Military Care Package Restrictions
What NOT to send to Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen...
What NOT to send to troops overseas
Depending on the region your soldier is deployed and shipping regulations, some things are not allowed in care packages. All packages are subject to search and if the materials are found, they will be thrown away and your soldier may get in trouble for it.
There are plenty of items that you can’t send. Please spend a few minutes going over this list of prohibited items before you spend your hard-earned cash.
A lot are obvious.
List of what to NOT send in care packages to military personnel
- Home baked goods. It could take 4-6 weeks to arrive. They could easily spoil by then. It’s best to just send pre-made goods that are still in the manufacturer’s containers. The military has to be absolutely certain that their troops are not going to get sick and commanders will throw them away.
- Pork, pork by-products and other culturally sensitive items
- Lithium batteries
- Prescription drugs or narcotics
- Radio receivers or transmitters
- Expired items
- Lighters, matches or lighter fluid
- Non-authorized political materials
- Carbonated Beverages
- Firearms and Ammunition
- Flammable Items
- Hazardous, toxic and radioactive substances
- Live Plants
- precious metals in their raw state
- Money -Cash, Coins
- Pornography or ‘pin-up’ or nude photos
- Off-color or racist jokes or comics
- Horror comics.
- Large boxes - Keep it under #7 Priority Mail size boxes if possible. The regulations state, Definitely not more than 108” around the whole box at the largest circumference.
- Perishables to warm climates. Avoid sending anything that may spoil in a desert environment. This is self explanatory.
- More than 5 boxes. They have enough to deal with where they are stationed.
- Religious items. Some countries are super strict about their religions. It’s best not to blatantly send anything of this nature. A small cross may be fine.
- Bad news - Almost anything can wait. Of course, in the event of family illness or death, you should contact the American Red Cross who will get in touch with your loved ones training commanders.
- Sealed bags (like chips) which may burst due to lowered air pressure in the plane as it flies at high altitude.
- Aerosol Can Products
- Insect repellant with DEET in it. DEET is dangerous. Instead, send items that contain a non-harmful bug repellant such as Citronella which is easily purchased as oil or spray.
- Slim Jims - they contain pork
- Liquids in glass containers
- Electronic devices with batteries installed
- Fragile cookies, cakes, or pies, since they probably won't make the trip intact
- High-moisture foods, like pumpkin bread or soft cookies, because of their susceptibility to molds.
- Perishable unpacked foods, including meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, dairy, or any other foods that cannot safely be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Hotel samples
Also What NOT to do...
- Do NOT send care packages addressed to “Any Soldier”,”A Wounded Warrior”. It is a great thought and sent with the best intentions when people send care packages overseas. Unless a package is addressed to an ACTUAL person and sent to an ACTUAL address it will not be delivered for safety reasons. However, this is not to be confused with how Anysoldier.com works. They DO have an ACTUAL person listed and IS sent to an ACTUAL address.
- Do not complain about not being able to talk to them or about how lonely you are.
- Do not overstuff the boxes - Pack securely though.
- Do not use packing boxes that are labelled with a prohibited substance.
- Do not decorate the outside of the care package.
- Do not mix food and non-food contents.
- Do not pack or send any food in glass or other breakable containers.
- Do not use "Packing Peanuts" as filler in the care package.
Now that you have a good feel for what NOT to send, I can show you the other steps..
Here’s the list for what’s super great items that service members have requested
Here are the instructions for the easiest way to send care packages to random soldiers