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

Long distance relays

KSKA: Thursday, May 25, at 2:00 p.m. On the next outdoor explorer, we’re talking about a different kind of race, one where you have as much support and camaraderie as you do competition. Long distance road relays have been around for a while, including the Klondike Road Relay that follows the gold rush route of 1898 every fall, with teams of runners who ride along in vans while taking turns on foot. A new one is getting started in Anchorage this summer, from Eagle River to Seward and we're looking forward to hearing about it. LISTEN HERE

Sailing the Aleutians on the MV Tustumena

Purser Maggie Hennigan is to the left. The M/V Tustumena, docked in False Pass. Photo by Adam Verrier. The...

Revisiting Small Game Hunting

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 4, at 2:00. Small game can be an entry for young people into hunting, but it’s also is a tradition for sportsmen going back centuries and shows up in classic literature from all over the world. On the next Outdoor Explorer, the topic is hunting upland game birds and small mammals. 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

Canoeing 5,000 Miles in 5 Months

Starting in Washington, going over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon, through the Bering Sea, up river to Lake Iliamna, finally ending up in Anchorage's Westchester Lagoon, Bob Vollhaber paddled a canoe five thousand miles in five months. He’d never done anything like the before. On the next Outdoor Explorer, listen to an interview with Bob recorded on September 17th, just days after he completed the extraordinary journey. KSKA: Thursday 10/24 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

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!

Foraging for Edible Foods in AK

KSKA: Thursday, September 01, at 2:00 and Thursday, September 08, at 8:00 p.m. Alaska may not be a huge farming state, but it is full of food, and not only for meat eaters. The woods and beaches are rich in edible plants and fungus that can be delicious and not difficult to find. As we’re going to learn on the next show, many of Alaska’s edible plants are extremely common and preparation is easy. LISTEN NOW

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

Backcountry skiing

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 9, at 2:00. Backcountry skiing comes in many varieties. On the next show, we’re looking at two extremes. On one end are the alpine daredevils who look for the hardest, steepest, most dangerous lines. On the other end are the touring skiers exploring our glorious mountain scenery by the most practical means available. These two ways of looking at skiing are for different personalities and different kinds of athletes with different goals, but Anchorage is prime for either option. LISTEN NOW

Cultural journeys

Outdoor Alaska is a place to learn -- learning skills like skiing or paddling; learning to hunt and survive; or learning about the environment for science. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk to people who are sharing these kinds of knowledge in new ways -- scientists learning from from Alaska Natives, and elders eager to tell about radical changes they see in the environment where they live.' KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 22, at 2:00 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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!

Mount Marathon

During the 2012 Mount Marathon race, two runners were terribly injured and one disappeared, never to be found. Organizers hope this year’s race is safer, without losing its adventurous edge. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about the new rules, and about the joy of mountain running and competition with two of the best in Alaska, plus a race organizer. Also new for this week's show, host Charles Wohlforth is in Homer, at KBBI. KSKA: Thursday 6/27 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

Revisiting minimizing your impact

On this Outdoor Explorer we're revisiting an important topic: “Leave only footprints.” — It’s an ambitious philosophy. Most of us who recreate outdoors like to think we do a good job of this. We pack out our trash. We travel across landscapes with a light footprint. But how good are we? We’ll hear experts talk about what it really means to leave no trace — from scattering your fire circles to packing out human waste. 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.

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!

Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass is in our backyard, an easy day trip from Anchorage, but it’s also a really special place that attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see that gorgeous alpine country, and the historic Independence Mine. We have several guests to cover the many aspects of Hatcher Pass: outdoor activities, winter and summer, history, and as a place to spend a weekend. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 15, at 2:00 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 22, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Geocaching

Geocaching is sort of like outdoor treasure hunting, and it's getting really big in Anchorage. Host Charles Wohlforth 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, April 2, 2015, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:
Bear catching fish Alaska News Nightly

McNeil River Bears

KSKA: Thursday, April 27, at 2:00 p.m. In a state with so much wildlife and wilderness, there is one place that is legendary for a most extraordinary bear-viewing experience: McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge. The sanctuary is celebrating it's 50th anniversary, so we invited in some experts who have spent the most time there to learn how this amazing opportunity came to be and what it's like to spend time with the bears. LISTEN HERE

Planning Summer Trips With Kids

Taking kids on an outdoor vacation can be the most rewarding and memorable time of your life. And the most stressful. Ever been without a campsite with hungry, tired kids when its getting past bedtime? Now THAT’S an extreme sport. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about family trips. Host Charles Wohlforth wrote a book on the subject and he is joined by two other authors of advice on family travel in Alaska and taking kids outdoors. KSKA: Thursday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Subsistence and Climate Change

The changing climate is shifting seasons and wildlife habitat in Alaska, altering the plants, trees and berries on the landscape, and creating unfamiliar patterns in the ocean, with the location and abundance of fish and marine mammals. We’ll talk about how these changes are affecting the subsistence way of life practiced by Alaska Natives, whose traditions developed in a more stable ecosystem. KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 13, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now: