What’s In Your Soldier’s Care Package?

apo priority mailCare packages are fun to pack and fun for our soldier’s to receive. I get lots of questions about what to put in a care package for deployed soldiers.

Here is a list of stuff that I sent to my son in Afghanistan. Some of these items were requested and others I just sent because I wanted to. Would love to hear about what you pack in your care packages too!

Afghanistan is an extremely mountainous country with rugged terrain and harsh climate. It’s especially cold right now and even colder at 8,000 feet elevation. Thus, the cold weather items!

Practical items for the cold weather:

Other stuff:

  • Books: my son made a wish list of books on Amazon.com. Then anyone can buy a book and mark it off the list. You do not have to buy the book at Amazon to mark it as purchased.
  • Snap lid plastic food containers: You cannot keep food around in B-huts living quarters due to little critters that also want the food. Air tight food containers work well.
  • Shaker cup and protein powder
  • Movie on DVD
  • Bath towel (super deal at Costco)
  • Washcloths
  • SD card for the digital camera  (still waiting for him to send me the pictures!)
  • Cat food: the cutest little kittens have taken up residence in a nearby  B-hut. Mom and Dad are kicking them out of the nest.
  • Wartime prayer book: my parents neighbors sent this thoughtful book.
  • Dunkin donuts ground coffee
  • Instant coffee
  • Lots of stuff from Trader Joe’s
  • Granola bars, protein bars, and other healthy bars
  • Individual snack bags of mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, almonds.
  • Sunflower seeds (shelled)
  • Jif To Go packs: Jiffy peanut butter in individual cups – sold in 6 packs.
  • Organic applesauce individual cups
  • BUMBLE BEE® Chicken Salad with Crackers: Mixed and ready to eat.
  • Chunk white chicken in 7 oz. foil pouches.
  • Travel size packs of tissue: these are great to fill in the gaps in the box and useful on the other end.
  • Zip lock bags: put the small items in zip lock bags which are always useful for soldiers.
  • Wheat crackers
  • Dr. Bronners bar soap: we are fans of Dr. Bronner’s soaps. They are high quality, versatile, and eco-friendly.
  • Plastic forks
  • Chocolate covered expresso beans
  • Natural turkey and beef jerky
  • Toothpaste
  • Lots of cans of chunky soup
  • Trader Joe chile with beef or turkey
  • Gum
  • Lip balm
  • Floss
  • Baby wipes
  • Roll of soft toilet paper
  • Notebook paper and envelopes
  • Over the door coat hooks
  • 5 x7 pictures of his family with a frame
  • Postcard from the beach
  • Airborne effervescent
  • Emergen-C

What’s in your soldier’s care package? Leave a comment!


  1. TERESA S. says

    in my soldiers packages i send him

    * small paper plates
    * plastic utensils
    *nutella chocolate/hazelnut spread ( does not need to be refrigerated )
    * individual fruit cups
    * tortilla chips
    * individual salsa cups
    * individual water flavoring sitcks ( lemonade, ice tea , gator aide)
    * sugar stick
    * nut mixes
    * small potato chip bags
    * mini cans of dr pepper and gingerale
    * tuna salad to go packs
    * slim jims

    anything small and individual that they cn open and eat and not have to refrigerate
    anything they can put in a pocket and take on missions etc..

    also i have this great thing that they love its called cake in a jar just google it its a great idea something you can send a whole squad

    army wife of my MP =)

  2. whit says

    I sent very nontraditional packages. He was deployed from summer to winter and during his birthday.
    I sent a ‘vacation box’ with a blow up palmtree, sand toys, a mini fan, pictures of a beach he wants to go to when he gets back, a lei, anything I could think of and fit in the box. I wrote every letter different, one was a puzzle so he had to put it together to read it, one was completely on notecards- numbered each with an inspirational quote. He was gone during his birthday so I sent a birthday party box with a cake, party hats, party favors, even a pin the tail on the donkey. I got friends all over the US to sign birthday cards as his presents. Sent a pecan pie and a chistmas tree with ornaments and a present for Christmas- which was extremely hard to fit in the box, and not even sure it will be in good shape once it arrives. He comes home in Feb and will he him for Valentines Day- so Im making a chocolate box full of hershey kisses, one for every day he will have been gone. He enjoys having something other than just the necessities that he gets from the rest of his family… :)

  3. victoria baker says

    my husband is currently I in A.I.T. all of these ideas are wonderful, he really likes the homecooking and baking so don’t skimp on that fellow army wives. other things im sending him include a book light, visine drops, a handheld back massager, a stress ball, a day planner and a flash drive. an idea occurs to me however that sending a small article of clothing from yourself might be special. while he was away at basics I slept with his shirt that smelled like him and I didn’t miss him as bad, im sure if the situation were reversed something like a bandana with our perfume would help the long time away from us women :) good luck everyone

  4. Faith says

    I sent homemade cookies in empty Pringles cans. The cans kept the treats fairly fresh, crumble free & on arrival, kept the critters out.

  5. Katie says

    Thank you so much!! This was very helpful :) me and some of the girls at my school are makeing care packages for the Marines. Best of luck to your son. I thank him for serving our country! Send love <3

  6. says

    I have adopted a soldier we are sending what he ask for the rest we guess at we have been told they open the packages take out what they wantnthen share with the others so I do not think their is anything you could send that would not be used or wanted by some one in the unit

  7. mauzy says

    my son goes to afghanistan tomorrow. Mom’s ………..thank u for all your input! It is incredibly helpful

  8. TINA says

    I have sent hot coco, packets of tuna, beef jerky, velveta, rotel, chips, circus peanuts, oreos, hand warmers, silly string, footballs, books, games, movies. Just all kinds of things. They really enjoy it and if my soldier doesn’t like or want something he shares. They appreciate anything that is sent to them.

  9. Laura Barnett says

    I had two sons deployed at the same time, I kept open boxes on a table and added items to them (and the customs forms) until they were filled with: Fritos and little cans of bean dip, spicy Cheezits, Little cans of Pringles; homemade Rice Krispy treats were in every box (requested by the platoon); zipties, hand warmers, dried fruits, in warmer weather, fly traps and fly swatters ( it is a third world country, mom); flavor pouches for bottled water, real cotton sheets (college team colors and cartoon) crocheted scarves (for them and as gifts to the interpretors, villagers)

  10. Magan says

    My husband is currently in AIT and he can’t receive any type of food or drinks. Any ideas on what I can send him other than food? He says he can get toiletries there so if I can’t send him that then idk what else to get lol

  11. Melissa Cleveland says

    individual plastic containers of dill pickles
    fun silly games such as
    rubiks cube
    uno cards
    encouragement cards
    sunflower seeds
    peanut butter crackers
    socks( cannot have logos on them)
    garlic pills
    water toys

  12. Diane says

    I sent my son the Sunday funnies. He said they would pass them around for everyone to read.


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