Military Care Package Restrictions



What NOT to send in a military care package 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


Military care packages restrictions include...


  1. 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.
  2. Fireworks
  3. Pork, pork by-products and other culturally sensitive items
  4. Alcohol
  5. Animals
  6. Lithium batteries
  7. Prescription drugs or narcotics
  8. Radio receivers or transmitters
  9. Expired items
  10. Explosives
  11. Lighters, matches or lighter fluid
  12. Fireworks
  13. Fruits
  14. Non-authorized political materials
  15. Carbonated Beverages
  16. Firearms and Ammunition
  17. Flammable Items
  18. Hazardous, toxic and radioactive substances
  19. Live Plants
  20. Tobacco
  21. Securities
  22. precious metals in their raw state
  23. Money -Cash, Coins
  24. Pornography or ‘pin-up’ or nude photos
  25. Off-color or racist jokes or comics
  26. Horror comics.
  27. 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.
  28. Perishables to warm climates. Avoid sending anything that may spoil in a desert environment. This is self explanatory.
  29. More than 5 boxes. They have enough to deal with where they are stationed.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Sealed bags (like chips) which may burst due to lowered air pressure in the plane as it flies at high altitude.
  33. Aerosol Can Products
  34. 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.
  35. Slim Jims - they contain pork
  36. Liquids in glass containers
  37. Electronic devices with batteries installed
  38. Fragile cookies, cakes, or pies, since they probably won't make the trip intact
  39. High-moisture foods, like pumpkin bread or soft cookies, because of their susceptibility to molds.
  40. 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.
  41. Hotel samples



Also What NOT to do...


  1. 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 works. They DO have an ACTUAL person listed and IS sent to an ACTUAL address.
  2. Do not complain about not being able to talk to them or about how lonely you are.
  3. Do not overstuff the boxes - Pack securely though.
  4. Do not use packing boxes that are labelled with a prohibited substance.
  5. Do not decorate the outside of the care package.
  6. Do not mix food and non-food contents.
  7. Do not pack or send any food in glass or other breakable containers.
  8. Do not use "Packing Peanuts" as filler in the care package.



Now that you have a good feel for military care package restrictions... in other words, 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