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

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!

Rickshaw Run across India

This week’s Outdoor Explorer features the Rickshaw Run Across India. Three Alaskans travelled 1800 miles across India in a motorized tricycle using their skills developed in Alaska’s wilds.

Revisiting train and ferry adventures

We Alaskans have a unique way to get into the backcountry, on our state-owned railroad or ferry system — two of the most fun forms of transportation around. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll celebrate how the train and ferries can get families out to adventures hiking, skiing, paddling, floating and exploring in some truly exotic places. Thanks for listening!

Volunteering in the outdoors

Volunteering in the outdoors is a great way to contribute to the quality of our outdoor experiences, and is rewarding in itself. More and more land managers rely on volunteers to maintain the quality of trails, pull invasive weeds, and monitor campsites. On this week’s show we’ll be talking about opportunities to volunteer in the outdoors.

Preserving Wild Food

Fall is in the air and it is time to put up the food you caught and gathered over the summer so it will last you till spring. On the show, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get down to the details about the best ways to butcher, smoke, can, and freeze what you caught and picked over the last few months, and the next few weeks, so that when the snow flies you can taste a little of the summer and make the most of your harvest. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. 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!

Kikkan Randall: An unexpected year

Kikkan with son Breck and husband Jeff Ellis. Photo courtesy Kikkan Randall.Kikkan at her now yearly mammogram. Photo courtesy Kikkan Randall.

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

Talking Iditarod with Bill Sherwonit

The next Outdoor Explorer will air during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and we’ll be discussing Alaska’s signature sporting event with nature writer Bill Sherwonit. Bill spent many years covering the Iditarod as a newspaper reporter and he has lots of stories from the trail. He’s recently put out a new book about the race. Tune in for a discussion with author Bill Sherwonit about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Thanks for listening!

LISTEN: Avalanche forecasting and education

This week’s Outdoor Explorer is on avalanche forecasting and education. The joy of skiing and riding comes with the risks associated with avalanches. We’ll talk with professionals who study, forecast, and teach about avalanches.

River stories

The summer season is here and Alaska’s waterways beckon.  We’re taking the topic from four perspectives. An interview with a pioneer who made a lifelong career of floating remote rivers with inflatables. A story by a Minnesotan who got in some trouble on an Alaska river. A buyers guide to pack rafts. And a bear story that comes from an epic float trip. Thanks for listening!

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.

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:

Horseback riding and a trip across the Americas

Felipe Leite rode a horse from Calgary to Brazil, unsupported. He crossed deserts and mountains and he says he nearly starved and he saw men killed by drug lords. Leite is my guest on the next Outdoor Explorer to tell about his horseback adventures, and his next big ride, from Fairbanks to Calgary, which will complete a journey spanning the length of the America’s. Thanks for listening!

LISTEN: Revisiting disc golf

Scott Johnson tees off on hole 8 of the Jack Gist disc golf course in Homer, 9/22/13. Photo courtesy of Scott...

Ski trail preparation

KSKA: Thursday, October 05, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer, we are eagerly getting ready for winter. Charles took a portable recorder to Kincaid Park to join a volunteer trail crew preparing cross country ski trails for the first snow, which we were all looking forward to so we can ski again. The trail work is designed to smooth the ground so we won’t need much snow to ski, and to be ready for the US National Championships and Olympic Trials in January. 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!

The evolution of the fat bike

In this era of unpredictable snow, the fat bike has quickly become a standard part of Alaska winter life. Biking on snowwas recorded as early as the Klondike Gold Rush but it is only in the last 30 years that bikes specifically made for thesnow have been developed.

Inclusive playgrounds and museum summer activities

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll meet an 11 year old girl and her mother who made a huge change in our city. When Anna Boltz was a toddler, her mother Leah realized that the city’s playgrounds, although meeting the law, were not truly accessible to a child like her who uses a wheelchair. Nine years later, Anchorage has a dozen inclusive playgrounds, with facilities that invite and engage people of every ability. We'll also hear about summer activities being hosted by the Anchorage Museum and about training to race in the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair. Thanks for listening!

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...