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 2:00 – 3:00 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

They’re some of our most inspiring Alaskans, the outdoor athletes who remain active and even competitive in their 70's and 80's. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking to elder athletes, finding out what keeps them going, and what advice they have to the rest of us to be where they are when we hit that age. It’s a community inspired show, with guests pulled from listener nominations. KSKA: Thursday, 11/14 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

"Leave only footprints" -- it's an ambitious philosophy. Most of us who recreate outdoors like to think we do a good job of this. We pack out our trash. We travel across landscapes with a light footprint. But how good are we? We'll have some experts in studio to talk about what it really means to leave no trace -- from scattering your fire circles to packing out human waste. Minimizing your impact in the outdoors helps ensure others who travel after you get the same wilderness experience. KSKA: Thursday, July 10, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, July 21, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 28, at 8:00 p.m. Probably everyone has imagined flying like a bird at one time or another. But these days, you can do more than dream. Paragliding makes soaring up in the sky into a regular weekend activity. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to learn about what paragliding feels like, how you do it safely, and ways to gain entry into the sport. 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:

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 4, at 2:00. Small game can be an entry for young people into hunting, but it’s also is a tradition for sportsmen going back centuries and shows up in classic literature from all over the world. On the next Outdoor Explorer, the topic is hunting upland game birds and small mammals. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, May 26, at 2:00 and Thursday, June 02, at 8:00 p.m. If you’re headed for Homer, learn about the tide pools, the forests or the critters living under the docks from an enthusiastic group of young educators. We recorded the next show at the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies, went to a remote field station, and got some ideas to enrich time outdoors with knowledge and insight. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

If you really love what you do outdoors, its natural to want to document that with pictures or video. Outdoor filmmaking is exploding as young people deploy equipment that is much less expensive than it used to be. This week on Outdoor Explorer we talk to adventure filmmakers. It goes beyond strapping a GoPro to your helmet. KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 11, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

If you love the ocean, Alaska’s waters offer a fascinating world to explore as a diver. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re headed under water with three Alaska scuba divers to hear about the sport and what it's like here in Alaska. KSKA: Thursday, March 19, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

KSKA: Thursday, June 09, at 2:00 and Thursday, June 16, at 8:00 p.m. Diabetes does not mean the end of an athletic career. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll meet elite athletes and adventurers who deal with this disease. I'ts fascinating how these athletes meet this challenge, dealing with blood chemistry while climbing mountains or swimming in a triathlon. We'll also discuss how kids and parents work through it and stay active in Alaska as well. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Memorial Day is upon us, and with it, huge minus tides in lower Cook Inlet. Excellent clam tides are hitting at the same time as the starting weekend of the summer season. But razor clams have been scarce of late. We’ll have a researcher trying to find out why, as well talking about how to pursue razors, and going after steamers and butters, too. Biology, food safety, digging, camping, cooking. You'll even hear some secret recipes on the next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thursday, 5/23 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Download Audio

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. KSKA: Thursday, May 14, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, Aug. 18, at 2:00 p.m. Holly Brooks is one of Alaska’s favorite athletes because she was a regular person, an adult with a job, who became a member of the Olympic team - twice. We spend the entire next hour of Outdoor Explorer talking with Holly, learning about her recent retirement, and a new phase in her life as a counselor and coach. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 02, at 2:00 p.m. Dramatic changes have happened in the ocean in southcentral Alaska in the last few years. What’s causing them? On this next Outdoor Explorer, we hear from two authors who have done studies and written on the impact of climate change on the marine environment, from increasing acidity to rising sea waters. LISTEN HERE

As Alaska looks forward to fiscal austerity due to low oil prices, our state park system is already burdened with a massive deferred maintenance problem. In some parks, facilities are wearing out and trails are growing over and returning to nature. This edition of Outdoor Explorer explores the funding of our state parks with a director and a former director to learn about the problem and the opportunities to keep our parks in good shape. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 29, at 2:00 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 5, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Mike Kenney surrounded by shorebird flock. Photo by Milo Burchman. It’s a sure sign of spring in coastal Alaska, the arrival of migrating shorebirds that flock so thickly they sometimes look like clouds.  Several communities welcome the birds and visitors who want to see them and learn about them, and its a great chance to get out on the water early in the season and forget winter. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking about the spring migrations and the shorebird festivals coming up in the next week weeks. KSKA: Thursday 4/18 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Taking kids on an outdoor vacation can be the most rewarding and memorable time of your life. And the most stressful. Ever been without a campsite with hungry, tired kids when its getting past bedtime? Now THAT’S an extreme sport. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about family trips. Host Charles Wohlforth wrote a book on the subject and he is joined by two other authors of advice on family travel in Alaska and taking kids outdoors. KSKA: Thursday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

For outdoor families, it can be tough when children leave elementary school and suddenly don’t want to go outside anymore. There are plenty of exceptions, but middle school coaches and parents of tweens know that this is a critical age to keep young people going outside and active. We’ll be talking with parents and educators about how the outdoors can compete with the screen or the couch in the lives of tweens as we struggle to help them build independent lives that are healthy and active. KSKA: Thursday 10/17 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

The bore tide in Turnagain Arm is an amazing phenomenon that is seen few places in the world, a wall of water that rushes in on a clockwork schedule, vast and intimidating. So… why not surf it? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll meet some of the hearty folks who ride that big wave, and talk about surfing the remote shores and big waves found all over Alaska’s coast. Listen now:

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

This week we revisit a conversation from 2014. Alaska’s outdoors people may think they’re tough, but how about paddling 40 days in a dugout canoe in the rains of Southeast Alaska in October and November, dressed in wool, without modern gear? On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about historic expeditions. What these guys did will amaze you. KSKA: Thursday, Jan 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, Jan 21, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW