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

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

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:

Snowkiting

You see them zipping around Turnagain Arm and in the backcountry. Brightly colored kites and their human drivers adorn Alaska's airspace, harnessing the wind to power an extreme sport. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will talk on all things kiting. KSKA: Thursday, Mar. 27 at 2:00 p.m. Listen now:

Geocaching

Geocaching is sort of like outdoor treasure hunting, and it's getting really big in Anchorage. Host Charles Wohlforth recently gave it a try with his daughter. They had an iPhone app and a mission to look for hidden caches logged on a website powered by GPS equipment. The result? A fun, and somewhat addicting, new hobby. Join us on air to learn more about geocaching. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 18, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Gray Whale Migration

One of the first signs of spring in coastal Alaska is the appearance of gray whales, who pass our way on their annual journey from Mexico to the Bering Sea. Along our uninhabited shores, the whales get a lot more privacy than they do down south, but you can see them from boats and coastal towns, and tour boats from Seward go out to view the whales through April. On today’s show, we’re talking about going out to see the whales this spring, and the biology of the whales and their amazing migration. KSKA: Thursday, April 9, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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

Bringing Your Dog Along

Our biggest dog park in Anchorage seems to be Chugach State Park. On any sunny day on the trails into the mountains, you will encounter a lot of dogs and their people. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will talk about enjoying the outdoors with your dog, fun stuff you can do, what to be careful of, and how to avoid being a jerk around non-dog people. KSKA: Thursday, June 12, 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

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:

Revisiting Whale photography with Bill Hess

KSKA: Thurs., Aug. 3, at 2:00 p.m. 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. We're revisiting this episode from winter of 2015. LISTEN HERE

Olympic Parents

Parents of three Anchorage Olympians join us in the studio. Some of them are headed to Sochi, where the winter games start Friday, so we pre-recorded the show. We’ve heard from athletes, but as a parent it is easier to identify more with the parents: with their pride, and trepidation, and with knowledge of the sacrifices made for a young person to succeed at the highest level. We'll learn how parents produce an Olympian, and how it feels, good and bad, once you have one in the family. KSKA: Thursday 2/6 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Snow machine assisted skiing

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 11, at 2 & 8 p.m. We have some fun people to introduce you to on the next Outdoor Explorer: twin brothers came in to talk with us. They're beer brewers, who are fanatic for snow machine-assisted backcountry skiing. This is where you ski or board remote powder slopes, but without spending the sweat to get there on foot or the money to get there on a helicopter--you ride out on a snow machine. There’s a ton of skill involved and a lot to learn, and these guys are great at talking about it. LISTEN HERE

Boat building

KSKA: Thursday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. Boat building is much more than carpentry. Boats can be an extension of a builder’s heart, connecting to traditions and place, and relating a paddler’s physical and spiritual being to the ocean. The guests on this show are skilled craftspeople who have spent their lives building and repairing wooden boats, and building traditional Inuit kayaks. LISTEN NOW

Summer public use cabins

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re revisiting one of our favorite shows on public use cabins. Now is the time to start planning your cabin trips for 2016. KSKA: Thurs., Nov. 12, at 2:00 p.m.; repeating Thurs., Nov. 19, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Erin McKittrick and her Cook Inlet trek

KSKA: Thursday, July 27, at 2:00p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer comes from a yurt in Seldovia, Alaska. We met with adventurer Erin McKittrick to talk about a journey she made with her young children, and husband Hig, around Cook Inlet on foot and by pack raft. It’s the region where we live, but can remain hidden from most of us, with 100s of miles of beaches that rarely have a human footprint. We’ll also learn how they raise their backwoods family in such a dynamic, yet modern Alaska. LISTEN HERE

Arctic Warriors

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about Arctic Warriors and the skills they learn and practice. We have two officers in the studio whose military training has helped them make it through Alaska’s harshest weather. One was on a caribou hunt on North Slope when the weather took a dangerous turn. The other led a successful Denali ascent over the summer. What does the military teach about surviving outdoors? We’ll get into that question on this show. KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 29, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

A conversation with Lael Wilcox

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 26, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer an interview with Lael Wilcox, whose life is one of Alaska’s most remarkable stories of physical accomplishment. Wilcox left to see the world on her bike, and never stopped, becoming a top endurance racer without really planning to. LISTEN NOW

Water Taxis to Wilderness

Coastal communities are the best thresholds to the wilderness for most of us who live in urban Alaska. That’s because a short boat ride can get you from the small boat harbor to a wild beach many, many miles from the nearest road, a place that likely is inaccessible any other way. On today’s show, we’re going to talk about using water taxis and where they can take you for hiking, paddling, or just setting up camp and enjoying incredibly beautiful, biologically rich places. KSKA: Thursday, April 30, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Rugby in Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, August 31st, at 2:00 p.m. We’re going a little bit off the reservation with the next show's topic-- we’re talking about rugby. We got the idea to cover something that you do on a field rather than out in the wild when we saw a photograph of a new rugby pitch right here in Anchorage. It is the product of one man’s imagination and drive, and we’ll have him here to talk about this amazing personal project. This may be the last thing you thought you wanted to know about, but the enthusiasm of these rugby players is totally contagious, and as you listen to our interview it's a sure bet you’ll pick up on it too. LISTEN HERE

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

Revisiting Community Skating

KSKA: Thursday Dec. 29 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm. Here’s an Alaska moment. It’s a weekend afternoon, you’ve been stuck indoors all day, you see that beautiful winter light in the sky, and you say, ‘let’s go skating.’ Half an hour later, you’re gliding over a frozen pond with your neighbors. We're talking about ice skating, the casual community kind, where everyone can participate and enjoy a winter day with friends.