Outdoor Explorer

On “Outdoor Explorer” 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

Wrangell-St. Elias backcountry

This edition of Outdoor Explorer comes to you from the backcountry of Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Earlier in the summer, Charles flew with friends to a mountain pass in the massive, incredibly spectacular Wrangell mountains where they spent an extended weekend on dayhikes in the alpine environment, near the Russell Glacier. We'll learn about the park, the trip, and how you can do a backcountry adventure in this amazing park. KSKA: Thursday, August 6, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

Fat bike and packraft adventurers

KSKA: Thursday, September 28, at 2:00p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, some real explorers. Bjorn Olsen and Kim McNett explored much of Alaska’s Arctic Ocean coast by fat bike and pack raft, and they brought back some great stories and insights. We’ll also talk about their trips on the Kenai Peninsula and how you can try out this fast and remarkably practical way of covering the backcountry by pedaling and paddling, and go to new, exciting places. LISTEN HERE

Fishing Forecast

© 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

Revisiting beach and creek cleanup

KSKA: Thursday, May 04, at 2:00 p.m. A few years ago Charles got interested in a group that was cleaning up marine debris from beaches in Prince William Sound. He volunteered, and was blown away by what a rewarding experience it was to pick up trash. On the next show we’re revisiting the topic of beach cleanup, both on the wild, outer coast where stuff is washing up from Japan, and on our beaches here in Anchorage.

Public Use Cabins

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about public use cabins. Why now? Well, they’re open in the winter, and perfect for a ski or snowshoeing weekend. Perhaps more importantly, the season for reserving cabins for summer will soon be upon us. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your cabin trips for 2014. We learn about remote cabins you can rent, how to do it, and personal favorites across the region.

Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday 11/21 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm

Learn about local climbing, cameras & what’s up with bears lately?

KSKA: Thursday, December 14, at 2:00 p.m. 2017 will be remembered in part as the "Year of the Bear" in Southcentral Alaska. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about why we had scary and tragic incidents, and why far more bears were killed in Anchorage than usual. For something a bit more fun, we also have a segment on rock and ice climbing, a sports that is exploding in popularity, with great opportunities to learn inside and out. LISTEN HERE

Snowkiting

You see them zipping around Turnagain Arm and in the backcountry. Brightly colored kites and their human drivers adorn Alaska's airspace, harnessing the wind to power an extreme sport. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will talk on all things kiting. KSKA: Thursday, Mar. 27 at 2:00 p.m. Listen now:

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

Rockwell Kent centennial

Rockwell Kent was one of the most important artists to picture Alaska. And the legendary winter he spent with his son on Fox Island, in Resurrection Bay, happened 100 years ago. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’re joined by an expert on those events, and on Kent’s colorful life in general, to learn about landmarks in fine art and writing about nature that were created right here. Thanks for listening!

Revisiting Endurance Athletes

KSKA: Thursday, July 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 21, at 8:00 p.m. Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, averaging 47 miles a day. David Johnston finished the 350-mile Iditarod Invitational in four days, running on snow. They’ll both join us as we try to understand what makes ultra-endurance athletes tick. LISTEN NOW

Learning from our elders: Eberhard Brunner

Alaska is full of people that have lived full lives in the outdoors. This week on Outdoor Explorer our guest is Eberhard Brunner. Eberhard was an alpine ski coach, owned a hunting lodge, ran a sporting goods store, and is a professional photographer.

A conversation with Lael Wilcox

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 26, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer an interview with Lael Wilcox, whose life is one of Alaska’s most remarkable stories of physical accomplishment. Wilcox left to see the world on her bike, and never stopped, becoming a top endurance racer without really planning to. LISTEN NOW

Smart & Solo

This week on Outdoor Explorer, we'll be talking with Randell Carlton Green, author of the recently-published travel book, "Smart & Solo: The Blueprint for Efficient & Enjoyable Solo Travel". We'll be discussing ways to minimize the discomfort and maximize the fun and personal growth that comes from traveling solo, anywhere in the world.

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:

Formidable women of Alaska

Alaskan women have a reputation for pushing the adventure boundaries. Lael Wilcox, an internationally known endurance cyclist, and producer Lee Hart and rider Jill Simek of the fat bike short film Blue, have stories to tell about their epic adventures and projects.

Historic Alaska Expeditions

Alaska’s outdoors people may think they’re tough, but how about paddling 40 days in a dugout canoe in the rains of Southeast Alaska in October and November, dressed in wool, without modern gear? That’s what John Muir did, and his writings about the experience changed science and started the Alaska tourism industry. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about Muir's historic expedition and others. What these guys did will amaze you. KSKA: Thursday, July 3, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

New Alaska Books

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

Remote power & visiting Spencer Glacier

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about about remote power. Solar panels are small and portable enough now that it makes sense to take them into the backcountry to charge batteries, extending your electronics and communications indefinitely. My guest is also an expert in setting up remote power systems at cabins, technology that is advancing to make power in your remote site much simpler. Also, we'll hear about climbing and rafting on and around Spencer Glacier. Thanks for listening!

Rickshaw Run across India

This week’s Outdoor Explorer features the Rickshaw Run Across India. Three Alaskans travelled 1800 miles across India in a motorized tricycle using their skills developed in Alaska’s wilds.

Caribou Hunting & Science

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: