develop the Alaska Long Trail, an endeavor that would add Alaska to the list of epic thru hikes such as the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

Funding your outdoor lifestyle

Enjoying the outdoors can be done on a tight budget or with all the latest gear and gadgets. All you really need is a pair of shoes and a sense of adventure. But what about when you want to go on a big trip or you need to upgrade your jacket? On this Outdoor Explorer our guest is financial planner and outdoor enthusiast Mike Branham. We talk about finding balance between your outdoor pursuits and saving for your future, ways to maximize your gear budget, and more.

Ice Climbing

Alaska isn't exactly known as an ice climbing destination. But more and more of the state's residents are falling in love with the sport. On this Outdoor Explorer will talk about everything from historic first ascents on ice climbs in Alaska to advice on getting into the sport. And we'll head out with guest host Annie Feidt as she tries ice climbing for the first time. KSKA: Thursday 3/14 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Go to Outdoor Explorer page

Writing About Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 3, at 2:00 p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer will be focusing on writing about Alaska. We'll have two of Alaska’s best and most successful authors in the studio, each of whom have told stories that take into account the terrain and landscapes, the myth and grandeur of the state, in both fiction and in non fiction. LISTEN NOW