Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Why El Yucateco is always in my pack.
I love heading out into the woods. Whether it's backpacking, car-camping, or just chilling in a cabin for a few days, stepping away from daily life and out into nature soothes my soul and refreshes my senses.
Heading out for a day hike is definitely fun, but there's something even better about eating and sleeping outdoors under the stars.
Of course, bedding down and preparing meals away from home requires some planning and a bit of extra effort. All the campers and backpackers I know have their own tried-and-true methods. They've refined and perfected every detail over time. One thing they all have in common? Hot sauce.
It may be surprising, but there are actually many good reasons to bring a bottle of El Yucateco Hot Sauce along on the trail.
A Lot of Flavor in One Ingredient
When you're cooking away from home, it's nice to keep things relatively simple. You don't have access to a kitchen full of pots, pans, utensils, or even a fridge. Plus, if you've been hiking or swimming all day, you don't always want to spend time on a fancy meal. It's much nicer to relax by the fire with a full belly than stress over a camp stove or grill.
Still, simplicity doesn't mean you don't want good flavor. It just means you want to pack that flavor into as few ingredients as possible. That's where the hot sauce comes in.
Since it's already a blend of roasted and seasoned peppers, El Yucateco can punch up any meal without adding a bunch of other spices. Cooking bacon and eggs in a bag? Liven it up with a dash of El Yucateco Red Habanero Sauce. Grilling that fish you caught? Give it a little extra kick with some El Yucateco Green.
For the truly adventurous, adding just a dash of El Yucateco Black Label Reserve Sauce to a melty s'more highlights the smokiness. It brings a little extra warmth to your tongue, without altering the decadent sweetness.
So, instead of packing along garlic, oils, and a bag of spices, let the hot sauce do the heavy lifting, then just sit back and enjoy the flavor.
A Lot of Flavor Per Ounce
If you're packing all your food on your back, every single ounce starts to matter. Thus, a lot of backpackers favor MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and dehydrated foods. These are great for convenience (especially if you're a soldier or a firefighter, not a casual hiker), but they're often bland and a bit boring. It's great to be full, but it's better to be satisfied.
What was the #1 item requested by soldiers eating MREs? For several years running? You guessed it. Hot sauce.
A dash of sauce added to your rehydrated meal can turn bland into delicious in one step.
Ounce per ounce, it has more flavor than any other ingredient in your pack, and can brighten up breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
So, consider adding the mini pocket bottle to your necessities list. It'll bring a smile to every meal.
No Refrigeration Needed
Of course, bringing your sauce backpacking wouldn't even be possible if it required refrigeration. Luckily, the heat-inducing spices are also great at warding off microbial growth. So, you can safely pack it along for the length of your trip, or keep a bottle stored along with the rest of your camp kitchen supplies.
It's safe, tasty, and easy as pie. No refrigeration required.
Little Health Boosts
In addition to flavor and convenience, it turns out there are some little health perks you get from eating sauce on the trail.
The capsaicin in the peppers helps fight inflammation, which means it'll minimize any soreness after a day on the trail or sleeping on the ground.
Those peppers also contain a boost of vitamins and minerals that you might not be getting in your dehydrated meals. Every little bit helps, right?
My favorite perk is the little kick that hot sauce gives to your metabolism and circulation. This can lessen recovery time after a strenuous hike or climb. It can also help you out if you're a person who gets cold feet in your sleeping bag. Who knew warmer toes were a perk of eating hot sauce?
All these reasons make me feel great about bringing El Yucateco along on my trips into the wild, but the bottom line is that it just tastes great, and I love sitting around a campfire with a delicious dinner.
Do you take your sauce camping? Which bottle do you think is most versatile for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? How do you store it? Do you keep it in-bottle or decant and ditch the glass? Let us know!
For more tips and recipes perfect for the outdoors, check out these other posts: