Wilderness Athlete


Earlier this year some of us here at the office began trying out a variety of supplements from Wilderness Athlete during our indoor and outdoor training activities. While we have used and been more than satisfied with most of the supplements they make, the items highlighted here will be their Energy & Focus and Hydrate & Recover products. Having drawn our own real-world conclusions on the performance of these items, we are excited to bring them in as the newest offerings in the KUIU Gear Shop.

The Company

Wilderness Athlete’s founder, Mark Paulsen, has a long working history in Strength & Conditioning and Sports Nutrition at the collegiate level throughout the US- which can be read about here. Through Mark’s education, career, and professional networking he has built a strong expertise on knowing what the body needs in order to perform at the highest level during physical activity- whether it be on the playing field or in the backcountry. Wilderness Athlete is a company who’s products are the result of over 100 years combined experience in athletic science between Paulsen and his team.

Hydrate & Recover


Many times we find ourselves rationing water in the backcountry- even in areas where re-filling sources are readily available. Topping off on water is both time and energy consuming, often requiring daily drops in elevation to fill up before climbing back to prime glassing points. None the less proper hydration is critical to performance, especially on long duration hunts. Hydrate and Recover is not a product that allows you to get by on less water, but it does improve the performance per sip of the fluids you ingest.

The jargon on the label may be of value to some but when it comes to supplements, most potential users prefer to hear a personal example on how the performance is “felt”… so here’s one example: My main means of fitness training this year has been by road cycling- anywhere from 120-170 miles per week for the past number of months. I ride pretty much the same 20-25 mile route every afternoon during the week, always pushing to hit higher average speeds in different portions of the ride. Hydrate & Recover is almost always in one of my water bottles. To jump to the point, the only times I’ve experienced severe leg cramps have been during rides when I did not use the product. While this example is far from scientific, I personally feel that Hydrate & Recover produces noticeable results on a daily basis. Others here at KUIU have agreed wholeheartedly based on their own uses.

For backpack hunting purposes, Hydrate & Recover is a good drink to start or end each day with. If you find yourself cramping up in the sleeping bag after a hard day, this would be a great supplement to take before bed. The single-serve packets weigh 0.55 oz each, making them a convenient part of the daily consumables portion in the pack.

Energy & Focus


This product provides similar results to some of the hyped up pre-workout products found in big box supplement stores, but without the jittery side effects or questionable ingredients. Furthermore, Energy & Focus doesn’t seem to have the crash effect after it wears off like many pre-workouts or energy drinks do. This formula uses no simple sugars and contains less caffeine than what’s found in a 16 oz Starbucks ‘coffee of the day’. Instead, the main energy boost is derived from neuroactive nutrients that promote mental clarity and focus.

To relate the performance of this product to the cycling example used above, it’s simple: miles seem to go by faster, and mental focus and resiliency reach another level for hours after drinking this stuff.  To be quite honest, we even drink it around the office as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Just like the Hydrate & Recover product, Energy & Focus comes in 0.55 oz packets for easy single-serve use on the go. In the mountains, this is a good drink to take in the morning before a big climb or during slow midday glassing sessions when it’s easy to lose focus.

Altitude Advantage

One new Wilderness Athlete product that we have not yet tried is Altitude Advantage, an intriguing pill-form supplement that’s formulated to reduce or eliminate the effects of acute mountain sickness. As with anything we sell in the gear shop, we plan to perform our own testing before selling it at KUIU.com. A few of us will be climbing Mt. Whitney (14,505′) in a couple weeks which will be a good starting point in evaluating the effectiveness of Altitude Advantage. If it works as advertised after a few trips, this will be our next Wilderness Athlete offering.

In the mean time, if any of you have tried Altitude Advantage, I’d like to hear what you think in the comments section below.

In The Gear Shop


To shop Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover and/or Energy & Focus, follow the links below. We are offering their newest flavors, which won the ‘best taste’ vote here at the office.

Link: Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover $29.95

Link: Wilderness Athlete Energy & Focus $29.95



Just like with previous Gear Shop product announcements, subscribe and leave a comment below for a chance to win a free box of Wilderness Athlete. On Monday, May 18th at 12pm PST I’ll choose two names. One will receive Hydrate & Recover, and the other will receive Energy & Focus. Whether you’ve used these products or not, please comment!

Lastly, Mark Paulsen from Wilderness Athlete will be at KUIU in Dixon, CA on Saturday, May 30th from 10am-4pm to take part in our Open House event. If you live close by, please feel free to attend and take advantage of having such a great Sports Nutrition resource in town. He will be giving a seminar around 1pm.

-Todd Harney

34 thoughts on “Wilderness Athlete

  1. I have never tried those products. I have been using a body building protein supplement, along with regular exercise. I hadn’t heard about it until today, Thanks for the information.

  2. I’ve heard that stuff is awesome I follow them on instagram!! I need some of that for hunting in Montana :)
    Elizabeth(Eli) Rickert

  3. As a RX, Nutritionalist and hunter, this is huge void for most people – nice work by Wilderness Athlete making people aware of the need! I never go out on a real trip without my formulas.

  4. I use the energy and focus right now and really like it – I’m glad they switched to an easier packet to take backpacking, just like Via coffee!

  5. I have read about the Wilderness Athlete products and haven’t yet bought any. I was going to purchase this product for my upcoming B.C. Moose and multi spiciest hunt in Sept.

  6. I mix a Superman to start the day, everyday, amazing products. Allows me to be at peek performance all day, at work. On the mountain, just incredible stamina and endurance gains. Superman = both together. Superman, sums up perfectly what you get from that. WA rocks!

  7. Both Energy and Focus and Hydrate and Recover work better than advertised. Both are a must have backpacking/hunting trips. I use E&F everyday. The WA Meal Replacement and Recovery shakes are also an integral part of my backpack/hunt meal plan.

  8. I’ve used both products for the past 3 years starting around mid august and extending through the end of our hunting season near the end of november. Energy & Focus is by far my favorite and works extremely well just as Todd described you don’t notice it except that you are alert and focused.

  9. I have used the hydrate n recover and energy and focus. Usually I mix both of them together for “the superman”. It makes a big difference and I will be bringing more of it this fall. I have also used the altitude advantage. I cant say 100% for sure if it made a difference but I do know that I didn’t get altitude sickness. So if I didn’t take it would I have gotten sick? I don’t know… but I do know I didn’t get sick. I believe the drink mixes also help prevent AMS.

  10. I use H&R as well as F&E all the time. Much cheaper per serving than other products and more effective in my opinion. I used Altitude Advantage last yr on my CO backcountry elk hunt. I’m from MI so had no time to acclimate to the 8500′ at the trailhead and subsequent 4 hr hike to 9800′ first nights camp. I think Altitude Adv was a big help on day one and throughout the 8 day trip. Not scientific proof by any means but works for me.

  11. I used Altitude Adv last yr during my CO backcountry 8 day trip. I’m from MI, no time to acclimate, no altitude sickness at all. Was it due to AA, don’t know but hiked 4 hrs from 8500′ to 9800′ first day. Also use H&R adn E&F all the time, love them!

  12. Haven’t tried any yet but I might give it a try as I have a 2 week long hunt planned this fall so endurance might be needed! Would using these help for endurance?

  13. Wilderness Athlete products are awesome! Energy and Focus is a great morning coffee replacement on backcountry hunts. Dump some in a water bottle, shake it up, grab your bow and hit the trail!

  14. I used wilderness athlete products last september for my colorodo elk hunt and had great results . I will use them this year on my hunt again and recommend there products to anyone going on a hunt or hiking into the backcountry . Thanks for the great products!

  15. All of Wilderness Athlete products are worth looking into and a real necessity during and after a workout. But they are a Must Have in your pack in the back country.
    You won’t regret them.

  16. Year 2 with WA H&R and live it, tried E&F and wow! Very happy too the the sugar levels are quite low compared to most alternatives.

  17. These products look promising. I am a Registered Dietitian and my husband and I make up our own energy bars for hunting and fishing trips so we aren’t living off of dehydrated meals for our entire trips. I am eager to try these products. I love finding new healthy products to use while we are chasing goats in Kodiak, Alaska that’s light weight, tasty, and healthful.

  18. I’m definitely going to have to try these, as I’ve been looking for a go to pre- and post-workout/hike supplement package. Looking forward to the Open House!

  19. I have never used any type of supplement due to being a bit cautious and really have no experience, however I have read a lot about Wilderness Athlete and through MY research it would probably be the ONLY one that I would trust in using. Appears a lot of research goes into each product making sure its safe for the body as well as beneficial. Wilderness Athlete will definitely be on my list of gear.

  20. I like the blends in these products, but I’ve never tried them. I currently use another supplement brand, but I’m willing to switch if there is a better product.

  21. I used alt. adv. on a 2 week backpack elk hunt at elevations from 9000 to 11000 feet, and had no problems . Coming from mass. it was a big elevation change, not sure how much it helped ,but I believe it did. I also use H & R and E & F. great products

  22. ‘Im with the Taos Pueblo Hunting program and the director of the Taos Pueblo Natural Resource Department and go on the Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep hunts that we auction off at WSF convention and I have been using Wilderness Athlete products for awhile now and I live by the products everyday , I use the 28 day challenge package and it helps me keep the weight off and fuels my climbs above 12,500 to 13000 feet and my favorite drink during and after the climb is Hydrate and Recovery I would recommend to other hunters to try this drink and decide for themselves if it benefits them some our sheep hunting crew now carry the packets in their packs during the hunts.

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