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

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

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

Go North

It is plenty common for people to make their way to Alaska on behalf of a significant other or for a job, but in this show, three guests share their stories of making the trip north by unconventional means. They came here by air, land and sea — and we'll hear stories from their adventures heading north. KSKA: Thursday, March 26, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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!

Wildlife and bear viewing

Photo: Dave BachrachPhoto: Drew Hamilton Wildlife and Alaska are like apple pie and ice cream, it’s hard to...

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.

Berry Picking

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The feel of the air at night has changed. Fall is coming. Time for berry picking. It’s been a great year for berries across Alaska, and on today's show, we will talk in detail about where, how, and what to pick, and how to handle your harvest with experts on the art, science, health and culinary details of berries, and share the warm feeling of this wonderful family tradition. KSKA: Thursday, 8/22 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

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!

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:

Whaling

The Inupiaq people of the North Slope have hunted bowhead whales for at least 1000 years. As spring arrives, they will once again be building trail on the sea ice and building camps to launch umiats of oogruk skin, armed with harpoons and 19th century bomb guns. On the next Outdoor Explorer, host Charles Wohlforth and guests calling in from Barrow will talk more about how Eskimo whaling is done and what the tradition means. KSKA: Thursday, April 3, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 pm. Listen now:

Summer Camp Planning for Kids

hoonah camp 2012_AB Girl Scouts Listen Now The fondest dream of many parents is for our children to love the outdoors as much as we do. Summer is the time for that to happen, but how do you get them off the couch and outside when you’re away at work? On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, the topic is outdoors summer camps. We’ll talk about camp options, and also how to make sure it’s a positive and inspiring experience, even for shy indoor kids.What do you look for in a camp for your kids? KSKA: Thusday 5/2 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Selecting a Bike

On today's show we’re going to talk about how to buy a bike. We’ll focus first on the high end and the creative stuff that hardcore cycling folks are doing these days, building crazy bikes and putting together the perfect bike. Then we’ll focus on the practical details of getting the right bike for you at a price you can afford, whether you buy new or on Craigslist. KSKA: Thursday, April 16, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Download Audio

Getting Tweens Outdoors

For outdoor families, it can be tough when children leave elementary school and suddenly don’t want to go outside anymore. There are plenty of exceptions, but middle school coaches and parents of tweens know that this is a critical age to keep young people going outside and active. We’ll be talking with parents and educators about how the outdoors can compete with the screen or the couch in the lives of tweens as we struggle to help them build independent lives that are healthy and active. KSKA: Thursday 10/17 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Reprise: 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, Jan 7, at 2:00 and Thursday, Jan 14, at 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

Revisiting Endurance Athletes

KSKA: Thursday, July 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 21, at 8:00 p.m. Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, averaging 47 miles a day. David Johnston finished the 350-mile Iditarod Invitational in four days, running on snow. They’ll both join us as we try to understand what makes ultra-endurance athletes tick. LISTEN NOW

Action and Scenic Photography

Using a camera to capture the spectacular places and outdoor sports we love can seem like an impossible task. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join us with two guests who have dedicated their lives to making amazing photographs that bring the outdoors to life. KSKA: Thursday, May 28, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Alaska Mountain Rescue

When Alaskans get lost or hurt in the high country, they rely on a team of volunteers and professionals who are tough enough to come get them in the worst conditions. This week on Outdoor Explorer we'll find how how they do their work and how we can help as outdoor users when we are lost. KSKA: Thursday, 2/13 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now

Dog parks & an update from Pachamama

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 25, at 2:00p.m. We’re talking about dogs on the next Outdoor Explorer. Anchorage has a network of dog parks for different kinds of breeds that have different needs. Now there’s a group that wants to build a dog park with play equipment. We also have a guest to talk about dogs and the law. Later in the show, we catch up with our friend Dario Schwoerer, and his family. They've endured some tragedy, since we last spoke to them about their TOPtoTOP program, when a storm in Iceland seriously damaged the ship they live on. It's a harrowing tale to be sure. LISTEN HERE

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.

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