123 episodes

On “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 - Alaska Public Media Alaska Public Media

    • Sport

On “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.

    Honoring the lost and hiking Gold Star Peak | Outdoor Explorer

    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
    ]]>

    • 58 min
    Paddling into Summer | Outdoor Explorer

    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
    ]]>

    • 58 min
    Voices of the Wilderness | Outdoor Explorer

    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
    ]]>

    • 58 min
    Volunteering in the outdoors | Outdoor Explorer

    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
    ]]>

    • 58 min
    Alaska Sports Hall of Fame | Outdoor Explorer

    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
    ]]>

    • 58 min
    Mountains to Sea Trails | Outdoor Explorer

    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.
    ]]>

    • 58 min

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