The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.
The outdoor recreation and adventure radio show and podcast about backcountry news and activities, like camping, backpacking, skiing, and snowshoeing. MORE...
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As featured in an interview on the main page of
As featured in the June/July 2006 issue of the magazine
Thu, Apr 27, 2006
This skills program is an introduction to birdwatching. The wildlife you're most likely to see on any wilderness outing are birds, and they're certainly more interesting if you can tell them apart.
In this edition, we hear from Shana Stearn of BirderBabes.com. Shana taught Birdwatching 101 at the Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival in Arcata, California. Arcata can claim to be one of the top birding locations in the country.
Shana talks about her Seven S's of bird identification: Shade, shape, silhouette, signs, sounds, sweep, and surroundings. She explains the gear you need to get started, and some other tips for beginning birdwatchers. Shana's web site, BirderBabes.com has large collection of bird watching reference information.
Thu, Apr 20, 2006
The Desert Trail
This wild places program explores an alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), a 1,300 mile route called The Desert Trail. This trail runs roughly parallel to the PCT, through the high desert of California, Nevada, and Oregon, and is eventually planned to continue through Idaho and Montana.
Ross Edgington of The Desert Trail Association talks about the history of the trail, the development of the route in Oregon, and the current progress toward the trail's completion. Steve Tabor of The Desert Survivors talks about the development of the California and Nevada sections. He describes their 2005 relay hike of the entire trail. He contemplates the prospects of someone doing a through hike of the trail.
Maps and guides for The Desert Trail are available for the sections that are already established. The Desert Trail Association sells maps and guides for the Oregon section. The Desert Survivors sell guide and map books for the California and Nevada sections. Both organizations are looking for volunteers to support their efforts to complete the trail.
Now that the rain has subsided in Northern California, we're ready to wrap up our desert features for the season.
Thu, Apr 13, 2006
Calling for Help
This skills program is an overview of some of the ways you can call for help from the wilderness. Have you ever thought about how you'd get help if you needed it? Out of all the different ways you could let somebody know about your situation, some of them work better than others.
Steve talks about simple signaling techniques, like whistles, signal mirrors, and smoke signals, and then discusses various phones and radio technologies. He talks to Caroline Semerdjian at Sprint-Nextel. She mentions a page to find out their network coverage by zip-code. We replay a comment by Sgt. Phil Caporale of the Fresno County Sheriff's search and rescue unit from A Winter Storm Warning (our editions #15 & #16), where he talks about problems with satellite phones.
Steve talks to Bill Jeffrey about amateur (or "ham") radio. Bill created and maintains a web site called the Pacific Crest Trail Repeater Guide. Bill talks about a time when amateur radio communications saved him from a difficult situation in Kings Canyon National Park.
Thu, Apr 06, 2006
Surviving the Desert, part 2
This outings program completes our report of our trip with the Desert Survivors. We camped for two nights in the Sheep Hole Valley Wilderness, in the southern Mojave desert.
In this part, leader Dave Halligan leads Steve and the group to the top of the Sheep Hole Mountains, and back out the next day. The show ends with a conversation on the hike-out about the desert experience.