Spokane Outdoor Expo Presentations Feb. 17-18 2024

Learn and discover new things about the Inland Northwest’s great outdoors, from hiking and biking trails and local wildlife to stories of stories of survival from ALONE Season 9 and reported sightings of lights and unidentified objects in the sky in Washington State and the Spokane area!  All presentations are free with your expo admission at the Spokane Convention Center. Kids 12 and under are free.


 Gravel Biking in the Inland Northwest
Saturday 10:10-10:50 AM

Spokane gravel bike guru and Out There Outdoors “Everyday Cyclist” columnist Justin Short will attempt to answer the question: “What are these gravel bikes everyone is talking about and where do we ride them?” Short will give the goods on the recent phenomenon of multi-surface adventure riding known as gravel, covering the spectrum from bikes and gear to the skills needed to safely and confidently get lost in the woods. No doubt he’ll also cover where to go, because he really can’t help himself when it comes to talking about how great the riding is around the Spokane area.

Bugs n Snakes Live
Saturday 11:10-11:50 AM

See tarantulas, amphibians, tortoises, lizards, and snakes up close and personal with Spokane’s Bugs N Snakes! Presenters will introduce a variety of exotic reptiles and invertebrates (spiders and stuff!) and give audience members a chance to ask questions, as well as touch and/or hold some of the animals!

Behind-the-Scenes of ALONE Season 9 with Karie Lee Knoke
12:30-1:50 PM

Join Karie Lee as she shares untold stories of her incredible experience of surviving and thriving in the wild for 75 days in the wet and freezing conditions in Labrador, Canada, with nothing but 10 items, as seen on ALONE Season 9. The experience was an opportunity to put ALL life skills to the test. Not just wilderness skills, but mental, emotional, and spiritual skills as well, without interruption of modern-day distractions. There will be time for questions and answers following her presentation. Karie Lee lives near Sandpoint, ID, and writes the “Primitive Skills” column in each print edition of Spokane-based Out There Outdoors (read her latest articles here).

Karie Lee teaches wilderness and primitive living skills at gatherings worldwide and is the Founder of Sacred Cedars Wilderness School,  where she, along with other wilderness instructors, share their wisdom of the woods. You can join Karie Lee and her team on week-long immersion expeditions into the wilderness, where you can unplug from the mundane world and plug into nature’s landscape of magical wonder.Photo courtesy of Fiona Hicks Photography.

13 Essentials for Hiking, Backpacking, & Exploring the Outdoors with the Spokane Mountaineers
Saturday 2:10-2:50 PM


Recreating safely and responsibly in the outdoors is one of the most important teaching points from the Spokane Mountaineers. While there is always a level of risk when venturing into the outdoors, the group’s list of 13 essential items to carry with you can help mitigate those risks and be lifesavers in an emergency. Items can be tailored to your preferred outdoor pursuits from climbing to hiking to paddling.

 The Unexplained in Our Skies—Notable UFO Sightings in Washington State and the Spokane Area
Saturday 3:10-4:30 PM

Have you ever seen lights in the night sky that you couldn’t explain? If so, you’re not alone according to Dan Nims, who notes that there are thousands of reported UFO sightings in the U.S. each year. Nims is retired from the U.S. Air Force where he was a fighter pilot and test pilot, and became the Director of Test for the F-22 program and finally Director of Test Resources for the Air Force. As a chief investigator for the WA chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), Nims helps investigate around 200 UFO sightings reported in the Evergreen State each year but adds that there are many more sightings across the U.S. that are reported to other organizations and government agencies.

Out of the hundreds of UFO sightings WA MUFON investigates each year, says Nims, around 75 percent of them can be explained. “Of that remaining 25 or 30 percent that we would classify as unknowns, a healthy majority of those are what we call LITS—lights in the sky—where somebody sees lights but can’t actually see any craft because it’s too dark or the lights are too bright.” Nims says many of these cases are classified as unidentified “because the lights are doing something no human-made lights can do. Going very fast or making instantaneous 90 degree turns or breaking up into eight lights or many lights coming together into one light. Lots of weird things that are legitimate cases.” The remaining 10-12 percent of reported sightings, he says, are of actual observed craft in the sky. “They can be spheres, triangles, saucers, cigar-shaped or Tic-Tac craft and some don’t meet any common description whatsoever.”

At his presentation at the Spokane Great Outdoors Expo on February 17, Nims will focus on high-profile and historic cases of UFO sightings in Washington State. Highlights of those reports include the 1947 sighting of a line of “saucer” like flying craft reported over the Cascade Mountains by pilot Kenneth Arnold, a sighting that led to the term “flying saucer” coming into use; sightings around Hanford, Wash., leading up to and during World War II; and other sightings including several large black triangle craft and other lights in recent years in eastern Washington.

Seating may fill up for this presentation, so get your ticket to the Spokane Great Outdoors Expo online at Spokaneoutdoorexpo.com and show up early!


Fascinating Sites on the Ice Age Floods Geologic Trail
Sunday 11:10-11:50 AM

Follow the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail that extends across parts of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon with photos and descriptions of the well-known features of the trail such as Grand Coulee, Dry Falls, Palouse Falls and the Columbia River Gorge. Flood features in the Spokane area such as Spokane Falls, the Bowl and Pitcher, Latah Creek and the Cheney-Palouse scabland tract will also be included in the presentation sponsored by the Ice Age Floods Institute, Cheney/Spokane Chapter.

All About E-bikes
Sunday 12:10-12:40 PM

Check out some of the latest electric assist bikes from North Division Bicycle. Learn about different e-bikes and features, from mountain bikes to city or paved path trail cruising e-bikes, and ask questions about safety, charging, ride time, speed, where you can ride them, and more.

Playing Outside Safely in Bear & Cougar Country
Sunday 1:10-2:00 PM

Learn about the amazing wildlife we share our trails, campgrounds, and public lands with, including cougars and bears. The presentation by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife biologist Matt Brinkman will cover techniques for safely recreating and avoiding unwanted encounters and what to do in the rare case of a run-in with a bear or cougar in the wild.

Learn About the 2024 Metaline Falls Bigfoot Festival Speakers
Sunday 2:10-2:50 PM

This annual event in the super-scenic northeast corner of Washington State includes talks by a wide-range of bigfoot researchers; a festival with vendors, food, and music; a 5k run or walk; opportunities to meet with presenters; and more!