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A bland camping or backpacking meal can always be spiced up a bit with some condiments. And of all the ways to carry condiments on the trail, taking condiment packets might just be the most convenient.
After all, they’re lightweight and leakproof. Plus, since they’re sealed they won’t spoil.
Here are 4 places you can find or buy condiment packets for your next camping or backpacking trip.
1. Pick Them Up for Free at Your Fast Food Joint of Choice
Before hitting the trail you can head to your favorite fast food joint to pick up a meal or a nearby gas station to pick up some trail snacks.
Then pay a visit to the condiment station and grab some extra packets of your favorites.
Some restaurants and gas stations have a better selection than others. Next time you head to one keep an eye out for which condiments they have. Eventually you’ll find a favorite.
(My personal favorite is Chick-Fil-A because they have Texas Pete Hot Sauce and individual hand sanitizing wipes.)
Though free, this route has a sticking point for some:
Understandably, some hikers view taking extra packets as stealing. Debates have been had on the ethics of it.
If that’s you and you want to avoid doing something you view as unethical, you’ll love the next option.
2. Order Condiment Packets for Cheap from Minimus.biz
As one forum commenter put it, Minimus.biz is a “hiker’s treasure trove.”
Minimus.biz is a site where you can buy travel-sized versions of nearly everything, from condiments to creamers to conditioner.
The Food & Beverage section of the site is a gold mine for backpackers. There you’ll find packets of the most sought after condiments in the backpacking world for reasonable prices — things like Marconi Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Texas Pete Hot Sauce.
Browse around for even a short amount of time and you’re likely to strike gold. In a few minutes of perusing I found individual packets of A1 Steak Sauce and some cheap nut butter packets.
The site is pretty affordable, and it even offers free shipping on all orders over just $20 to the continental US.
I’ve read about some backpackers who place a large bulk order with the site every so often. That’s how they get their condiment fix.
The best part?
No ethical dilemma to worry about.
3. Buy Condiment Packets in Bulk from — Where Else? — Amazon
I personally prefer buying condiment packets from Minimus.biz since they tend to have better prices on my favorites, but you can also find some good offerings on Amazon. Amazon’s tend to be available in large quantities only, but they work out to great per-packet prices.
200 packets of Texas Pete Hot Sauce? Oh baby!
A 150-packet variety pack of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise? It must be my lucky day.
There are also more modest amounts of most condiments, such as 6 packets of Marconi Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
4. Visit Your Local Outfitter for a Limited Selection of Condiments
My local REI carries sriracha and nut butter packets. Though it’s likely to be a limited selection, it’s worth calling or paying a visit to your local outfitter and seeing what condiments they carry.
Or You Can Repackage Condiments from Your Pantry into Trail-Friendly Containers
Individual packets are convenient, but there’s another route altogether.
You can easily repackage the oils, sauces, and condiments you already have at home into lightweight, leakproof containers such as Nalgene travel bottles.
(Here’s an article of ours with even more ideas for containers.)
Individual packets are slightly lighter but more expensive on a per unit basis. The right method for you comes down to your personal preference.
If you’re new to backpacking, give each method a try and see what you like.
The Bottom Line
There are a number of places to get condiment packets for camping and backpacking:
- Your favorite gas station or fast food joint
- Sites like Minimus.biz and Amazon
- Your local outfitter
- Your pantry (requires repackaging)
For my own camping and backpacking trips I get condiments from all of these places.
Sometimes I’ll pick up extra hot sauce packets from Chick-Fil-A. Occasionally I’ll place an order for olive oil packets on Minimus.biz. When I stop at REI I might grab some nut butter packets. Other times I’ll repackage hot sauce or olive oil into a small travel Nalgene.
May your trail food be bland no longer.