The Most Requested Items For Military Care Packages


To a deployed service member, a care package can mean the world. Getting mail in a foreign land with news from home is one comfort, but a box of goodies is quite another.

Some time ago, Redditor rcmaudlin asked his fellow service members on the web forum about their favorite items to find in those precious packages.

“My brother is on his 2nd deployment in Afghanistan & I want to send him a care package,” he posted. “To Redditors who have been deployed, what are the things you used or enjoyed the most during deployment?”

With no shortage of opinions, hundreds of other Redditors responded with their own tips for packing the perfect care package. Here’s a list of our favorites:

10. Juice Pouches

Several suggest sending packets of powdered drink mix, whether it be juice or tea. Redditor ChrisF79 said it’s probably one of the easiest ways to find sweet refreshment, and when you’re under layers of body armor in the middle of the desert.

“I had a buddy deployed and I went to the store and just bought a ton of random things. However, the one thing that he raved about was the Kool Aid,” he posted. “I got the kind that already has the sugar mixed in (think Country Time Lemonade style) that he could just pour straight into water. Plus, when you send stuff, try and send stuff he can share. My impression is that those guys are pretty nice about sharing with their friends.”

9. Fresh Sheets

“When I was deployed, the best thing I ever received was freshly washed sheets that smelled like the laundry my wife did,” one Redditor posted.

While that may seem like a stretch to keep warm sheets arriving by air mail on the regular, a fresh pair can really mean a lot to someone so far from home. Who knows when the next good night sleep will be.

Fresh sheets = a few seconds of feeling like you have your shit 100% together

A photo posted by emma (@emmagannonuk) on

8. Baby Wipes

Don’t worry, the military still has its minimum enlistment age set at 18. Baby wipes are just so useful!

According to Redditor Kelvanir, baby wipes were just as crucial as a rice cooker and a sriracha.

I have been so excited to try out the newest nappies & baby wipes on the block: @tooshiesbytom by the incredible team from @tomorganic !!! These high performance nappy wonders are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly whilst the wipes are biodegradable & made with organic ingredients so they are gentle on your Bub’s toosh as well as our planet! To all the parents out there, please head to your local @colessupermarkets & try @tooshiesbytom as they need to prove their saleability in the next 2 weeks to keep them in production…. This is not a sponsored post, just a message from a Mum who is a big fan of others who are doing their bit to help the planet, so jump on board the @tooshiesbytom train!!! #tooshiesbytom #savetheplanet #nappies #biodegradeable ✔️✔️✔️

A photo posted by Giaan Rooney (@giaan.rooney) on

7. Socks

If the name “Lieutenant Dan” means anything to you, you probably also understand the importance of a fresh pair of socks. Today’s soldiers aren’t serving in the paddies of Vietnam these days, but clean and proper footwear is important in any climate.

As one Redditor posted, boot socks often get overlooked. G.I. socks are supplied, but that extra attention to hygiene is important.

“Underarmour makes some badass moisture wicking socks, they go up to the knee and stay up all day even over my hugeass calves, and they’re not thick like the wool socks you’ll find most places,” Redditor meow tiger posted. “Very comfortable, they breathe pretty well, and they last. they’re decently expensive, i think $8/pair at my px, but it’s worth it, i rotate about 4-5pairs.”

Don’t forget your American Flag socks this weekend #NiceLaundry – Photo courtesy of @bradjs24

A photo posted by Nice Laundry (@nicelaundry) on

6. Cooking/Camp Gear

Being prepared is the name of the game on a tour of duty. If you don’t have it, you can’t use it. Redditor IOIOOIIOIO points out that camp flatware, or even a metal spork, can prove useful. On top of that, “something snack-like that doesn’t require special climate conditions and can be passed around to everyone in the unit.”

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee. Find more about Matthew on his personal website.