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

Avalanche equipment and rescue

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 19, at 2:00 p.m. Everyone knows that winter backcountry travelers need to know how to avoid avalanches, how to prepare for them, and what to do if someone is caught in one. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we talk to experts about the right gear and how to use it, we'll also get a step-by-step scenario of what an avalanche recovery is like and what you should do in that terrible event. LISTEN NOW

Winter predictions and activities

Will winter bring snow, or will we wait through thaws, rain and darkness? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we have a climatologist to talk about the predicted El Nino that is expected to bring warm, gloomy conditions this winter. So that’s the prediction. For the response, we’ll have two other interviews. We’ll be talking about hibernation, not the best option, and about indoor ice... it's the sport of curling. Thanks for listening!

Raising an Outdoorsy Family

On the next Outdoor Explorer we explore a different kind of lifestyle - one in which families orient their lives to their outdoor interests rather than to school and community. We’ll talk to folks who have made that leap, and weigh the pros and cons of a radical family investment in your outdoor passions. KSKA: Thursday, June 25, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

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

Air Quality and Lung Health for Athletes

The air you breathe keeps you alive, and it should always be pure and healthy, but for outdoor athletes, air quality means much more, whether you’re an elite runner or if you are just huffing and puffing up a hill on your bicycle. On today’s show, we’re going to learn about both parts of this equation: the quality of our air in Anchorage and around Alaska, and how our bodies handle the air, including how our lungs respond to pollution. KSKA: Thursday, May 21, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Geocaching

Geocaching is sort of like outdoor treasure hunting, and it's getting really big in Anchorage. Host Charles Wohlforth recently gave it a try with his daughter. They had an iPhone app and a mission to look for hidden caches logged on a website powered by GPS equipment. The result? A fun, and somewhat addicting, new hobby. Join us on air to learn more about geocaching. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 18, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Revisiting being alone in the wilderness

Whereas having somebody else along is often safer and more fun, solo trips into the wilderness can sometimes be the most memorable. Whether by choice or necessity, these experiences offer a chance to get to know oneself better. In this episode we'll  talk about what it’s like being truly alone in the great outdoors. This episode first aired in January of 2015. Thanks for listening!

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, 3/6 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Erin McKittrick and her Cook Inlet trek

KSKA: Thursday, July 27, at 2:00p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer comes from a yurt in Seldovia, Alaska. We met with adventurer Erin McKittrick to talk about a journey she made with her young children, and husband Hig, around Cook Inlet on foot and by pack raft. It’s the region where we live, but can remain hidden from most of us, with 100s of miles of beaches that rarely have a human footprint. We’ll also learn how they raise their backwoods family in such a dynamic, yet modern Alaska. LISTEN HERE

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

Historic Alaska Expeditions

This week we revisit a conversation from 2014. 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? On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about historic expeditions. What these guys did will amaze you. KSKA: Thursday, Jan 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, Jan 21, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW

Outdoor activity and the human brain

KSKA: Thursday, January 18, at 2 & 8 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about a key part of the body for your outdoor explorations, the brain. I’m Charles Wohlforth. New research shows that being active can make you smarter, growing parts of the brain, and keep your brain healthy as you age. But we’re also going to talk about brain injuries. We’re learning the serious impact they can have on every aspect of life and how important it is to protect your head when you are doing outdoor sports. LISTEN HERE

Women’s athletic events

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

Catching up on Eklutna, ski prep & helping young girls

This week we’re checking in with the outdoor community here in southcentral Alaska, which is all about getting ready for the coming winter and being involved in the positive stuff that so many of our neighbors do for one another. We’ll have segments on reviving fish runs in the Eklutna River, getting your skis ready for winter, and volunteering to help girls in Guatemala stay active through puberty.  Thanks for listening!

The Russian Far East

KSKA: Thursday, June 08, at 2:00 p.m. The east coast of Russia is far out of mind for Alaskans most of the time, but it’s not that far away physically and the geography, culture and history of the region are deeply intertwined with ours. You can even go there for an adventure if you are ready for something completely new. We’ll hear some of those stories on today’s show, with a traveler who spent time in Kamchatka and another who boated and dog mushed in Chukotka. And, although many of those opportunities closed years ago, we’ll also get into how you can arrange a trip today. LISTEN HERE

Reprise: 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, January 14 at 2pm and Thursday, January 21 and 8pm

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