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

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.

Outdoor Explorer LIVE!

KSKA: Thursday, June 02, at 2:00 and Thursday, June 09, at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 21st we took to the stage for the first ever live edition of Outdoor Explorer. We recorded our show on-stage at the TapRoot the way we do it in the studio, talking to Luc Mehl and Nancy Pfieffer. We are so happy to share the recorded version of our live show with you. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

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...
https://www.facebook.com/pg/22photographyTies/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1814481198767311

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

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!

Inclusive playgrounds and museum summer activities

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll meet an 11 year old girl and her mother who made a huge change in our city. When Anna Boltz was a toddler, her mother Leah realized that the city’s playgrounds, although meeting the law, were not truly accessible to a child like her who uses a wheelchair. Nine years later, Anchorage has a dozen inclusive playgrounds, with facilities that invite and engage people of every ability. We'll also hear about summer activities being hosted by the Anchorage Museum and about training to race in the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair. 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...

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:

“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.

Ski trail preparation

KSKA: Thursday, October 05, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer, we are eagerly getting ready for winter. Charles took a portable recorder to Kincaid Park to join a volunteer trail crew preparing cross country ski trails for the first snow, which we were all looking forward to so we can ski again. The trail work is designed to smooth the ground so we won’t need much snow to ski, and to be ready for the US National Championships and Olympic Trials in January. LISTEN HERE

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!

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!

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.

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: 

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!

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.

Revisiting the history of Anchorage’s trails and greenbelts

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 9, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we're revisiting an episode that was dedicated to our city’s centennial. We’ll hear stories of how we built the greenbelts, bike and ski trails that are now the defining characteristics of Anchorage. Each of our three guests played a part in providing us with the spaces to get out, enjoy nature, and safely get to work or just some exercise. This episode first aired in June of 2015. LISTEN HERE