I have had many people requesting ideas for care packages. Yes.. this list has been truly in the making. My son and his section has assisted in compiling this list. As well, I have added a few things that I've sent along with some ideas from fellow military families.
The main thing, enjoy creating and packing.
One of the first things I do is line the inside of the parcel with a garbage bag. It will protect the box in case of leakage from your parcel or someone else's. (Thanks for the tip P.C. )
o.k... here goes:
- Toothpaste (Colgate Total Whitening preferred)
- Foot Powder (Gold Bond Extra Strength)
- Body wash (a masculine scent)
- Deodorant (NOT ANTIPERSPIRANT!) they need to perspire.
- Toothbrushes (cheap spin brushes)
- Toothbrush caps (to stop the toothbrush head from getting dirty)
- Qtips (for hygiene and cleaning guns)
- Insoles (A BIG deal. They come in a one size fits all- cuttable size)
- Stereo Earbuds (these are always in demand and keep getting destroyed)
- Pens! (Blue, Red - if they can't use them they will donate them to those who can!)
- Plastic (clear) rulers - short ones
- Dental flossers
- Carbiners - they hold gear in place and you can never have enough. Pref. Tan, green, black but they can paint them
- Under Armour Socks - The new cadillac in socks. Will keep moisture out.
- Anti fungal foot spray - Important- stops athletes foot and nails from turning yellow. Always spray in their boots before sleep.
- Baby wipes/ Wet Ones- Anti- bacterial - for all your showering needs
- Magazines - Auto Trend, Auto mags, Hockey mags, sports mags, or of their special interest
- PSP games - They are for the Playstation Portable - guys spend hours playing them during downtime
- Sudoku - everyone's doing it
- flipflops for the shower
Use a theme for your care packages.
Either follow seasonal themes or get creative with entertaining themes like “cocktail party”, “romance”, “motorcycles”, etc. With this rotation, I have created "Theme Packages" Examples below:
- "Tea for 8" - Different types of teas (eg. gun powder tea, cream pear, maple cream, chocolate tea), self sealing teabags, a metal teapot, tea buiscuits, honey, sugar cubes, serviettes and teaspoons. "lift those pinky fingers!"
- "Movies at the FOB" - I created admit tickets for the section, popcorn, popcorn containers, a couple of comedies, Junior Mints and M&M's
- "A Taste of Maple.. A Taste of Canada" - Maple syrup, maple candies, maple sugar, maple coffee, maple tea, maple cookies.. and a Maple Leaf that I had pressed from home.
- "Rub a Dub Dub - Time for a Scrub" - toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, foot powder, wet ones, shampoo/body wash (a container that's for both), soaps, insoles, rubber duck
- Keepin' it Hot.. Keepin' it Warm (for the cold season)- hot chocolate (Tim Hortons), marshmallows, cappacino mix (Tim Hortons), Mitt warmers, pepper jelly, jalepeno spice mix, hot sauce, Maxim Magazines (a HUGE thing for a mom to reach up and buy)
- Munchies Madness - chips, nuts, homemade trailmix (peanuts, almonds, dried cranberries, raisins, m&m's), Smartfood (popcorn), hard candies, etc.
- Deck the FOB with boughs of holly (Christmas in a box) - small Christmas tree, solar Christmas lights, unbreakable balls, tinsel, etc
Other things I've sent:
- Photo ornament (a big ornament that allows you to download up to 70 pictures for a slideshow) I uploaded pictures of family and friends and some pics that would make anyone smile. There is a keychain available on the market as well.
- Small Photo album - with each letter I send a couple of pictures of the weather, family, the dog, gas prices, etc. to which he puts into the album
- A soft, luxurious pillowcase that a friend helped me embroider. I hand embroidered the other one - a heart :) (perhaps a pillowcase from home - they like the smell of home)
- A self inflating mattress - for back at the base -a little reprieve from the ground.
- Include light reading suited to their tastes. I've sent a couple of books.
- Comics or jokes that he can share with others
- A copy of the local newspaper (he can keep up with the news and prices of things)
- A calendar
- solar light with a yellow ribbon tied onto it
- DVD - I have recorded a bundle of favourite tv comedy shows or shows they are missing
- Beef Jerkey
- Pepperoni Sticks
- Kraft Dinner (don't send the ketchup - it explodes)
- Pringles (don't send the small snack size - the cans pop open)
- non aerosole shaving gel (shaving cream)
- pencils and sharpeners
- waterproof jotbook (book with waterproof pages for writing notes on - available at CANEX)
- movie clips of friends and family
- Tim Hortons coupons for soldiers in KAF
- Candies and decorations colaborating with the holiday. eg. Hallowe'en - treats, rubber spiders, snakes, masks, plastic pumpkins, etc.
- Liquids should not be sent if it can be avoided, but if they must be sent, be sure to at least double bag them. Zip-lock type bags are great for this and can be re-used at the other end.
- Old bedsheets (that do not need to come home after the tour) can make sleep a little easier. Pack them with acouple of dryer sheets in between thelayers to give them a fresh scent.
- Children’s drawings are always well received and can be mailed in parcels or in letters
- Chapstick (lip balm)
- Gum (Trident White or Excel White)
Of course - with most of the items, he will share with the other soldiers and the rest he will leave behind for the incoming troops.
Doesn't this picture tear your heart out?