Here at the Loadout Room we have received a ton of emails about the SOFREP Mini Crate Club. A quick recap for anyone who isn’t in the know. The guys over at SOFREP have a series of clubs where you can subscribe based on your interests. In total, SOFREP has four different clubs: Premium Crate (this one is currently sold out), Mini Crate, Kids Crate, and Book Crate. For more info on each crate club click here.
After joining SOFREP’s mini crate club I (like everyone else who joined) received a letter from Brandon Webb.
The first project is a “Go Bag” (Google if you don’t know) designed by yours truly. I’m a minimalist at heart, so this one will be lean and mean. The items will ship monthly, and over the next 10 months we’ll build up your kit for you. Because the foundation of a good “Go Bag”, is the container system, and that is typically expensive, we are asking you to buy your own bag.
I personally recommend the Patagonia Black Hole 25 and have purchased this for myself over the weekend. I’m a fan of multi-functionality. This bag is rugged, has a lifetime guarantee (not that you need it with quality product; think Tommy Boy here…), and is pretty much as waterproof as you need it.
For those who want to rough it? One of the items can serve as your container as well, you’ll have to wait and see.
What’s the first item? Well, it’s a surprise…
Please don’t forget to share your kit on our Facebook page. We plan on having some giveaways for this too.
If you don’t know who Brandon is, he is a former Navy Seal, NY Times best-selling author, and CEO of Force 12 Media. So a pretty good person to be helping us create a go bag. Some people may be asking what a go bag is. In short, it is a completely prepared bag that you have set up for a certain situation/event. When said situation/event occurs you can simply grab this bag and go. In an emergency situation seconds matter and being prepared ahead of time can make all the difference in the world. The purpose/goal of a go bag is only limited by the imagination and budget of the creator.
So here we are after four months. I thought this would be a good opportunity to address our number one question, “What has been in the crates so far?”
#1 Dry Sack: SealLine
This was a perfect first choice when creating a go bag. A dry sack allows you to keep all your gear dry, regardless of the actual pack you choose. All you have to do is stuff your gear in the dry sack, and place the dry sack inside your pack and you are ready to go. This dry sack has a 15L capacity (915 cu. in.) and should be compatible with most EDC packs. I plan on using my Red Rock EDC pack as my go bag, but the selection is up to the user. Overall I am happy with the first item because it isn’t contingent on the overall concept to be useful for me. I can start using the dry sack immediately, and I plan on doing so.
#2 Headlamp: Princeton Tec
I don’t care what activity you are performing, there is always room for a headlamp. In our mini crates we received the Princeton Tec Fuel. Like most headlamps this one was easy to use, and comfortable. No longer will people go through the struggle I did with bulb headlamps that burn out super fast. I have already used this headlamp camping, and hunting without issue.
Specifications (courtesy of princetontec.com)
- Power: 70 Lumens
- Lamp: 4 Ultrabright LEDs
- Usage: 46 Hours
- Batteries: 3 AAA
- Weight: 78 Grams
Water is the single most important consideration (for me) when preparing for overnight, multi-day hikes, or a go bag. Having personally experienced not having water for days (while on a mission in Afghanistan) I can tell you first hand, do not underestimate your need for water (and the detrimental consequences of dehydration). If possible plan your route to intersect with water sources at various points on your trip. Absent being able to do that, carrying an emergency device like the LifeStraw is essential.
Specifications (courtesy of LifeStraw.com)
- Ultralight: weighs only 2 ounces (57 grams)
- Meets US EPA drinking water standards
- Portable: only 9” (22.5 cm) long and 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter
- Requires no electrical power, batteries or replacement parts
- BPA free and contains no chemicals
- Raw materials meet US Food and Drug Administration regulations and standards
- No aftertaste: LifeStraw doesn’t use iodine or iodinated resin chemicals
- Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella
- Removes 99.9% waterborne protozoa, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium
#4 Hydro Flask 12oz
When considering a go bag this item may seem more luxury than necessity. With that said, this is the item that I use the most frequently from the mini crates (at least to date). Hydro Flask quality is well-known, and keeping something hot (or cold) is always a plus.
Specifications (courtesy of hydroflask.com)
- TempShieldTM Protected
- Keeps hot up to 6 hours
- Keeps cold up to 24 hours
- 18/8 Pro Grade Stainless Steel
- BPA-Free and Phalate-Free
- Durable, sweat-free powder coat finish
- Lifetime Warranty
- Fits under most coffee brewing systems
- Compatible with Wide Flat Cap, Hydro Flip Lid and Wide Straw Lid
Aside from these four items there has always been an additional piece of swag included. Patches, stickers, and coins to mention a few. Our second most asked question, “if I join now will I get the items I missed?” At this time, the answer is no. You can always purchase the items you missed on your own if you want to replicate the same go bag all the current members are building. Hey, there has to be some perk for those guys who started this at the beginning right?
Finally, we are also asked about cost. The mini crate club is $19.99 monthly, or $15.99 per month if pre-paid for 12 months. After the first project (go bag) is complete, there will be a different theme so be sure to maintain your membership.
I hope this article has address your questions about SOFREP’s mini crate club. Of course if I haven’t, please feel free to leave me a comment in the section below or via our Comms Check.