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: bork@alaskapublic.org

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

Nancy Lake Recreation Area is 23,000 acres of boreal forest and more than 100 lakes to explore less than 90 minutes from downtown Anchorage. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll share two trips to the Nancy Lake system. We recorded the first half of the show in a canoe on an end-of-season overnight paddle. In the second half, we’ll talk about skating. You can’t do it every year, but when you can it is amazing. KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 5, at 2:00 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

“Arctic Solitaire” book and adverse weather gear

Paul Souders wanted see and photograph polar bears for himself, by himself, in a new way, and he did something to accomplish that no one else would have thought of. He put a 22-foot boat on a trailer and drove to the Arctic, voyaging north, through Hudson Bay, to the pack ice. The photographs he came back with are stunning, showing bears in a way I’ve never seen them. Thanks for listening!

Denali Highway & Tangle Lakes

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:

Antarctica: Life on the Ice

Antarctica is a land of extremes. Spectrum Radio reporter Glenn Zorpette takes listeners to the world's southernmost frozen expanse in the hour-long radio documentary, "Antarctica: Life on the Ice." This piece is a co-production of the National Science Foundation and IEEE Spectrum Radio Programming. Outdoor Explorer will return next week. KSKA: Thursday 2/20 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Hiking in southcentral Alaska

With our long days and easy accessibility to the mountains, many residents of southcentral Alaska look forward to hiking as a main summer activity. Whether you want some great views, you are training for Mount Marathon, you are looking for a place to take visiting friends or you just want some solitude, there are guidebooks to help plan your hikes. In the first segment of our next show, we’ll be talking with Lisa Maloney, who has authored the most recent guidebook, “Day Hiking in Southcentral Alaska.” In the second segment we’ll hear from Corrie Smith and Greg Martin, a couple who decided on the challenge of completing all the hikes in one book, “50 Hikes in Alaska’s Chugach State Park.” Thanks for listening!

Noise and light pollution

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

Birds of prey

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 22, at 2 & 8p.m. Birds of prey are much more than symbols, like the bald eagle, they’re with us as apex predators atop the food web. They’re inspiring in their fierceness and their amazing physical abilities, with their sharp claws and eyes, and they are among the most exiting birds to see in the wild. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join us as we focus on raptors, their natural history and care here in Alaska. LISTEN HERE

Using your feet

This Outdoor Explorer is about feet. If you’re a runner, a hiker, a skier, a skater, if you do almost anything active, we should have your attention because when your feet are happy, you are. When they’re messed up, your fun is over. We’ll talk with a physical therapist and a podiatrist about healthy bodies and healthy feet, and hear some stories about hiking and the joy and misery it can bring. Thanks for listening!

Foraging for Edible Foods in AK

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

Health, healing and the outdoors

Most of us are aware of the physical benefits of being active, but what about our mental health? On the next Outdoor Explorer we will be talking to three people who use the outdoors and exercise for their health, but in very different ways. We talk about the role it plays in moving through the grieving process, its role in managing lifelong, chronic illnesses, and how it can improve mental health. Thanks for listening!

McKinley Disasters

In 1967 the Wilcox Expedition attacked Mount McKinley with 12 young men. Only five came back alive. The disaster was the worst in the history of the mountain, and changed many lives and the way people thought about climbing it. Two authors have recently released books on the event, and both join us on the show to rehash what they remember from the deadly event. KSKA: Thursday, July 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Download Audio

100th Anniversary of Migratory Bird Treaty

KSKA: Thursday, May 12 @ 2:00 pm. On the next Outdoor Explorer we mark the 100th anniversary of the migratory bird treaty, a conservation landmark and learn how migrations come through our state and where and when you can enjoy them. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Geocaching

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:

The Russian Far East

KSKA: Thursday, June 08, at 2:00 p.m. The east coast of Russia is far out of mind for Alaskans most of the time, but it’s not that far away physically and the geography, culture and history of the region are deeply intertwined with ours. You can even go there for an adventure if you are ready for something completely new. We’ll hear some of those stories on today’s show, with a traveler who spent time in Kamchatka and another who boated and dog mushed in Chukotka. And, although many of those opportunities closed years ago, we’ll also get into how you can arrange a trip today. LISTEN HERE

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to Teach, Honor, and Inspire. On the next Outdoor Explorer we'll be joined by the Executive Director of the Hall who will tell us about the class of 2019 and representatives from the Alaska Run for Women, which is entering the Hall in the event category. Thanks for listening!

Backcountry Skiing

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:

Trail Tales, storytelling events from Alaska Trails

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.

A Conversation with Holly Brooks

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

Motocross

KSKA: Thursday, July 6th, at 2:00 p.m. Imagine sending your 8-year-old over an 80-foot jump on a motorcycle, seeing him crash, and then doing it again? During this show we’ll talk to a dad from Sutton who has done that, and is heading to a national motocross championship with his brave son, who we’ll also have in the studio. We’ll also learn about motocross here in Anchorage, where youth and adult races go on through the summer. LISTEN HERE

AK Sports Hall of Fame 10-Year Anniversary

KSKA: Thursday, June 23, at 2:00 and Thursday, June 30, at 8:00 p.m. If any place needs a sports hall of fame, it’s Alaska. Our athletes do the impossible and for the last 10 years, we’ve remembered and celebrated their accomplishments with the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll hear about the anniversary of the hall, and talk to two inductees. DOWNLOAD AUDIO