If you’ve ever wondered how to spice up backpacking meals for a weekend, or a longer trip like the John Muir Trail (JMT), without stealing packets of condiments from your local fast food joint, you need to know about Minimus.biz. They sell those small packets that seem to be jammed in the corners of your kitchen junk drawer until you need them for a backcountry trip—that’s when you remember that you cleared out that space last year. If you look on Amazon or other retail sites you can find them—that’s great if you want 400 packets and are willing to spend more than $50 when you only needed a handful of items.
The great thing about Minimus.biz is that they sell individual servings, many at pennies. They understand that you’re not running a hamburger stand, you just need to punch up the flavor on some rehydrated freeze-dried meals for your weekend or summer-long treks. The prices are so reasonable that it even makes sense to throw in some experimental items to check them out. Never heard of True Orange (crystallized, 100% natural orange drink flavoring)—order a couple of packs for 10 cents each and see if you like them. Think the SweetSpot personal wipes sound interesting—go ahead and give them a try—at 54 cents each you can’t go wrong.
For the backpacker, here are some popular items to consider:
- Sriracha Chili Sauce
- Cholula Hot Sauce
- Kikoman Soy Sauce
- True Orange or Lemon beverage flavoring
- Stash Original Honey Sticks
- Nektar Honey Crystals
- Flavored espresso packets
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Dippping sauces
- Butter Buds
- Peanut butter
- Personal wipes
Some backpackers dehydrate their own food but many find that the flavors dissipate. A few well-chosen condiments from Minimus.biz can bring back missing flavors. For those traveling across international borders home-dehydrated foods are generally not allowed but commercially packaged items often might be.
Minimus.biz stocks a lot more than condiments. They have over 2,500 individual sized products to meet every conceivable travel need, including cosmetics, travel accessories, pet products and personal care products, in addition to a large array of food and beverage items. Some are more fitting for car camping or RVing, such as boxes of cereal or tins of lobster pate, while others can meet the needs of international travelers, like toiletry, inflight or cruise kits. All liquids and gels are TSA compliant (3.4 oz or less). Orders can be shipped ahead to a hotel, condo or other destination and free ground shipping is offered for continental U.S. orders over $20. Expedited shipping is available for last minute needs.
If you’re stocking up for the long haul on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Appalachian Trail (AT), Continental Divide Trail (CDT) or other epic adventure, or if you’re planning for a group, Minimus.biz has a wholesale buying program. Minimum order is $250.
Orders are delivered promptly, customer service is friendly if there are questions, and the products are high quality.
The people behind Minimus.biz aren’t faceless corporate types. The business began when the Shrater family went on a vacation and were disappointed to have to throw out several bottles of condiments. They realized that, while some items are available at your local retailer, the travel-size selection is often limited. A need was identified and a business was born. Over the years they expanded to include a variety of categories of travel-size items and many are not available for retail sale anywhere else. They work with major corporations, non-profits and international suppliers to build their inventory. They build custom kits for promotional campaigns and have even supported the National Guard when disasters strike and the International Space Station. Paul Shrater, co-founder and executive vice president, is very responsive by email, answering many questions from the author promptly and thoroughly. Based in Newbury Park, CA, Minimus.biz operates out of offices and two large warehouses in the Los Angeles area.
Minimus.biz supports the backpacking community and has sponsored the record-breaking father-daughter hiking team Balls & Sunshine (their trail names; real names Eric and Reed Gjonnes) by providing some of their supplies. In 2013 Sunshine became the youngest person, at 13 years old, to complete the Triple Crown, hiking over 8,000 miles on the PCT, AT, CDT. She joining an elite group of only 150 people who have hiked all three trails.
Minimus.biz meets a need in the travel industry and, for backpackers, provides a valuable service. They make it easy to plan appetizing and varied backcountry meals that have a zing of flavor. and their prices are reasonable.
Minimus.biz (Check out the Condiments section)