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

Checking in with our elder athletes

We humans can live a long time, long enough to do a lot and see a lot. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we have a climber who topped some of the world’s greatest peaks... 50 years ago and then never stopped. We’ll also be joined by one of Alaska’s toughest runners, who completed more than 60 marathons and helped start some of Alaska’s biggest races. In both cases, they’re fun and inspiring for any age. Thanks for listening!

History of Anchorage’s Trails and Greenbelts

On the next Outdoor Explorer we'll dive into the history behind Anchorage's greenbelts, bike and ski trails. KSKA: Thursday, June 11, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Winter Camping and Snowshoeing

The summer season for sleeping outdoors is short, but there’s still a lot of Alaska out there in the winter with wonderful backcountry recreation and easy travel on snowshoes, when the rivers are frozen and it almost never rains. We’ll be talking about winter camping and snowshoeing. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. You can be comfortable, have great access to the backcountry, and sleep under the most amazing dome of stars. KSKA: Thursday 1/23 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

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:

The Tour of Anchorage ski event

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 16, at 2:00 p.m. One of the biggest and best events of the Anchorage winter is a ski race that crosses the whole city, held the same weekend as the Iditarod start. It’s the Tour of Anchorage, and it’s coming up soon, with some of the nation’s best skiers and plenty of regular folks who just want to go the distance. LISTEN NOW

Citizen Ski Racing

Tour of Anchorage 2013 from ATMI on Vimeo.

You don't have to be an Olympian to participate in a Nordic ski race. Anchorage has races for the rest of us, where fast skiers can duel at the front while older and less competitive skiers push their personal limits. The Tour of Anchorage is the biggest race of the year, with up to 2,000 contestants covering up to 50 kilometers, but local volunteers organize many other cross-country ski races during the winter that are open to anyone willing to try. KSKA: Thursday 1/9 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Revisiting 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, March 3, at 2:00 and Thursday, March 10, at 8:00 p.m. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Babies in the Elements

Little ones love recreation with their parents, and love playing in the snow. But a baby can also be a burden on a winter outing, and keeping them safe and warm is any parent’s biggest concern. Join us for a talk on babies in the elements - we've got two parents in the studio who are experts on keeping kids safe and happy in the outdoors. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 23, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Wilderness Medicine

The nightmare of anyone leading a backcountry trip is that someone becomes seriously hurt, falls in the water, or gets too cold. You can’t get the person to a doctor for many hours or even days. You don’t know what to do. On the next Outdoor Explore, we’re going to talk about that terrifying situation and how to solve it. We’re talking about wilderness medicine. KSKA: Thursday, Jan 28, at 2:00 and Thursday, Feb 4, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW

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!

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

Father-Daughter Treks

KSKA: Thursday, May 5 @ 2:00 pm. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll have two different father-daughter teams who reconnected through big adventures. One pair rode motorcycles from Alaska to college in New York, the other came from Wisconsin to build a cabin in northern Alaska. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Getting Ready for Paddling Season

The ice will soon go out soon on our lakes and rivers. The sea otters are ready to pose for our pictures. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re getting ready for paddling season. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will be talking about canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rivers, lakes and the ocean -- gear, safety, planning and packing. We'll be dreaming about the trips we would love to take, and talking to folks who have done them. KSKA: Thursday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Hunter Education

There's a lot to know to be a successful hunter or angler, and not everyone learns it from a parent or family friend. That's especially true for women, who may not have been treated as potential outdoors people as girls. As the fall season begins, we will explore the opportunities for hunter education, including classes created for women, and learn what it is that you really should know. KSKA: Thursday, August 28, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Nature as therapy

On the next Outdoor Explorer, meet Justin and Wella Jay. They met in Anchorage while serving in the Army. They were both deployed to combat in Afghanistan. They both came back with trauma from their wartime experiences. But as a couple they supported each other and found a way to walk off the war--on a six month hike over the Appalachian Trail. It helped them, and they think nature therapy could help other veterans. Thanks for listening!

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

Arctic Man City

For a week or two in mid-April, a remote mountainside in the Alaska Range becomes one of the biggest towns in Alaska. It’s Arctic Man, a kind of Burning Man for the snow machine set, with the craziest extreme skiing competition you’ve ever heard of. We’ll preview Arctic Man, the speed, the parties, the family fun, and the backcountry travel, with an organizer, a competitor, and a spectator. KSKA: Thursday 4/4 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

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.”

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

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!