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

One of the first signs of spring in coastal Alaska is the appearance of gray whales, who pass our way on their annual journey from Mexico to the Bering Sea. Along our uninhabited shores, the whales get a lot more privacy than they do down south, but you can see them from boats and coastal towns, and tour boats from Seward go out to view the whales through April. On today’s show, we’re talking about going out to see the whales this spring, and the biology of the whales and their amazing migration. KSKA: Thursday, April 9, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

On Outdoor Explorer, we get to interview some of the heartiest and most driven athletes in the world, people who test themselves against Alaska and win. On this week's show, we meet athletes who fit that description, but do it while dealing with a disability. They prove that Alaska's outdoors are accessible for skiing, boating, hunting, hand-cycle racing, and just about anything else you want to try. Download Audio: KSKA: Thursday, August 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

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, July 07, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 14, at 8:00 p.m. Charles Wohlforth

Have you ever been to a regatta? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll be in the field with the Anchorage Rowing Association as they put a crop of beginners through the basics in time for the Dave Thorsness Challenge -- a newbie-friendly regatta. Join host Charles Wohlforth on his fun foray into competitive rowing. KSKA: Thursday, July 16, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 22, at 2:00 p.m. The national parks and refuges we enjoy today as outdoors people weren’t always destined to be conserved for these purposes. After Alaska became a state, the map was open as to which lands would be owned by Alaska Natives, the state government, or private owners. On the next show, we’ll look back into history, to the 1970s, to find out how it happened, as some lovers of Alaska’s wild places sat down with maps and drew lines that became the largest single conservation action in world history, called ANILCA. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, Aug. 25, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer we’re saying happy birthday to the national parks by airing the show on the 100th anniversary of the creation of National Park Service, which takes care of some of the nation’s most dramatic and valuable wilderness. We’ll hear a little about that history and how the centennial is being celebrated during the show, but our main emphasis is on the parks themselves. LISTEN NOW

KSKA: Thursday, February 1, at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer focuses on women, and specifically events for women athletes. The Alaska Ski for Women is coming up soon, and after that the Gold Nugget Triathlon, and there are others too. We’ll be talking with competitors and organizers to find out what these events are like, how they feel different from co-ed races, and why it is important to have events specifically for women. LISTEN HERE

Alaskan geologists, biologists, archaeologists and lots of other kinds of -ologists cover the wilderness in their work, in search of knowledge but avoiding something many outdoor folks are looking for: adventure. On this show, we’ll hear from field scientists about their challenges studying Alaska, and how they keep safe and work effectively in places where other people go to test themselves against the elements. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 15, at 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

A theme encountered on Outdoor Explorer is that Alaskans invent a lot of stuff to do what they want outdoors. On this show, three guests who build their own gear, whether it be skis, bike accessories or mountaineering equipment, explain why they find it to be so rewarding and the benefits of stuff Alaskans have invented. KSKA: Thursday, March 12, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Little ones love recreation with their parents, and love playing in the snow. But a baby can also be a burden on a winter outing, and keeping them safe and warm is any parent’s biggest concern. Join us for a talk on babies in the elements - we've got two parents in the studio who are experts on keeping kids safe and happy in the outdoors. KSKA: Thursday, Jan 7, at 2:00 and Thursday, Jan 14, at 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, May 19, at 2:00 and Thursday, May 26, at 8:00 p.m. Anchorage people love their bike trails. Still, while we want more, the trails we already have are worn out in places, and one trail had a bridge collapse. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking with folks responsible for the paved bike trails, as well as a mastermind of the fun, world class single track mountain bike trails at Kincaid Park and on the Hillside. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

KSKA: Thursday, April 14, at 2pm. When you fly into Anchorage, what do you really notice? It's not the buildings or the roads, it's the mountains that take your breath away. It’s a gift, but it didn’t have to be that way. 50 years ago, the land we now call Chugach State Park was open for development. The reason we have a park now is because citizens got together and were bold enough to demand one. We’ll be talking about the history of the park and how it came into existence. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

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

On this Outdoor Explorer we’re talking about art. Alaska’s nature is a powerful inspiration for many artists, like painter Steve Gordon.  Steve’s vivid images of birch trees and stream banks are among our favorites, capturing the light and grace of quiet places and somehow heightening the feelings they create. Steve will talk about how he makes those paintings and how his many years of boy scout camping trips influenced that work. Thanks for listening!

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

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. KSKA: Thursday, Nov 19, at 2pm; Thursday, Dec 3, at 8pm Listen now:

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

They say the most important piece of safety equipment outdoors is your brain, and that is particularly true with staying alive in avalanche country. We'll address the most dangerous backcountry hazard with an avalanche prediction expert and an educator who specializes in tuning up that safety gear inside your head. We’ll talk about how to recognize danger, how to prepare for winter travel in the backcountry, and when to stay home. KSKA: Thursday 12/12 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Small game can be an entry for young people into hunting, but it’s also is a tradition for sportsmen going back centuries and shows up in classic literature from all over the world. On the next Outdoor Explorer, the topic is hunting upland game birds and small mammals. KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now: