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

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

On the next Outdoor Explorer, our topic is writing about Alaska’s outdoors. Our state presents some unique challenges to a writer, and in fact books about Alaska can be overwhelmed by Alaska. The authors joining me on our next show found their way around that. We’ll be talking about Iditarod, history, adventures, and how Alaska changed our guests, and how they helped change the state. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 25 @ 2:00 pm. Download Audio

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 8, at 2:00 p.m. Arctic Valley is easily forgotten, because doesn’t advertise and is far off the beaten track, but it has the highest elevation, the fluffiest powder and some of the steepest slopes around. On the next show, we’ll learn about Arctic Valley, the changes happening there, and why you might want to go and try it out this winter. LISTEN NOW

Alaska’s immense herds of caribou are one of the natural wonders of the world. Imagine seeing and hearing tens of thousands of animals migrating across the tundra. This edition of Outdoor Explorer is about these magnificent animals. We’ll learn about the science and ecology of the herds, viewing them, and hunting. Caribou are a critical part of northern ecosystems, and an important source of meat for rural Alaskans and urban hunters. KSKA: Thursday, Sept 17, at 2 p.m. and Thursday, Sept 24, and 8 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, March 09, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about summer camp choices, and practical considerations for parents in planning your kids' summer. Summer may not seem close today, but it is definitely time to begin scheduling your kids’ activities. LISTEN NOW

Geocaching is sort of like outdoor treasure hunting, and it's getting really big in Anchorage. Host Charles Wohlforth gave it a try with his daughter. They had an iPhone app and a mission to look for hidden caches logged on a website powered by GPS equipment. The result? A fun, and somewhat addicting, new hobby. Join us on air to learn more about geocaching. KSKA: Thursday, April 2, 2015, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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

Tour of Anchorage 2013 from ATMI on Vimeo.

You don't have to be an Olympian to participate in a Nordic ski race. Anchorage has races for the rest of us, where fast skiers can duel at the front while older and less competitive skiers push their personal limits. The Tour of Anchorage is the biggest race of the year, with up to 2,000 contestants covering up to 50 kilometers, but local volunteers organize many other cross-country ski races during the winter that are open to anyone willing to try. KSKA: Thursday 1/9 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

One of the great joys of hiking in Alaska is seeing the plants and flowers, watching how they change as you pass through different ecosystems and elevations, and learning the names and characteristics of the species you see. The mountains and woods where we hike are always beautiful, but when you understand what you are seeing the pleasure is greatly increased. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to learn more about Alaska wildflowers. KSKA: Thursday, July 31, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

We’re talking about bears on Outdoor Explorer. Our region of Alaska happens to be the best place in the world for ordinary people to get out in the woods and see lots of gigantic bears. The coastal brown bear can grow to enormous size, but while they are gorging on the salmon that make them so large, they don’t pay attention to anything else. Visitors to certain key streams can get very, very close. We’ll talk about that experience, and the life of the bears. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 24, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 1, at 8 :00pm Listen Now:

This week we have an important show for anyone who exercises to keep fit. We're talking about injury prevention and recovery. You can avoid a lot of the injuries that come from overuse and excessive effort, and we’ll tell you how to speed your recovery if you do get hurt. As with so many things, a lot of it is mental. KSKA: Thursday, March 31, at 2pm and Thursday, April 07 at 8pm DOWNLOAD AUDIO

KSKA: Thursday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. Boat building is much more than carpentry. Boats can be an extension of a builder’s heart, connecting to traditions and place, and relating a paddler’s physical and spiritual being to the ocean. The guests on this show are skilled craftspeople who have spent their lives building and repairing wooden boats, and building traditional Inuit kayaks. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday Feb. 23 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm. A dog can pull you on your skis faster than you believed possible. The feeling is much like dog mushing, but much easier to get into because you don’t need an entire team. In the first half of this show we’ll talk about skijoring, how it is done, and what it takes to start. In the second half, we’ll focus on the subject of dogs and winter, with tips for taking your dog on winter outdoor activities. Dog lovers should definitely stay tuned for the next show. LISTEN NOW

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

Outdoor Alaska is a place to learn -- learning skills like skiing or paddling; learning to hunt and survive; or learning about the environment for science. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk to people who are sharing these kinds of knowledge in new ways -- scientists learning from from Alaska Natives, and elders eager to tell about radical changes they see in the environment where they live.' KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 22, at 2:00 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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

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, 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, 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

KSKA: Thursday, September 22, at 2:00p.m. and Thursday, September 29, at 8:00p.m. Alaska’s rivers are the best path to see the backcountry for non-motorized adventures, traveling in relative comfort and seeing the grandeur of Alaska. Still, cold moving water in remote areas can also be dangerous. Every summer, we hear stories of tragedies and of near misses on Alaska’s rivers and in this episode we'll tackle that topic head-on. LISTEN NOW