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: cwohlforth@alaskapublic.org

On the next Outdoor Explorer we have a variety of stories about organized sports and kids. We’re starting with a discussion of Ultimate Frisbee. If you thought it was a disorganized hippie activity, you have much to learn. We’ll also talk about biking for girls, a triathalon that benefits a sick child, and much more.  

Iditarod dog teams have as much in common with your pet as an Indy car and a tricycle, but there is something in between. Dog mushing is a recreational sport for families, too. On this Outdoor Explorer, we’ll learn about using sled dogs for fun and transportation with the mom of a local mushing family, and a Denali guide who takes out newbies daily. KSKA Thursday 3/7 at 2:00 pm, repeating at 7:00 pm

KSKA: Thursday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m. One way of thinking about wilderness is to remember what’s not there. Wilderness is never crowded, or full of artificial noise or electric light. Noise and light would cover up the good qualities in nature - the delicate sounds and the bright stars and aurora of a winter night. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re looking at the problem of keeping the wilderness quiet and dark, which unfortunately takes some effort for us, in our bright noisy world. LISTEN HERE

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!

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about Arctic Warriors and the skills they learn and practice. We have two officers in the studio whose military training has helped them make it through Alaska’s harshest weather. One was on a caribou hunt on North Slope when the weather took a dangerous turn. The other led a successful Denali ascent over the summer. What does the military teach about surviving outdoors? We’ll get into that question on this show. KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 29, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

A theme encountered on Outdoor Explorer is that Alaskans invent a lot of stuff to do what they want outdoors. On this show, three guests who build their own gear, whether it be skis, bike accessories or mountaineering equipment, explain why they find it to be so rewarding and the benefits of stuff Alaskans have invented. KSKA: Thursday, March 12, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

You’ve seen the t-shirts. The ones with a picture of a mosquito with the caption “Alaska state bird.” Mosquito season is upon us. Join host Annie Feidt and two entomologists to talk about what's biting us. We'll also learn about the ecological role the buzzers and biters play in Alaska's ecosystem. KSKA: Thursday, May 22, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, October 19, at 2:00 p.m. The old, increasingly inaccurate maps Alaskans have used for decades will soon be gone, as our state is being completely remapped. On this next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll learn how the changing climate has made the maps we all use outdated and even unsafe, and the huge effort to fix that. We're talking maps with the people who use them, make them and study them. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 9, at 2:00. Backcountry skiing comes in many varieties. On the next show, we’re looking at two extremes. On one end are the alpine daredevils who look for the hardest, steepest, most dangerous lines. On the other end are the touring skiers exploring our glorious mountain scenery by the most practical means available. These two ways of looking at skiing are for different personalities and different kinds of athletes with different goals, but Anchorage is prime for either option. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, Aug. 25, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer we’re saying happy birthday to the national parks by airing the show on the 100th anniversary of the creation of National Park Service, which takes care of some of the nation’s most dramatic and valuable wilderness. We’ll hear a little about that history and how the centennial is being celebrated during the show, but our main emphasis is on the parks themselves. LISTEN NOW

The ice will soon go out soon on our lakes and rivers. The sea otters are ready to pose for our pictures. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re getting ready for paddling season. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will be talking about canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rivers, lakes and the ocean -- gear, safety, planning and packing. We'll be dreaming about the trips we would love to take, and talking to folks who have done them. KSKA: Thursday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Backcountry skiing opens more of Alaska to access by muscles alone than any other sport, and can take you to the most awesome and fearsome spots, too, for self-reliant adventure. But it’s complicated. We’ll learn about the several kinds of backcountry skis and techniques -- telemark, randonee, touring -- what each is best for, and the most reasonable route to find your way into the sport. KSKA: Thursday, 2/27 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

In Alaska can you walk out your back door and embark upon an epic outdoor adventure. We live for hiking, mountain biking, bore tide...

KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 20, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll talk about rockhounding with folks who get serious about geology. We’ll also spend time with scientists who find real treasures, the fossils of dinosaurs that once lived in Alaska. LISTEN NOW

Fly fishing is not the easiest way to catch a fish, by a long shot, and most fly fishermen let the fish go after they catch it, anyway. Does that make sense? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll find out. KSKA: Thursday, July 9, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

KSKA: Thursday, September 01, at 2:00 and Thursday, September 08, at 8:00 p.m. Alaska may not be a huge farming state, but it is full of food, and not only for meat eaters. The woods and beaches are rich in edible plants and fungus that can be delicious and not difficult to find. As we’re going to learn on the next show, many of Alaska’s edible plants are extremely common and preparation is easy. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, July 27, at 2:00p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer comes from a yurt in Seldovia, Alaska. We met with adventurer Erin McKittrick to talk about a journey she made with her young children, and husband Hig, around Cook Inlet on foot and by pack raft. It’s the region where we live, but can remain hidden from most of us, with 100s of miles of beaches that rarely have a human footprint. We’ll also learn how they raise their backwoods family in such a dynamic, yet modern Alaska. LISTEN HERE

It’s a fair bet that the stampeders who flowed north during the Klondike Gold Rush never thought of mining as recreational, but the hunt for gold is something people do for fun, as well as profit. We’ll find out how and why modern recreational miners persist in sifting Alaska’s streams with pans and other obsolete equipment, going after glittering flakes of gold, and hoping for something much richer. It's a hobby that gets them outdoors, and it's a treasure hunt. KSKA: Thursday 9/5 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

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!

KSKA: Thursday, July 28, at 2:00. Last summer Charles was contacted by the Anchorage Rowing Association to row crew in the Dave Thorsness Challenge, a regatta mostly for beginners, as well as getting a couple of rowing lessons to make sure he could do it. For this week's show, we're going back to hear the result, as Charles took a recorder along on this aquatic adventure. LISTEN NOW