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

The Wanderer: An Alaska Wolf’s Final Journey

On this Outdoor Explorer, host Lisa Keller is joined by Tom Walker, author of the book "The Wanderer." In less than 6 months, Wolf 258 traversed almost 3000 miles in Alaska and Canada. His amazing journey, documented through his GPS tracking collar, is the subject of a story that mixes what we know about his movement with speculation on what he was doing during his travels.

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:

Fun with Wheels

KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 13, at 2:00 p.m. We’re going into new territory with the next show, with bike polo and skateboarding. We’ll hear an interview with a former x games champion from Alaska who eventually came back and opened a board shop here to pass on the sport to another generation, and with a polo player who travels with bikes to play. LISTEN NOW
Blackstone Bay

Dead Reckoning: Learning from Accidents in the Outdoors

Most accidents occur for similar reasons: not being prepared, poor equipment, being in a rush, or a lack of skill. Some accidents, however, are unpredictable. Learning from others is a great way to avoid the perils of being outdoors. Emma Walker, author of Dead Reckoning, will share her stories.

Fishing Charters

Taking a fishing charter from a small boat harbor is a classic Alaska experience. It’s a time to bond with friends and family, to enjoy the thrill of excellent fishing, and it's a way for many Alaskans to stock their freezers for the winter. This week on Outdoor Explorer, we're taking our show on board a fishing charter outside of Homer. Host Charles Wohlforth gets the rundown on new halibut regulations in effect this year and an insider's perspective on what makes a fishing charter fun and successful. KSKA: Thursday, August 14, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Public Use Cabins

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about public use cabins. Why now? Well, they’re open in the winter, and perfect for a ski or snowshoeing weekend. Perhaps more importantly, the season for reserving cabins for summer will soon be upon us. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your cabin trips for 2014. We learn about remote cabins you can rent, how to do it, and personal favorites across the region.

Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday 11/21 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm

Sports Psychology

KSKA: Thursday Nov. 17 at 2:00 p.m. Successful athletes often say the mental game is as important as physical training, but what does that really mean? We’ll find out on the next show. What you’ll learn on the next show could make you a better athlete, and it can also make you more successful in life. LISTEN NOW

Backcountry babies

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 14, at 2:00 p.m. How young can you take your kids outdoors? For some Alaska parents, there isn't much of a limit, and they are taking babies backpacking, boating and camping. It makes sense. Babies are more portable that bigger kids, and they are constantly amused by the passing world from a backpack. But there are cautions to be aware of, and on our next show we'll talk to a pediatrician as well as an adventurer to learn about taking babies to the backcountry. LISTEN HERE

Sailing for adventure and fun

Today's show will inspire you with a sailing adventure, then help you learn about how to become a sailor with your family here in our part of Alaska. We’ll hear about an amazing adventure an Anchorage couple took halfway around the world, sailing from Seward, Alaska to New Zealand and back in two years. Then a sailing instructor here in our region, talking about how to become a sailor and make sailing a part of your life on Alaskan lakes. KSKA: Thursday, August 20, 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

Dip Netting

Mid-July is time for reds to rush into Cook Inlet and up the Kenai River. And at the river’s mouth, to navigate their way past a phalanx of nets held out in the current on long poles. We're talking about dipnetting the Kenai, the kind of fishing that makes you feel like a grizzly bear, snatching the salmon out of the river by skill and chance. KSKA: Thursday, July 18, 2pm and 9pm Download Audio

REVISTING Hidden Animals

On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking about the hidden animals of Alaska. There are animals in our urban spaces that you may never see and there are also animals that are making their way to Alaska, including a new prey animal and its predator that are a random presence in our state now but may soon be a permanent presence.

Organizing a big sporting event during a pandemic

On this week’s Outdoor Explorer, we’ll speak with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation’s executive director, Ben Popp, about the changes that were put in place to allow thousands of competitors to gather in Wisconsin for America’s largest ski race, even during the pandemic.

Birdwatching at the Coastal Refuge

In Anchorage you head for the mountains, but on the other side of the city there is another wild habitat to explore, summer and winter: the coastal wetlands that extend from Potter’s Marsh to Ship Creek. We’ll talk about the swampy, muddy shoreline of Anchorage, and the many birds and animals that live there. KSKA: Thursday, May 8, 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Invasive plants

KSKA: Thursday,June 15, at 2:00 p.m. Invasive plants on land and water can spread rapidly. Weeds entering a new system are something like viruses, or cancers, that can be dealt with relatively easy in the early stage, but become unmanageable if they go too far. The hopeful news is that Alaskans are tackling this challenge, and it is not too late to make a difference. LISTEN HERE

1970 Denali Climb

What was it like to climb Denali in 1970? This past summer the Denali climb C-4 M-4 gathered in Talkeetna to reminisce on the 50th anniversary of their climb up the Muldrow route, and host Paul Twardock was there to record and share with the Outdoor Explorer audience.
Hailey Williams, girls winner of the Pride of Alaska Award, photo courtesy of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

2020 Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

On this Outdoor Explorer, Harlow Robinson, executive director of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, will catch us up on the Hall’s class of 2020. The planned induction ceremony for the event, the moment and the individuals to be honored was slated for April, but the celebration has been delayed to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Long-Range Snow Machine Expeditions

For the next Outdoor Explorer we’re in Fairbanks for a kind of adventure that is uniquely arctic and Fairbanks hard-core: long range expeditions by snow machine. We'll be joined by UAF scientist Matthew Sturm, whose studies of snow led to a career of traveling the breadth of North America on snowmachines with a team of very tough motorheads. We’ll learn about those trips, and how to prepare for motorized travel in some of the most remote spots on the globe. KSKA: Thursday 12/55 and 2:00 and 9:00 pm. Listen Now
Les Stroud

Enjoying the outdoors is more fun when you’re prepared

On this week’s show, our guest is Les Stroud. You may know him as Survivorman but his passion for the outdoors extends far beyond survival. Our discussion covers many topics including survival, getting kids outside, urban adventures, and we talk about his numerous upcoming projects.

The “Walking Monk” and his time in Alaska

On this Outdoor Explorer, we’ll go for a walk with a man known as The Walking Monk, because he’s walked across North America five separate times and he recently published a book about the people he’s met along the way. Join host Adam Verrier on Outdoor Explorer to hear our discussion about the joys and pleasures of taking a good long walk.

Different Wheeled Machines

KSKA: Thursday, June 30, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 07, at 8:00 p.m. Something about human-power, pedals and wheels inspired inventors, and if you spend much time on Alaskan trails, you will see some odd contraptions rolling by. On the next Outdoor Explorer, I’m talking to guys who would like to convert you and everyone to recumbent bikes and unicycles. DOWNLOAD AUDIO