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

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 26, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer an interview with Lael Wilcox, whose life is one of Alaska’s most remarkable stories of physical accomplishment. Wilcox left to see the world on her bike, and never stopped, becoming a top endurance racer without really planning to. LISTEN NOW

Trap shooting is a sport at which Alaskans excel, having produced a national champion and Olympian in Cory Cogdell, formerly of Eagle River, and other top competitors. On today's show we learn about the community of trap shooters in Anchorage, how shooters learn to hit the fast-moving targets, and what it takes to get into the sport. Watch Video KSKA: Thursday 9/26 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Alaska Trails is excited to present the Trail Tales storytelling series. With a new format and partnered with a different community trail group each time. ​In the spirit of Arctic Entries, storytellers will share seven minute stories about their trail experiences, adventures and life in general. Enjoy listening to your fellow active and outdoorsy Alaskans.

The night sky is infinitely interesting, and, like any experience in nature, knowledge only makes the experience deeper. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to learn about the stars and watching them as an outdoor Alaskan activity. KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 18, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Visiting a remote cabin in the winter opens the backcountry as you can't experience any other way. Climb out of your toasty sleeping bag to see a brilliant dome of stars far from city lights, maybe with the aurora. We’ll talk about winter time trips to Alaska’s public use cabins. It’s time to plan outings you’ll do on skis and snowshoes a couple of months from now. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 9, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, August 31st, at 2:00 p.m. We’re going a little bit off the reservation with the next show's topic-- we’re talking about rugby. We got the idea to cover something that you do on a field rather than out in the wild when we saw a photograph of a new rugby pitch right here in Anchorage. It is the product of one man’s imagination and drive, and we’ll have him here to talk about this amazing personal project. This may be the last thing you thought you wanted to know about, but the enthusiasm of these rugby players is totally contagious, and as you listen to our interview it's a sure bet you’ll pick up on it too. LISTEN HERE

Coastal communities are the best thresholds to the wilderness for most of us who live in urban Alaska. That’s because a short boat ride can get you from the small boat harbor to a wild beach many, many miles from the nearest road, a place that likely is inaccessible any other way. On today’s show, we’re going to talk about using water taxis and where they can take you for hiking, paddling, or just setting up camp and enjoying incredibly beautiful, biologically rich places. KSKA: Thursday, April 30, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

KSKA: Thursday, June 30, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 07, at 8:00 p.m. Something about human-power, pedals and wheels inspired inventors, and if you spend much time on Alaskan trails, you will see some odd contraptions rolling by. On the next Outdoor Explorer, I’m talking to guys who would like to convert you and everyone to recumbent bikes and unicycles. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Can you imagine biking around the world? On the next Outdoor Explorer, hear from two French cyclists - a CPA and a postal worker - who doing just that. We'll also hear about cycle-touring in Alaska, too, and the best routes and tips for your own trip. KSKA: Thursday, June 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Andrew Forsthoefel set out at age 23 to walk across America, East to West, 4000 miles, with a sign on him that said, "Walking to Listen." This hour, co-produced with Jay Allison, tracks his epic journey. It's a coming of age story, and a portrait of this country -- big-hearted, wild, innocent, and wise. Outdoor Explorer returns next week. KSKA: Thursday, July 2, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

"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:

Rookie mushers come and go. It takes countless hours and training to become an Iditarod great. On the next episode of Outdoor Explorer, we're talking to a handful of mushers who are on that journey. They scoop poop. They cut up a lot of raw meat. It's not glamorous work, but they're chasing down a dream as Iditarod sled dogs gun it for Nome. KSKA: Thursday, March 5, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

This Outdoor Explorer is dedicated entirely to two of the most impressive people we’ve recently met, both military veterans whose service became deeply linked to the outdoors. We’ll hear from Kirk Alkire, who has made climbing in the Chugach Mountains a form of therapy for other grieving veterans. Then we'll talk with David Shuman, who retired from a long career as a pararescuer, doing the most difficult and daring rescues in Alaska’s wilderness.

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, June 26, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

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

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, May 25, at 2:00 p.m. On the next outdoor explorer, we’re talking about a different kind of race, one where you have as much support and camaraderie as you do competition. Long distance road relays have been around for a while, including the Klondike Road Relay that follows the gold rush route of 1898 every fall, with teams of runners who ride along in vans while taking turns on foot. A new one is getting started in Anchorage this summer, from Eagle River to Seward and we're looking forward to hearing about it. LISTEN HERE

Aliy Zirkle didn't grow up thinking she would become a famous musher. But she always loved the outdoors. And when she was studying biology at the University of Pennsylvania, she walked into a lab one day saw this sign on the door: "Why are you studying biology in downtown Philadelphia when you could be in Alaska?" A few years later, she was mushing her first team of dogs in the Interior community of Bettles. On the next Outdoor Explorer, Join host Annie Feidt for an interview with this remarkable musher. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 26, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

While tourists ride the buses into Denali National Park, Alaskans are driving, cycling, hiking and canoeing the other Denali -- The Denali Highway, an unpaved road to the wilderness leading from Paxson through the Alaska Range to Cantwell. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll learn about this spectacular alpine route, the incredible outdoor opportunities, and the archeology of the place. Ancient people left evidence of the some of the earliest human travel in the Americas. Download Audio:

KSKA: Thursday, March 30, at 2:00 p.m. Spring is coming, bringing birds back to Alaska, and perhaps most delightful and amazing of those returning is the hummingbird. These tiny birds with wings that beat faster than the eye can see cover many thousands of miles, migrating from Florida and Mexico to coastal Alaska. They are hardy and at the same time astonishingly light and delicate. LISTEN NOW