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

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

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!

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!

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.

Crossing the Alaska Range

In 2017, Jen Johnston and Sam Hooper hiked the length of the Alaska Range, 1000 miles from Port Alsworth to McCarthy. It’s a tremendous accomplishment, but their story is not one of hardship and heroism. They love it out there, and on the next Outdoor Explorer, Jen and Sam talk about the privilege and pleasure of getting deep into Alaska with one another. Thanks for listening!

Kikkan Randall: An unexpected year

Kikkan with son Breck and husband Jeff Ellis. Photo courtesy Kikkan Randall.Kikkan at her now yearly mammogram. Photo courtesy Kikkan Randall.

Biking throughout Alaska

Bicycling is a great way to get outside, get fit, meet people, and exercise your competitive juices. The number of trails, organizations, and biking events continues to grow in Alaska. This show will feature folks from Anchorage and Fairbanks sharing thier passion for the sport.

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!

Revisiting train and ferry adventures

We Alaskans have a unique way to get into the backcountry, on our state-owned railroad or ferry system — two of the most fun forms of transportation around. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll celebrate how the train and ferries can get families out to adventures hiking, skiing, paddling, floating and exploring in some truly exotic places. Thanks for listening!

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.

Horseback riding and a trip across the Americas

Felipe Leite rode a horse from Calgary to Brazil, unsupported. He crossed deserts and mountains and he says he nearly starved and he saw men killed by drug lords. Leite is my guest on the next Outdoor Explorer to tell about his horseback adventures, and his next big ride, from Fairbanks to Calgary, which will complete a journey spanning the length of the America’s. Thanks for listening!

Revisiting disc golf

Ciara Johnson tees off on hole 8 of the Jack Gist disc golf course in Homer, 9/22/13. Photo courtesy of Scott...

Preserving Wild Food

Fall is in the air and it is time to put up the food you caught and gathered over the summer so it will last you till spring. On the show, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get down to the details about the best ways to butcher, smoke, can, and freeze what you caught and picked over the last few months, and the next few weeks, so that when the snow flies you can taste a little of the summer and make the most of your harvest. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now: 

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!

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!

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!

Hiking the Brooks Range

Ever wonder what it’s like to hike and packraft the Brooks Range? This week’s Outdoor Explorer features a series of field interviews with APU’s Dr. Roman Dial and his students as they studied tree growth while hiking the Brooks Range.

Geocaching

Geocaching is sort of like outdoor treasure hunting, and it's getting really big in Anchorage. Host Charles Wohlforth recently gave it a try with his daughter. They had an iPhone app and a mission to look for hidden caches logged on a website powered by GPS equipment. The result? A fun, and somewhat addicting, new hobby. Join us on air to learn more about geocaching. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 18, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

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!