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

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

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!

Glacier Trekking

A huge proportion of Alaska is covered with ice. A lot more than has towns and cities or anything man made on it. That’s a lot of country to explore, and its truly beautiful, like another world. On the next Outdoor Explorer the topic is glacier travel. We’ll be talking with a guide who takes newbies on glacier treks, a photographer who specializes in glacier journeys, and a glaciologist who goes to work on glaciers, and knows how they’re made. KSKA: Thursday 6/20 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

Crow Pass History

The Crow Pass trail leads from the Girdwood Valley to Eagle River. It’s a great backpacking route, and also a historic portion of the Iditarod Trail that led from Seward to mines in the Interior. What you might not know is that the trail was rebuilt in the 1970s with girl scout labor.We’ll learn about the Crow Pass trail in history and meet a former girl scout who helped remake the trail 40 years ago. KSKA: Thursday 11/7 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now
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Beluga whale count

KSKA: Thursday, September 21, at 2:00p.m. For the next Outdoor Explorer, Charles joined the beluga count, when more than 12-hundred people gathered at viewing sites around Cook Inlet and made 260 sightings of whales. Citizen scientists recorded the location of pods, their movements, and even the identity of individual whales. The main thing about the day was being outdoors in the sun with a lot of other people who love this place and were eager to learn more about these magnificent animals. LISTEN HERE

Avalanche Safety

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

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

Revisiting getting your own piece of Alaska

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

Canoeing 5,000 Miles in 5 Months

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. He’d never done anything like the before. On the next Outdoor Explorer, listen to an interview with Bob recorded on September 17th, just days after he completed the extraordinary journey. KSKA: Thursday 10/24 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now
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Organic gardening and beekeeping

Gardening without chemicals turns out to be the right way, according to our next guest. Jeff Lowenfels has been growing things in Anchorage for a very long time, and through that experience he learned to get rid of anything that doesn’t naturally belong in his garden. We’ll also hear from a longtime beekeeping expert in Anchorage, who is even breeding bees able to make it through our cold winters. Thanks for listening!

Fun with Wheels

KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 13, at 2:00 p.m. We’re going into new territory with the next show, with bike polo and skateboarding. We’ll hear an interview with a former x games champion from Alaska who eventually came back and opened a board shop here to pass on the sport to another generation, and with a polo player who travels with bikes to play. LISTEN NOW

National park journeys

On this next Outdoor Explorer, meet Mikah Meyer who traveled to every national park. And not only the big ones, but also all the historical parks and the obscure places, a trip that has taken years. We’ll also be chatting with legendary Alaska hiker Shawn Lyons, who is publishing a completely encyclopedic set of books covering every route in southcentral Alaska. Yea parks!

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:

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: