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

Outdoor art

On this Outdoor Explorer we’re talking about art. Alaska’s nature is a powerful inspiration for many artists, like painter Steve Gordon.  Steve’s vivid images of birch trees and stream banks are among our favorites, capturing the light and grace of quiet places and somehow heightening the feelings they create. Steve will talk about how he makes those paintings and how his many years of boy scout camping trips influenced that work. Thanks for listening!

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...

“Arctic Solitaire” book and adverse weather gear

Paul Souders wanted see and photograph polar bears for himself, by himself, in a new way, and he did something to accomplish that no one else would have thought of. He put a 22-foot boat on a trailer and drove to the Arctic, voyaging north, through Hudson Bay, to the pack ice. The photographs he came back with are stunning, showing bears in a way I’ve never seen them. 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!

River stories

The summer season is here and Alaska’s waterways beckon.  We’re taking the topic from four perspectives. An interview with a pioneer who made a lifelong career of floating remote rivers with inflatables. A story by a Minnesotan who got in some trouble on an Alaska river. A buyers guide to pack rafts. And a bear story that comes from an epic float trip. Thanks for listening!

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.

Women and minorities in the outdoors

Women and people of color have traditionally been underrepresented in outdoor activities. That is changing quickly. On the next Outdoor Explorer, Lisa will be talking with women and men who are in the vanguard of the movement to open the outdoors to all people. Thanks for listening!

Smart & Solo

This week on Outdoor Explorer, we'll be talking with Randell Carlton Green, author of the recently-published travel book, "Smart & Solo: The Blueprint for Efficient & Enjoyable Solo Travel". We'll be discussing ways to minimize the discomfort and maximize the fun and personal growth that comes from traveling solo, anywhere in the world.

Women of polar science

Sue Mauger is a scientist and conservationist who studies Alaska’s streams to learn the impact of climate change. So why did she go on a voyage to Antarctica? On the next outdoor explorer, we’ll discuss the unusual reason. Sue was invited to join a ship full of women scientists with the goal of learning about themselves and how they can be stronger in their work for the benefit of knowledge and the earth. Thanks for listening!

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.

They came to Alaska, and stayed

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with Conor McDonald and Miranda Sheely. Conor is known as Bucky to his friends. A few years ago, Miranda and Bucky moved to Alaska for college from out of state, but they seem to have found their home here, and they decided not to leave after graduating. Miranda has found her passion exploring Alaska’s wilderness by raft during the summer, and with a dog team during the winter. Bucky recently presented his college thesis paper at the Alaska Snow Safety Summit. In it, he researched the relationship between social media and avalanche safety. Please join us for what’s sure to be an interesting conversation with Bucky McDonald and Miranda Sheely. 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!

Remote power & visiting Spencer Glacier

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about about remote power. Solar panels are small and portable enough now that it makes sense to take them into the backcountry to charge batteries, extending your electronics and communications indefinitely. My guest is also an expert in setting up remote power systems at cabins, technology that is advancing to make power in your remote site much simpler. Also, we'll hear about climbing and rafting on and around Spencer Glacier. 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.

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!

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, June 16, at 2:00 We love how people keep inventing new sports and Alaskans keep finding unique ways to do them. The next show is a great example, we're talking about stand up paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga. A paddleboard is essentially a surf board for calm water, but as you’ll learn, paddleboards now are being used in Alaskan rivers and in the ocean. Finally, at the end of the show, we’ll hear a hair raising story from our live outdoor explorer show a few weeks ago. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

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!

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!

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.”

Arctic Valley Ski Area

Arctic Valley ski area has been in operation since 1941. On the next Outdoor Explorer we will be talking about the the future of the ski area and its importance to the community. We discuss the new concession agreement that will allow the Anchorage Ski Club to continue to operate the ski area as well as the resurrection of the Arctic Valley Ski Team. Thanks for listening!