By Eric Christensen
Field Editor

What’s the first action you take when you draw that special tag for the fall? Well for most, the planning and dreaming of where the adventure will take us and how it will play out is the answer. We get our gear ready and make sure it is operational and ready to perform when called upon. But you know what? The most important gear we often overlook is our body. I’ve been a professional guide for over 10 years in the mountains of Utah and have put my boot track on some of the most demanding landscape this great state has to offer. I can tell you first-hand that one of the most important preparations you can make is to get yourself in good enough condition, physically and mentally, to tackle the country that the four-legged animals you will be chasing call home, so all the preparation and gear you bring on your trip will not be a colossal waste.

Getting your body in the best condition possible for your trek to the backcountry should be the first priority on your gear list. Being able to traverse one more ridge, pushing yourself just a little bit extra, can absolutely mean the difference between a trophy of a lifetime and complete failure. The folks at Wilderness Athlete are dedicated to delivering products that will not only get you in shape for your hunt, but also keep you going while you are on your quest. I’ve been tackling the 28-day challenge that Wilderness Athlete offers; a combination of products that are with you from start to finish during your daily routine.

WA-Tubs-MB-BBDuring the challenge, I utilized the Meal Replacement Shake 5-days a week; once in the morning and once after my noon workout. I know many of you think that programs like this will taste nasty, but these tasted just fine, similar to a regular protein shake. I mixed one scoop of Green Infusion with each Meal Replacement Shake. Green Infusion is a blend of super greens and fruits, vegetable extracts, adaptogenic herbs and probiotics. It is loaded with essential nutrients and is easily digestible to help cleanse your body while reinforcing proper digestive function and restoring healthful “friendly” intestinal microflora. Green Infusion also supports increased energy and endurance, and is gluten free.

WA-StickBox-EFMBEvery morning, I also took Lean Life pills to help reduce my body fat. Lean Life helps control appetite, boost your metabolism and inhibits your body’s production of new body fat. I also took the Ultimate Pre-Workout pills 30 minutes before my gym workouts or while hiking early in the morning. I have tried several pre-workout supplements while getting in mountain shape. All of them had some sort of side effect like turning my skin lobster red or burning and itching a few minutes after digesting the supplement. I was very curious how the pre-workout would perform. It is one of the best parts of the challenge, where I really noticed a difference. My workouts seemed to allow me to push through my exercise regimen more freely. I also seemed more focused on what I was accomplishing, pushing myself to go just a tad more than I thought I could go. I really noticed my renewed energy towards the end of week the first two weeks. I started to look forward to my workouts, not talking myself out of it. This will definitely be a new asset to my gear list for those early morning death marches, up the mountain I used to agonizingly dread.

When you start to loose body fat and replace it with muscle, it is imperative that you fuel your body with more sustainable fuel than when you’re stocking up for the winter hibernation. I added two protein chocolate shakes, one at mid-day and one early afternoon. I really liked the shake with milk for taste, but I don’t recommend it for weight loss, because of milk’s fat content. I also hydrated my body with 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. The 28 day challenge chart includes a urine chart to tell you where you should keep your aqua intake for optimal hydration.

After the first 14-days of the challenge, I was able to shed over 9 pounds. My goal by the end of the challenge was to lose 20-25 pounds and guess what? The magic number ended up being 22! I am now ready for trekking wherever duty calls this fall. I am a believer in what Wilderness Athlete stands for and the people behind the name are really behind what they sell. They are very familiar with their products and can get you the right supplements to reach your goals. They offer a host of supplements to fit your needs, including a few I can’t wait to try in the field this fall. You can get your supply of Wilderness Athlete supplements at many Sportsman’s Warehouse locations across the country or online at www.SportsmansWarehouse.com.