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

Sports Psychology

KSKA: Thursday Nov. 17 at 2:00 p.m. Successful athletes often say the mental game is as important as physical training, but what does that really mean? We’ll find out on the next show. What you’ll learn on the next show could make you a better athlete, and it can also make you more successful in life. LISTEN NOW

Denali Climbing Season Begins

Summit Ridge_Brian Okonek

On the next Outdoor Explorer: Climbing North America's highest peak. The first climbers of the season are beginning their attempts on Denali.  And in a few weeks, base camp on the Kahiltna glacier will become an international village of mountaineers. Host Annie Feidt will be joined by Denali climbing guides and a National Park Service climbing ranger on the next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thursday 4/25 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

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.

Accessing Alaska’s rivers

Spring is in the air and the river ice is thawing out. Whether rafting, canoeing, kayaking, or inner tubing, there are plenty of ways to access Alaska's rivers without a motor. This week on Outdoor Explorer, we'll be speaking with Les Gara and Eric Downey about their experiences on Alaska's rivers, and about how the rest of us can get out there and join them. Thanks for listening!

Duck Hunting

Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service Duck hunting season begins September 1, a day that kicks off an outdoor tradition like no other. We’ll have guests who are getting ready for opening day with all the trappings of the sport, talk about hunting memories and traditions, and touch on conservation issues and changes in the land and the sport. KSKA: Thursday 8/29 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

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

Adventures in field science

Alaskan geologists, biologists, archaeologists and lots of other kinds of -ologists cover the wilderness in their work, in search of knowledge but avoiding something many outdoor folks are looking for: adventure. On this show, we’ll hear from field scientists about their challenges studying Alaska, and how they keep safe and work effectively in places where other people go to test themselves against the elements. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 15, at 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

Cultural journeys

Outdoor Alaska is a place to learn -- learning skills like skiing or paddling; learning to hunt and survive; or learning about the environment for science. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk to people who are sharing these kinds of knowledge in new ways -- scientists learning from from Alaska Natives, and elders eager to tell about radical changes they see in the environment where they live.' KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 22, at 2:00 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 8:00 p.m. 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

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
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Moose: Biology, Lessons and Urban Stories

Moose are part of life in Alaska in so many ways, as dinner, as a road hazard, and as an exciting visitor in your back yard. They're really amazing animals that deserve our respect. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll hear from a moose biologist who followed the animals in Denali for more than 35 years, and one who wrangled them in middle of the city, with Christmas lights on their antlers. KSKA: Thursday, March 10, at 2:00 and Thursday, March 17, at 8:00 p.m. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Safe food and water in the backcountry

KSKA: Thursday, June 01, at 2:00p.m. Staying healthy in the backcountry is a prerequisite to having a good time. But it’s more important than that. Getting sick in the wilderness, away from health care, can magnify the hazards of a situation. On the next show, we’ll talk about health issues, mostly having to do with food and water, and how you can keep your group in good shape on backcountry hiking or remote boating trips this summer. LISTEN HERE

Learning from our elders

The outdoors can teach us many lessons, from skills like pitching a tent and cooking a hot meal to life lessons such as communication and decision making. Alaska is full of women and men of all stripes that have lived full lives in the outdoors. Join your host, Paul Twardock, on the next Outdoor Explorer as he speaks with Alaska ski pioneer Jim Mahaffey and retired Denali Mountaineering Ranger Daryl Miller. Thanks for listening!

Trail Tales, storytelling events from Alaska Trails

Alaska Trails is excited to present the Trail Tales storytelling series. With a new format and partnered with a different community trail group each time. ​In the spirit of Arctic Entries, storytellers will share seven minute stories about their trail experiences, adventures and life in general. Enjoy listening to your fellow active and outdoorsy Alaskans.

Iron Dog

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we're talking about the Iron Dog, billed as "the world's longest, toughest snowmobile race." We’ve got racers in the studio who have done it, and won. And we’re going to talk about how you put on a race of this scale, which starts Feb. 21, and for the first time this year, will take off with a ceremonial starting line in Anchorage. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 12, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. 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.

Mountain biking in Eagle River and the Mat-Su

KSKA: Thursday, April 13, at 2:00 p.m. Probably, like a lot of cyclists in Anchorage, you know our trails pretty well, especially the ones closest to home, because that’s where you ride on a regular basis. But bikes these days can go a lot farther than that. On our next show, we’re talking about mountain biking opportunities beyond the bowl, including in the Mat-su and on the brand new trails just finished near Eagle River, at Mirror Lake. LISTEN HERE

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.

Long-Distance Bike Adventures

Can you imagine biking around the world? On the next Outdoor Explorer, hear from two French cyclists - a CPA and a postal worker - who doing just that. We'll also hear about cycle-touring in Alaska, too, and the best routes and tips for your own trip. KSKA: Thursday, June 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Revisiting Coastal Brown Bears

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 24, at 2:00 p.m. Our region of Alaska happens to be the best place in the world for ordinary people to get out in the woods and see lots of gigantic bears. While the coastal brown bear are gorging on the salmon that make them so large, they don’t pay attention to anything else. Visitors to certain streams can get very close. We’ll talk about that experience, and the life of the bears. LISTEN NOW