Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bleg for recommendations and testing methods

Since I'm in charge of buying items for and packaging the care packages, I've been hunting up and down the aisles of Halloween candy looking for anything individually wrapped that is capable of surviving the trip and whatever happens to it after arrival.

I've obviously stayed far away from chocolate and anything else with a horrendously low melting point, but I really have no idea what would survive the trip.

So I've devised a testing mechanism, and I'd like to know what y'all think.

I'm going to package these individual candies in freezer bags (at least 3 candies to a bag), and make three different packages with all candies. The first set I'm going to package in a box and throw in my truck for a week. It's still 100 degrees out here, so the truck goes through some nice temperature variations daily between the highest internal temp (140 or so) and turning the ac on full blast every time I get in. I figure if every time I get in and out I throw the box around a bit (or let it slide free in the trunk, even better) that I'll have successfully replicated shipping conditions.

The other two sets of candies I will stick in the bottom of the kids' backpacks for exactly the same reasons, with the addition of being thrown a lot.

I figure whatever survives these testing conditions will survive being put in a care package or a soldier's pack.

Does that work for testing? Is there anything else I can throw at these things to mimic shipping and packing conditions?

Also, I'd like recommendations for what kind of candies will survive. Obviously I'm testing everything I put in (and will write it up of course) but I'd like some suggestions, especially from anyone who knows any individual soldier preferences. Right now I have:

Starburst, individually wrapped in twos (I don't expect these to survive, they are more of a control)
Skittles in the Halloween size
Jolly Ranchers

I'll pick up some more candy types this week.

Thank you for your help.