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

Skijoring and winter dog care

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

Stargazing

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:

Reprise: Canoeing 5,000 Miles in 5 Months

KSKA: Thursday, April 28 @ 2:00 pm. We're reprising one of our favorite interviews with Bob Vollhaber. Starting in Washington, going over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon, through the Bering Sea, up river to Lake Iliamna, finally ending up in Anchorage’s Westchester Lagoon, Bob Vollhaber paddled a canoe five thousand miles in five months. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Kachemak Bay Water Trail

The poet Homer called the ocean a "whale road." Some people in the town of Homer seem to have a similar inspiration. They are inaugurating a water trail on Kachemak Bay. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to learn more about the Kachemak Bay Water Trail, which is about to have its grand opening in early June. KSKA: Thursday, May 29, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Orienteering and Wilderness Navigation

Navigating and avoiding getting lost is a bottom-line requirement for spending time in the wilderness. It’s also a sport and a source of competition. We’ll learn about orienteering, and along the way get tips about how to know where you are when you’re traveling in the backcountry. Navigation can be an interesting puzzle, and it can also save your life. KSKA: Thursday, June 5, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Whittier, gateway to the Prince William Sound

The town of Whittier is surprisingly close to Anchorage. With luck on hitting the tunnel schedule, you can be there in an hour. That hour puts you on the edge of one the the world’s largest and modest spectacular marine recreation areas, Prince William Sound. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to talk about going to Whittier. It’s not just for tourists, it’s a threshold to the ocean and the wilderness.
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Moose: Biology, Lessons and Urban Stories

Moose are part of life in Alaska in so many ways, as dinner, as a road hazard, and as an exciting visitor in your back yard. They're really amazing animals that deserve our respect. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll hear from a moose biologist who followed the animals in Denali for more than 35 years, and one who wrangled them in middle of the city, with Christmas lights on their antlers. KSKA: Thursday, March 10, at 2:00 and Thursday, March 17, at 8:00 p.m. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Revisiting Alaska Native Games

The annual statewide competitions are coming up soon, as well as the international Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks. These games are spectacular, like the high kick, and sometimes require toughness and courage. Their cultural roots are for preparing for outdoor survival and hunting success. We’ll have athletes and cultural experts in the studio. KSKA: Thursday, March 3, at 2:00 and Thursday, March 10, at 8:00 p.m. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Prince William Sound

We have two visions of wilderness a bit different than the gritty version you’re used to hearing. In the first half, we’ll hear from an author and photographer who created a new book about Prince William Sound. We'll also hear about new ways for people with disabilities to get out and enjoy nature. Thanks for listening!

Dog parks & an update from Pachamama

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 25, at 2:00p.m. We’re talking about dogs on the next Outdoor Explorer. Anchorage has a network of dog parks for different kinds of breeds that have different needs. Now there’s a group that wants to build a dog park with play equipment. We also have a guest to talk about dogs and the law. Later in the show, we catch up with our friend Dario Schwoerer, and his family. They've endured some tragedy, since we last spoke to them about their TOPtoTOP program, when a storm in Iceland seriously damaged the ship they live on. It's a harrowing tale to be sure. LISTEN HERE

Bug Season Arrives

You’ve seen the t-shirts. The ones with a picture of a mosquito with the caption “Alaska state bird.” Mosquito season is upon us. Join host Annie Feidt and two entomologists to talk about what's biting us. We'll also learn about the ecological role the buzzers and biters play in Alaska's ecosystem. KSKA: Thursday, May 22, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Hunter Education

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:

Women and minorities in the outdoors

Women and people of color have traditionally been underrepresented in outdoor activities. That is changing quickly. On the next Outdoor Explorer, Lisa will be talking with women and men who are in the vanguard of the movement to open the outdoors to all people. Thanks for listening!

Arctic Man City

For a week or two in mid-April, a remote mountainside in the Alaska Range becomes one of the biggest towns in Alaska. It’s Arctic Man, a kind of Burning Man for the snow machine set, with the craziest extreme skiing competition you’ve ever heard of. We’ll preview Arctic Man, the speed, the parties, the family fun, and the backcountry travel, with an organizer, a competitor, and a spectator. KSKA: Thursday 4/4 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Olympic Parents

Parents of three Anchorage Olympians join us in the studio. Some of them are headed to Sochi, where the winter games start Friday, so we pre-recorded the show. We’ve heard from athletes, but as a parent it is easier to identify more with the parents: with their pride, and trepidation, and with knowledge of the sacrifices made for a young person to succeed at the highest level. We'll learn how parents produce an Olympian, and how it feels, good and bad, once you have one in the family. KSKA: Thursday 2/6 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

A visit from Kikkan Randall

If Alaska were a country, she would be our national hero. Kikkan Randall, the Olympic gold medal skier, joins us on the next Outdoor Explorer. Randall is, of course, a household name in Alaska, where we’ve been watching her progress over the course of an amazing international career. As she retires from skiing and settles down with her family, we’ll have a chance to learn about her life, her racing career, her future--and, of course, that thrilling relay in Korea when she brought home the gold. Thanks for listening!

What happened to Kenai salmon?

As the summer winds down, Outdoor Explorer looks at one of the worst years of salmon fishing in memory in southcentral Alaska. We’ll review what happened, why it happened, and talk about the impacts on anglers and communities. Thanks for listening!

Revisiting biathlon training

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 28, at 2p.m. What’s more Alaskan than skiing? Shooting things, of course. So biathlon must be the most Alaskan sport of all--it's skiing fast and shooting accurately, combined. We’ll spend time at the range as young people and newcomers learn about the sport. And we’ll talk to an Olympian and a former World Cup competitor about the top of level of biathlon, where our community shines. LISTEN HERE

Whaling Photography with Bill Hess

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

Athletes with Diabetes

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