Thursday, September 18, 2008

What to Send in Care Packages to Servicemembers

I've had the question of what to send to servicemen in care packages pop up a couple times recently, and I thought I'd post an updated list here.

1. Reading material that is definitely not porn (or otherwise offensive to arabs or muslims). Adventure paperbacks are best
2. 550 cord
3. ranger bands (make your own, they're cheaper and better)
4. Babywipes in resealable containers. Foil softpacks work great
5. Lens cleaning wipes
6. Hun tape (hundred mile an hour tape, or gaffer tape. Like super duct tape)
7. Hard, shelf stable mints (like altoids, certs, tictacs etc...)
8. Games that don't have a lot of small pieces to lose
9. molle straps and clips (web straps and clips that are used for tying stuff down to molle gear)
10. Stuff sacks and molle pouches
11. Powdered soup mix (stick to chicken noodle)
12. Powdered cocoa
13. Bags of small balloons (you stretch them over things to keep the dust out)
14. Plastic baggies (same thing), and zip lock bags of all sizes
15. Regular and heavy duty rubber bands
16. Pocket sized notebooks
17. Gold bond medicated baby powder/foot powder in individual sized containers
18. Batteries (AAA, AA, cr123a, cr2032)
19. Sugar free water flavoring (Gatorade or koolaid etc... Packets preferably)
20. Shampoos
21. Bodywash
22. Razors/Blades
23. Lip balm (with an SPF preferred), bag balm, and carmex
24. Snacks
25. Any type of jerky
26. Hot sauce (in individual sized containers if possible)

If you're going to get food products, make sure they are shelf stable, and heat stable; and that they travel well (nothing too crumbly). Single serve packets are best.

PLEASE DO NOT send weapons/weapon accessories, Porn (Maxim is considered porn), alcohol, cigarettes, or pork products. This will cause trouble at customs.

On a more personal note, if you want to send something as a specific gift to an individual, let me recommend Wileys sun goggles and gloves, Surefire or Streamlight flashlights, underarmor t-shirts (or anything sweat wicking, but be sure to get the mil-spec ones that DONT melt into burn wounds); smartwool, spectra, or goretex socks; Danner, Corcoran, or Hi-Tec boots (if their command allows non issue boots).

If you really want to splash out, Aimpoint sights and QD mounts, Eotechs sights and QD mounts, and high quality weaponlights with mounts would be much appreciated; but you have to make sure that the individual serviceman is allowed to use them, and will be able to receive them where they are.

Be advised that knives will most likely be confiscated, even little ones.

Feel free to add your suggestions in comments, and I'll add them.