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

Why and how we take risks is a constant topic on Outdoor Explorer. On this edition, we take it head on, with Craig Medred, the controversial and outspoken outdoor writer who has often commented on others' backcountry mishaps. In particular, we'll be discussing the Chris McCandless story, which is the subject of another new book and a PBS film. The topic is risk, reality, media fantasy, and how they interact. Join us for a lively hour of radio. KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 20, 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

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.

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, 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

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:

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:

Alaskan’s like to do crazy things, and few are as crazy as the ultra-marathon races across the wilderness by bike, ski or foot that are happening over the next few weeks. We’ll be talking to organizers of the 1000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational and the 100-mile Susitna 100, to races that pioneered this kind of adventure, and inspired the new technology of fat bikes. Join us for the next Outdoor Explorer and get inspired! KSKA: Thursday, Feb 11, at 2:00 and Thursday, Feb 18, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW!

It’s been a bad year for avalanches in south central Alaska, with several deaths occurring in the mountains. Still, we have more information to avoid avalanches than ever before. On the next Outdoor Explorer we'll visit with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center to learn how the staff there studies the snow and predicts whether or not backcountry activities will be safe, and what you need to know for your own adventures. KSKA: Thursday, March 17, at 2:00 and Thursday, March 24, at 8:00 p.m. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

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:

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The feel of the air at night has changed. Fall is coming. Time for berry picking. It’s been a great year for berries across Alaska, and on today's show, we will talk in detail about where, how, and what to pick, and how to handle your harvest with experts on the art, science, health and culinary details of berries, and share the warm feeling of this wonderful family tradition. KSKA: Thursday, 8/22 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

© Jim Lavrakas / Far North Photography Fishing season is approaching. We’ll find out what to expect in this year’s salmon runs. Last year was dreadful for kings, poor for silvers, and red hot for reds across Upper Cook Inlet. Do we know why? Will we see a repeat? And how do these predictions get made. KSKA: 5/16 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

Learning to ski. Teaching your kids to ski is as much a lesson for you as it is for them - a lesson in patience. Don’t give up yet. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll share tips for helping your children become confident on skis and with other outdoor skills Alaskans need. We'll be joined by the experts, and by other parents listening and sharing their own stories and advice. KSKA: Thursday 3/21 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

There's a lot to know to be a successful hunter or angler, and not everyone learns it from a parent or family friend. That's especially true for women, who may not have been treated as potential outdoors people as girls. As the fall season begins, we will explore the opportunities for hunter education, including classes created for women, and learn what it is that you really should know. KSKA: Thursday, August 28, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, August 10, at 2:00 p.m. 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. 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. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 08, at 2:00 p.m. The Yukon River, almost 2000 miles long, is a great place to explore in a canoe or raft. On our next show, we’ll be covering river floats from Whitehorse to Dawson City, down to Eagle, onward to Circle, and down to the Dalton Highway Bridge. We’ll also be learning about the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve, an unusual national park unit that spans more than 100 miles of the river, with the nature and history that’s found there. LISTEN NOW

Today's show will inspire you with a sailing adventure, then help you learn about how to become a sailor with your family here in our part of Alaska. We’ll hear about an amazing adventure an Anchorage couple took halfway around the world, sailing from Seward, Alaska to New Zealand and back in two years. Then a sailing instructor here in our region, talking about how to become a sailor and make sailing a part of your life on Alaskan lakes. KSKA: Thursday, August 20, 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. 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

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:

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On the next Outdoor Explorer: Climbing North America's highest peak. The first climbers of the season are beginning their attempts on Denali.  And in a few weeks, base camp on the Kahiltna glacier will become an international village of mountaineers. Host Annie Feidt will be joined by Denali climbing guides and a National Park Service climbing ranger on the next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thursday 4/25 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

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