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

A conversation with Roman Dial

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we spend a full hour sitting with Roman Dial, one of Alaska’s greatest adventurers, to learn about his extraordinary life, and the tragic disappearance of his son, and how that ordeal was horribly exploited by reality TV. We’ll also get into many other tales, including how he helped start wilderness racing and developed the pack raft as a tool for Alaska travel.  Thanks for listening!

Active vacations

In 2017, Men’s Health named Anchorage the most adventurous city in the United States. We do love to adventure in our state with our friends. We also love to travel; why  not combine adventure, travel and friends into a vacation? On this week’s Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking with avid swimmers, bikers and runners who combine their vacation with activity. And although we all love to spend some time on the beach doing nothing, there is no better way to see the world than through movement in the outdoors. Thanks for listening!

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!

Getting kids and adults outside

Now that the snow has melted, the pavement is dry, the trails are almost dry, and endless daylight has arrived, more Alaskans are spending more time outside. This week on Outdoor Explorer we are talking about how to connect kids with the outdoors. And, in anticipation of Bike to Work Day we will talk to the folks at Bike Anchorage and find out what they are doing to make Anchorage more bike friendly.

Crossing the Alaska Range

In 2017, Jen Johnston and Sam Hooper hiked the length of the Alaska Range, 1000 miles from Port Alsworth to McCarthy. It’s a tremendous accomplishment, but their story is not one of hardship and heroism. They love it out there, and on the next Outdoor Explorer, Jen and Sam talk about the privilege and pleasure of getting deep into Alaska with one another. Thanks for listening!

Talking Iditarod with Bill Sherwonit

The next Outdoor Explorer will air during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and we’ll be discussing Alaska’s signature sporting event with nature writer Bill Sherwonit. Bill spent many years covering the Iditarod as a newspaper reporter and he has lots of stories from the trail. He’s recently put out a new book about the race. Tune in for a discussion with author Bill Sherwonit about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Thanks for listening!

Outdoor Explorer’s new hosts

For our first show of the year, something completely new on Outdoor Explorer. Charles Wohlforth is leaving as the program's host. On the episode, we’ll be introducing four new hosts who will carry it onward, and make it better, with more diverse perspectives and deep knowledge about the Alaska outdoors. Charles has hosted the show for 6 years and will still be listening and taking part and we look forward to where the show goes in the future. 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...

Horseback riding and a trip across the Americas

Felipe Leite rode a horse from Calgary to Brazil, unsupported. He crossed deserts and mountains and he says he nearly starved and he saw men killed by drug lords. Leite is my guest on the next Outdoor Explorer to tell about his horseback adventures, and his next big ride, from Fairbanks to Calgary, which will complete a journey spanning the length of the America’s. Thanks for listening!

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!

Boat building

KSKA: Thursday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. Boat building is much more than carpentry. Boats can be an extension of a builder’s heart, connecting to traditions and place, and relating a paddler’s physical and spiritual being to the ocean. The guests on this show are skilled craftspeople who have spent their lives building and repairing wooden boats, and building traditional Inuit kayaks. LISTEN NOW

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.

“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!

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!

Outdoor art

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!

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.

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!