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

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

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

Ski jumping in Anchorage

KSKA: Thursday, August 17, at 2:00 p.m. It’s late summer in Alaska, so of course the topic of Outdoor Explorer is ski jumping! We'll visit ski jump practice on a warm summer day so you can hear how remarkable it is to hear the wind in the skis. We'll also talk with the head coach to learn what it takes to get up the courage to go down those ramps. LISTEN HERE

Polar bear science and culture

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 2, at 2:00 p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer focuses on polar bears. Polar bears are a unique symbol of the Arctic and their ability to thrive on the sea ice is a testament to the power of nature. LISTEN NOW

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...

Athletic Injury Prevention and Avoidance

This week we have an important show for anyone who exercises to keep fit. We're talking about injury prevention and recovery. You can avoid a lot of the injuries that come from overuse and excessive effort, and we’ll tell you how to speed your recovery if you do get hurt. As with so many things, a lot of it is mental. KSKA: Thursday, March 31, at 2pm and Thursday, April 07 at 8pm 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!

Backcountry babies

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 14, at 2:00 p.m. How young can you take your kids outdoors? For some Alaska parents, there isn't much of a limit, and they are taking babies backpacking, boating and camping. It makes sense. Babies are more portable that bigger kids, and they are constantly amused by the passing world from a backpack. But there are cautions to be aware of, and on our next show we'll talk to a pediatrician as well as an adventurer to learn about taking babies to the backcountry. LISTEN HERE

Outdoors with Disabilities

On Outdoor Explorer, we get to interview some of the heartiest and most driven athletes in the world, people who test themselves against Alaska and win. On this week's show, we meet athletes who fit that description, but do it while dealing with a disability. They prove that Alaska's outdoors are accessible for skiing, boating, hunting, hand-cycle racing, and just about anything else you want to try. Download Audio: KSKA: Thursday, August 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Salmon and Alaska

Salmon are an iconic symbol of Alaska: plentiful and wild. On this week’s Outdoor Explorer we’ll being talking with Amy Gulick about her new book “The Salmon Way.”

Urban outdoor exploration

According to The Trust for Public Land, 54% of the nation’s residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park. In Anchorage, that number is 74%. For many residents of an urban area, access to a park near their neighborhood as a child is the first outdoor exploration of life. For adults, a neighborhood park offers a quick trip into nature to recreate and relieve stress. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with the visionaries, the planners, and the builders of our urban park space. Thanks for listening!

Making the Musher

Rookie mushers come and go. It takes countless hours and training to become an Iditarod great. On the next episode of Outdoor Explorer, we're talking to a handful of mushers who are on that journey. They scoop poop. They cut up a lot of raw meat. It's not glamorous work, but they're chasing down a dream as Iditarod sled dogs gun it for Nome. KSKA: Thursday, March 5, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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

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!

Art Inspired by the Wilderness

Alaska’s beauty inspires artists and sometimes overwhelms them. It’s hard to convey how you feel about our spectacular country. But its an important part of the wilderness experience. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about wilderness art with artists who have made expeditions to pursue their work, sponsored by some of our public land agencies. Host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a writer, photographer and a mural artist to talk about expression outdoors. KSKA: Thursday, April 10, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Veterans outdoors

This Outdoor Explorer is dedicated entirely to two of the most impressive people we’ve recently met, both military veterans whose service became deeply linked to the outdoors. We’ll hear from Kirk Alkire, who has made climbing in the Chugach Mountains a form of therapy for other grieving veterans. Then we'll talk with David Shuman, who retired from a long career as a pararescuer, doing the most difficult and daring rescues in Alaska’s wilderness.

Animal rescue

KSKA: Thursday, May 18, at 2:00 p.m. What do you do if you find an injured animal in the wild? If it’s a bird or a seal, there may be hope for a rescue. We’ll be traveling to the Alaska SeaLife Center, where marine mammals and birds are nursed back to health, and Bird TLC, a center for injured avians here in Anchorage. LISTEN HERE

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

Training for Fitness

Have you gotten a little sedentary over the winter? Host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a coach, a physical therapist and a dietician to talk about how to safely and successfully start a fitness program, to control weight, improve health or just enjoy life more. For those who already work out regularly, we'll talk about how to take it to the next level, and even to endurance competition. KSKA: Thursday, 3/13, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Spring Bird Festivals

Mike Kenney surrounded by shorebird flock. Photo by Milo Burchman. It’s a sure sign of spring in coastal Alaska, the arrival of migrating shorebirds that flock so thickly they sometimes look like clouds.  Several communities welcome the birds and visitors who want to see them and learn about them, and its a great chance to get out on the water early in the season and forget winter. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking about the spring migrations and the shorebird festivals coming up in the next week weeks. KSKA: Thursday 4/18 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm