Outdoor Explorer You're invited 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 backcountry or on the bike trails.
Outdoor Explorer

Outdoor Explorer

From Alaska Public Media

You're invited 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 backcountry or on the bike trails.

Most Recent Episodes

Honoring the lost and hiking Gold Star Peak | Outdoor Explorer

Memorial Day may be the traditional first day of summer, but veterans, their families and the loved ones left behind know it's also about something much bigger—remembering those who lost their lives in service to the nation. While some mark the day with ceremony, many others honor the lost by taking to mountains and trails. That includes the challenging journey up Gold Star Peak, where a moving memorial site is perched on the rocky top. Gold Star Peak sits on a slightly angled ridgeline in the Chugach Range, adjacent to Mount POW MIA, west of Pioneer Peak and the Twin Peaks and easily spotted from Mat-Su. It's a tough climb tackled each year by hundreds of military-connected Alaskans and visitors. Explore why doing something hard outside helps us mark military loss and find out how you can participate. HOST: Amy Bushatz GUEST: Mark DeRocchi, Army veteran and president of The 98 Fund Mike McCauley, Navy veteran and volunteer with The 98 Fund LINKS: The 98 Fund Gold Star Peak, Inc

Paddling into Summer | Outdoor Explorer

It is time for boating! After a long winter kayaks and canoes are finally appearing from beneath piles of snow, rivers are running, lakes are thawing, and the ocean beckons. This episode of Outdoor Explorer is about getting ready for rafting, kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized paddle sports. Topics include preparing yourself and your equipment for a summer of paddling. We also talk about Knik Canoers and Kayakers, or KCK. The club is instrumental in river conservation, access, and education in Southcentral Alaska. It hosts a safety education meeting, a paddle film festival, Paddle Fun Day and organizes trips. HOST: Paul Twardock GUESTS: Jule Harle, packrafting author and instructor Eric Downey, Knik Canoer and Kayaking club president Chris Hellmann, organizer of the KCK paddle film festival and KCK vice president Knik Canoers and Kayakers Alaska Packrafter School and Jule Harle American Canoe Association Alaska Office of Boating Safety Alaska Pacific University Outdoor Programs Alaska Sea Kayakers Alaska Coastal Safety Fairbanks Paddlers Paddlers Realm Things to Luc At: Wilderness Safety and Alaskan Adventure Turnagain Kayaks

Voices of the Wilderness | Outdoor Explorer

For as long as humans created art nature has inspired us. From cave paintings in France to Indigenous art in Alaska to western artists like Rockwell Kent artists and their work celebrate the wonders of the natural world. The Forest Service's Voices of the Wilderness program continues the tradition with an artist in residence model of service and art. Individuals apply to the program and if accepted spend a week or more in a Wilderness or Wilderness Study Area with wilderness specialists. During that time they help with service projects and work on a creative piece that is then shared with the agency and the general public. On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock discusses the program with Barbara Lydon, program coordinator with the U.S. Forest Service; Marybeth Holleman, author and poet; Youpa Stein, multimedia artist; and Klara Maisch, painter. We learn about the program and the work they created from the inspiration they got during their time with the program in the wilderness. HOST: Paul Twardock GUESTS: Barbara Lydon, program coordinator with the U.S. Forest Service Marybeth Holleman, author and poet Youpa Stein, multimedia artist Klara Maisch, painter LINKS: Forest Service Voices of the Wilderness Marybeth Holleman Klara Maisch Youpa Stein Barbara Lydon Prince William Sound Natural History Symposium

Volunteering in the outdoors | Outdoor Explorer

Volunteers contribute immensely to our ability to access and enjoy the outdoors. Whether building and maintaining trails, organizing races, teaching and mentoring beginners, pulling invasive weeds, picking up trash or serving as board members, volunteers are the core of the outdoor community. Volunteers also require work and commitment from the organizations they contribute to. HOST: Paul Twardock GUESTS: Kikkan Randall, Executive Director, Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage Maya Kaup, Volunteer and Communication Coordinator, Alaska Trails Mike Morganson, Single Track Advocates and a volunteer with Alaska Trails Peter Taylor, President, Mountaineering Club of Alaska LINKS: Alaska Trails Volunteer Opportunities Page Alaska Trail Stewards Page Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage Mountaineering Club of Alaska Single Track Advocates Habitat for Humanity

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame | Outdoor Explorer

On this Outdoor Explorer host Lisa Keller sits down with Harlow Robinson, executive director of Healthy Futures and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. On April 30, the Hall will induct the class of 2024. Harlow tells us about the people and the moment that comprise this year's class, as well as the annual Director's Awards and the popular 100 Miles in May. HOST: Lisa Keller GUEST: Harlow Robinson, executive director, Healthy Futures and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame LINKS: Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Healthy Futures 100 Miles in May

Mountains to Sea Trails | Outdoor Explorer

Alaska's mountains and oceans provide some of the most dramatic landscapes on earth. Anchorage trails have connected the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet for decades, with a few gaps. Just recently newly created trails make it possible to bike, hike, run, or ski from Glen Alps to Knik Arm of Cook Inlet without crossing a single road. The Anchorage Park Foundation designated a route called "Mountains to Sea Trails," with a video, signage, and other information to help people navigate from Glen Alps trailhead in Chugach State Park to Westchester Lagoon and the Anchorage Small Boat Launch, around 24 miles. To help explain the route and its history Host Paul Twardock is joined by Anchorage Park Foundation's Diana Rhodes, cyclist Christina Grande, and filmmaker William Melton.

Arctic Traverse: A Brooks Range Journey | Outdoor Explorer

In 2012 Michael Engelhard, an outdoor guide, writer, and anthropologist decided to hike and paddle from Canada to Kotzebue, acting on a lifelong goal. Though not the first to make the trip, and just the start of the "through hike" trend occurring in the far north, Engelhard brought his unique Alaskan background to the trip. This spring The Mountaineers published his memoir of the trip "Arctic Traverse." The book is a mix of travelogue, natural and cultural history and philosophy. Michael joins host Paul Twardock to discuss his motivations for the trip, how the book came about, doing a two month solo trip, the natural history of the Brooks Range and his musings on wild lands and development.

Veterans and outdoor therapy | Outdoor Explorer

On the this Outdoor Explorer, we hear from MaryBeth Goodman, director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health. The Cohen Clinic is on the leading edge of recognizing that the outdoors is a critical piece of mental health. Along with their partners, the clinic offers programs that address the wholistic needs of veterans, using the outdoors as a path to healing from trauma. HOST: Lisa Keller GUEST: MaryBeth Goodman, Director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic LINK: Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health BROADCAST: Thursday, March 28th, 2024. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT REPEAT BROADCAST: Thursday, March 28th, 2024. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

Arctic Winter Games | Outdoor Explorer BONUS EPISODE

The Arctic Winter Games is a biennial event celebrating the sports and culture of the people who live in the circumpolar north. Delegations from Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland and northern Scandinavia gather to compete in 21 different sports and share their cultures with one another. This year it's Alaska's turn to host the Arctic Winter Games, which will take place during the school spring break, March 10-16, in the Mat-Su Valley. HOST: Adam Verrier GUESTS: Amy Spargo, Chair of the Arctic Winter Games Board Telsche Overby, Arts and Culture Program Coordinator LINKS: Arctic Winter Games Website Arctic Winter Games Livestream NOTE: This episode was recorded prior to the start of the Arctic Winter Games.

Challenge Alaska | Outdoor Explorer

People with disabilities live and thrive in Alaska and Anchorage. Challenge Alaska is a nonprofit that is a key organization making that happen. Challenge works with Alaskans with disabilities, giving them access to adaptive sports, education and a supportive community. Known for its adaptive ski and snowboard program in Girdwood Challenge also offers a variety of programs in Anchorage for a wide range of people, including veterans. Challenge was established in 1980 by Doug Keil, a Para-Olympic medalist in para-alpine skiing. The organization has grown to include the Raven Program for people with intellectual disabilities, the Warrior Program for Veterans with disabilities, the Para-Sport program for people with physical and visual disabilities and the Adaptive Ski and Ride School in Girdwood. HOST: Paul Twardock GUESTS: Jeff Dick, recreation therapist Quinzee Elsberg, volunteer JP Wood, board member LINKS: Challenge Alaska website Facebook Instagram BROADCAST: Thursday, March 14th, 2024. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT REPEAT BROADCAST: Thursday, March 14th, 2024. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT