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

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: Barb...

Hiking the Chugach

The next time your head gets filled with the clutter of life, take off for the mountains. Anchorage is unique because you can spend the day stressing out in traffic or at the office, and find yourself de-stressing in the alpine high country an hour later. This week we're revisiting one of our favorite shows from last summer. Tune in while we put together a Chugach trail guide on the air. KSKA: Thursday, August 7, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

A conversation with Roman Dial

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we spend a full hour sitting with Roman Dial, one of Alaska’s greatest adventurers, to learn about his extraordinary life, and the tragic disappearance of his son, and how that ordeal was horribly exploited by reality TV. We’ll also get into many other tales, including how he helped start wilderness racing and developed the pack raft as a tool for Alaska travel.  Thanks for listening!

Exploring Hatcher Pass

State Park employee Hobbs Barber and volunteer Gabby Bejarano. Photo: Paul Twardock. The lodge at Hatcher Pass....
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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

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!

Rickshaw Run across India

This week’s Outdoor Explorer features the Rickshaw Run Across India. Three Alaskans travelled 1800 miles across India in a motorized tricycle using their skills developed in Alaska’s wilds.

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!

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.

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: 

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.

Revisiting Whale photography with Bill Hess

KSKA: Thurs., Aug. 3, at 2:00 p.m. Bill Hess is a photographer who has immersed himself in the Native cultures of the Arctic for decades, and came back with extraordinary images and stories. His book “The Gift of the Whale” is a classic on the subject of Inupiaq hunting. And he’s also a humble and funny person to talk with. We're revisiting this episode from winter of 2015. LISTEN HERE

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!

LISTEN: Avalanche forecasting and education

This week’s Outdoor Explorer is on avalanche forecasting and education. The joy of skiing and riding comes with the risks associated with avalanches. We’ll talk with professionals who study, forecast, and teach about avalanches.

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!

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.

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:

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!

LISTEN: Revisiting disc golf

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