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

Whaling Photography with Bill Hess

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. KSKA: Thurs., Dec. 3, at 2:00 p.m. and Thurs., Dec. 10, at 8:00 p.m. Download Audio
The Stan-Kamps

Travel School #2: Parks of California

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we will continue the series Travel School with Jodi Harskamp and Neal Stanbury and their children, Tui and Leif. We will pick up their journey as they leave Oregon and begin exploring the parks of California. But just as they get started, they encounter trouble.

Beach and Creek Cleanup

A few years ago I got interested in a group that was cleaning up marine debris from beaches in Prince William Sound. I volunteered, and I was blown away by what a rewarding experience it was to pick up trash. On today’s show, we’re talking about beach cleanup, both on the wild, outer coast where stuff is washing up from Japan, and on our beaches here in Anchorage. And we’ll talk about creek cleanup too, which is coming up shortly, and where we get to tend to our own back yard. KSKA: Thursday, May 7, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:
Pioneer Peak

Preparing for winter recreation

Winter has arrived in Alaska and it's time to play in the snow! On this Outdoor Explorer we'll have Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News columnist and Rick Roth from Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking answering questions about winter recreation.

Bristol Bay

KSKA: Thursday, March 23, at 2:00 p.m. In the whole world, there are just a few places where a confluence of environmental factors creates incredible abundance. One of those is Bristol Bay. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about the bay’s fisheries, the richest for commercial salmon and the regions' angling for enormous trout. LISTEN NOW

Father-Daughter Treks

KSKA: Thursday, May 5 @ 2:00 pm. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll have two different father-daughter teams who reconnected through big adventures. One pair rode motorcycles from Alaska to college in New York, the other came from Wisconsin to build a cabin in northern Alaska. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Public Use Cabins

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about public use cabins. Why now? Well, they’re open in the winter, and perfect for a ski or snowshoeing weekend. Perhaps more importantly, the season for reserving cabins for summer will soon be upon us. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your cabin trips for 2014. We learn about remote cabins you can rent, how to do it, and personal favorites across the region.

Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday 11/21 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm

Rowing

Have you ever been to a regatta? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll be in the field with the Anchorage Rowing Association as they put a crop of beginners through the basics in time for the Dave Thorsness Challenge -- a newbie-friendly regatta. Join host Charles Wohlforth on his fun foray into competitive rowing. KSKA: Thursday, July 16, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

REVISTING Hidden Animals

On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking about the hidden animals of Alaska. There are animals in our urban spaces that you may never see and there are also animals that are making their way to Alaska, including a new prey animal and its predator that are a random presence in our state now but may soon be a permanent presence.

Adventures with Chuck Sassara, by Air and by Sea

Chuck Sassara first arrived in Alaska in a VW bus in 1955 with his wife Ann. They built a life that encompassed aviation, government and business and witnessed the beginnings of statehood and the growth of the Alaskan community. We'll talk with him about some of his adventures and about his book, “Chuck Sassara’s Alaska – Propellers, Politics and People,” on this weeks' next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thurs., Jan. 21, at 2:00 p.m. and Thurs., Jan. 28, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN HERE

Ice Fishing

What goes on inside those tents you see on the frozen lakes around town? On the next Outdoor Explorer,we’ll find out. The topic is ice fishing. Folks do it on stocked lakes all through the city--that’s another unique thing about Anchorage--and in the backcountry they catch great big fish through the ice. We’ll find out how to do it and why. What’s the attraction of fishing in the middle of winter when the water is frozen? KSKA: Thursday 1/30 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Regenerative Tourism

On this Outdoor Explorer, we’ll have a conversation about regenerative tourism. It’s a concept that has been around for a while but is gaining traction around the world, driven by indigenous communities and other protectors of our wild spaces. Our guests, Mary Goddard, Lee Hart, Sarah Leonard are out to make Alaska the world leader in regenerative tourism.

Iditarod doping, ski prep & the Eklutna dam

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 04, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we take a look at one of the biggest sports and outdoor stories in Alaska in the last year: the Iditarod drug doping scandal that hit the race in the fall, with a positive drug test and the surrounding controversy.  We’ll also learn about getting your skis ready for the season, and about a big dam removal project in Anchorage, which was funded completely by donations. LISTEN HERE

Getting your own piece of Alaska

The dream of getting your own piece of Alaska is as old as the North, the idea of staking land, proving up, and ending up with a big homestead that is your own estate. The state of Alaska still has programs for residents to get inexpensive land, including the opportunity to pick your own site and stake the corners. We’ll talk about how you can buy a remote piece of Alaska, too, and hear the story of a real Alaskan pioneer who lived alone in the wilderness years ago. KSKA: Thursday, Sept 10, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 17, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

The mountain climbing community

KSKA: Thursday, March 02, at 2:00 p.m. The conversation is about why and how climbers challenge themselves with Alaska’s mountains, but also how the experience affected them, helped them grow, and connected them with others like themselves. It’s a deep topic worth thinking about. LISTEN NOW

Iditarod Trail Invitational

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we're talking about the Iditarod Trail Invitational race, which claims to be the longest winter ultra marathon in the world, sending racers by foot, bike or ski either 1000 miles from Knik to Nome, or 350 from Knik to McGrath. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 19, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Hunting and writing

KSKA: Thursday, August 24, at 2:00 p.m. As fans of great writing, and lovers of Alaska’s outdoors, we're always fascinated when we read something that captures what’s really special and important about our state. When someone captures a bit of that magic on the page, it’s worth paying attention to. That's why the newspaper columns written by the guests on this show are so impressive. They somehow bring their perspectives as a couple to their experience of the outdoors and the way they describe it. LISTEN HERE
Tony Perelli and Becky King with morels

Gathering and foraging in Alaska

Late summer and fall are the time for picking blueberries, hunting for mushrooms, and getting ready for winter. Gathering edible berries and plants has many benefits besides their great taste. Jackie Qataliña, Tony Perelli, and Dana Diehl join me, your host Paul Twardock, to discuss what their favorite edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms are, their uses, the physical and emotional benefits of foraging, and ethical considerations.

Travel and Fly Fishing

KSKA: Thursday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. Fly fishing is the art of catching fish with style. It’s about the journey, not the destination. But going to exotic destinations can be a big part of it. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about traveling for fly fishing with some very accomplished anglers. LISTEN HERE
A bull moose in the snow

Winter natural history

Like humans, animals and birds cope with winter in a variety of ways. Some leave, migrating to warmer climates. Some hunker down for lots of sleep by hibernating. And some, like moose and ravens, are active all winter long. Join this week's host, Paul Twardock, as he'll be talking with scientists and writers to help us better understand how nature adapts and adjusts to winter’s challenges. Thanks for listening!