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

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!

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.

Writing About Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 3, at 2:00 p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer will be focusing on writing about Alaska. We'll have two of Alaska’s best and most successful authors in the studio, each of whom have told stories that take into account the terrain and landscapes, the myth and grandeur of the state, in both fiction and in non fiction. LISTEN NOW

They came to Alaska, and stayed

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with Conor McDonald and Miranda Sheely. Conor is known as Bucky to his friends. A few years ago, Miranda and Bucky moved to Alaska for college from out of state, but they seem to have found their home here, and they decided not to leave after graduating. Miranda has found her passion exploring Alaska’s wilderness by raft during the summer, and with a dog team during the winter. Bucky recently presented his college thesis paper at the Alaska Snow Safety Summit. In it, he researched the relationship between social media and avalanche safety. Please join us for what’s sure to be an interesting conversation with Bucky McDonald and Miranda Sheely. Thanks for listening!

Alaskans Abroad – Guyana

Alaskans are no strangers to the wilderness, but what about the remote jungle? This week on Outdoor Explorer we are talking about traveling and living in the South American country of Guyana.

Iditarod doping, ski prep & the Eklutna dam

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 04, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we take a look at one of the biggest sports and outdoor stories in Alaska in the last year: the Iditarod drug doping scandal that hit the race in the fall, with a positive drug test and the surrounding controversy.  We’ll also learn about getting your skis ready for the season, and about a big dam removal project in Anchorage, which was funded completely by donations. LISTEN HERE

Adventure and science

Over the course of humanity's time on earth we have learned much from nature. In modern history science and adventure have had a symbiotic relationship. On this show we’ll be talking to Dr. Caroline Van Hemert, who travelled from Bellingham to Kotzebue by row boat, skis, packraft, canoe, and on foot. In the 2nd half of the show we’ll be talking with Dr. Kathy Kuletz, who has studied seabirds in Prince William Sound and the North Gulf of Alaska since 1978. Thanks for listening!

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, June 16, at 2:00 We love how people keep inventing new sports and Alaskans keep finding unique ways to do them. The next show is a great example, we're talking about stand up paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga. A paddleboard is essentially a surf board for calm water, but as you’ll learn, paddleboards now are being used in Alaskan rivers and in the ocean. Finally, at the end of the show, we’ll hear a hair raising story from our live outdoor explorer show a few weeks ago. DOWNLOAD AUDIO
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Organic gardening and beekeeping

Gardening without chemicals turns out to be the right way, according to our next guest. Jeff Lowenfels has been growing things in Anchorage for a very long time, and through that experience he learned to get rid of anything that doesn’t naturally belong in his garden. We’ll also hear from a longtime beekeeping expert in Anchorage, who is even breeding bees able to make it through our cold winters. Thanks for listening!

Revisiting adventures in field science

Alaskan geologists, biologists, archeologists, 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 the next Outdoor Explorer, 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.

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!