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

Ski trail preparation

KSKA: Thursday, October 05, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer, we are eagerly getting ready for winter. Charles took a portable recorder to Kincaid Park to join a volunteer trail crew preparing cross country ski trails for the first snow, which we were all looking forward to so we can ski again. The trail work is designed to smooth the ground so we won’t need much snow to ski, and to be ready for the US National Championships and Olympic Trials in January. LISTEN HERE

Surfing and hiking

When most of us think of the outdoor activities that Alaskans love, we tend to think of hiking, biking, skiing, and skating. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we talk about one not so common Alaskan outdoor activity, surfing - we talk about where to do it and how to get started as a beginner. We also talk about a more common outdoor activity, hiking, and how one woman prepared for her trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro by hiking in Southcentral Alaska. Thanks for listening!

The evolution of the fat bike

In this era of unpredictable snow, the fat bike has quickly become a standard part of Alaska winter life. Biking on snowwas recorded as early as the Klondike Gold Rush but it is only in the last 30 years that bikes specifically made for thesnow have been developed.

Inclusive playgrounds and museum summer activities

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll meet an 11 year old girl and her mother who made a huge change in our city. When Anna Boltz was a toddler, her mother Leah realized that the city’s playgrounds, although meeting the law, were not truly accessible to a child like her who uses a wheelchair. Nine years later, Anchorage has a dozen inclusive playgrounds, with facilities that invite and engage people of every ability. We'll also hear about summer activities being hosted by the Anchorage Museum and about training to race in the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair. Thanks for listening!

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame: 2019 Trajan Langdon Award recipients

Larsen Klingel and Andy Beardsley at the Boston Marathon. Photo by Katie Beardsley. Andy Beardsley, Larsen-Klingel...

Hiking in southcentral Alaska

With our long days and easy accessibility to the mountains, many residents of southcentral Alaska look forward to hiking as a main summer activity. Whether you want some great views, you are training for Mount Marathon, you are looking for a place to take visiting friends or you just want some solitude, there are guidebooks to help plan your hikes. In the first segment of our next show, we’ll be talking with Lisa Maloney, who has authored the most recent guidebook, “Day Hiking in Southcentral Alaska.” In the second segment we’ll hear from Corrie Smith and Greg Martin, a couple who decided on the challenge of completing all the hikes in one book, “50 Hikes in Alaska’s Chugach State Park.” Thanks for listening!

“Arctic Solitaire” book and adverse weather gear

Paul Souders wanted see and photograph polar bears for himself, by himself, in a new way, and he did something to accomplish that no one else would have thought of. He put a 22-foot boat on a trailer and drove to the Arctic, voyaging north, through Hudson Bay, to the pack ice. The photographs he came back with are stunning, showing bears in a way I’ve never seen them. Thanks for listening!

Hiking the Brooks Range

Ever wonder what it’s like to hike and packraft the Brooks Range? This week’s Outdoor Explorer features a series of field interviews with APU’s Dr. Roman Dial and his students as they studied tree growth while hiking the Brooks Range.

Revisiting the history of Anchorage’s trails and greenbelts

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 9, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we're revisiting an episode that was dedicated to our city’s centennial. We’ll hear stories of how we built the greenbelts, bike and ski trails that are now the defining characteristics of Anchorage. Each of our three guests played a part in providing us with the spaces to get out, enjoy nature, and safely get to work or just some exercise. This episode first aired in June of 2015. LISTEN HERE

Health, healing and the outdoors

Most of us are aware of the physical benefits of being active, but what about our mental health? On the next Outdoor Explorer we will be talking to three people who use the outdoors and exercise for their health, but in very different ways. We talk about the role it plays in moving through the grieving process, its role in managing lifelong, chronic illnesses, and how it can improve mental health. Thanks for listening!

Anchorage Bike Trails

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

Women of polar science

Sue Mauger is a scientist and conservationist who studies Alaska’s streams to learn the impact of climate change. So why did she go on a voyage to Antarctica? On the next outdoor explorer, we’ll discuss the unusual reason. Sue was invited to join a ship full of women scientists with the goal of learning about themselves and how they can be stronger in their work for the benefit of knowledge and the earth. Thanks for listening!

Outdoor summer camps

On the next Outdoor Explorer we are learning about outdoor summer camps for kids. Once school is out camps are a ritual for many families, however camps have changed a lot in the last 20 years. Camps have become more professional and are not just a month living in the woods.

Chugach National Forest Town Hall Meeting

Chugach National Forest, and especially Prince William Sound, takes in some of the most extraordinary scenery and protected wilderness in Alaska. Charles Wohlforth shares what he learned when he attended a public meeting on changing management of the Sound, and you'll hear from people who think that’s both a good and a bad idea. 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!

Kodiak archaeology with Patrick Saltonstall

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with Patrick Saltonstall. Patrick is the curator of archaeology at the Alutiiq Museum, which means part of his job is to explore the Kodiak Archipelago, documenting the ancestral culture of the area.

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

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.

History of Chugach State Park

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

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!