The MASSIVE List of What to Put in Care Packages

What to put in gym theme care package

If you’ve ever made a care package or searched for ideas on-line, then you know that one size doesn’t fit all. There are tons of different themes you can do and personalizations you can make. Sometimes, the hardest part is knowing what to put in care packages.

Every situation and recipient is different. Maybe you are sending the package to a deployed soldier, a college student, or an overseas missionary. Perhaps the person you are sending it to craves snacks from home or they don’t have access to the toiletries they like.

There are so many things you could include in a care package, that it’s overwhelming. I get messages from people all the time asking what I put in my care packages. So, I’ve compiled a list what to put in care packages to make them helpful and appreciated!

Food & Snacks

If you’re wondering what to put in care packages, food and snacks are ALWAYS a popular option! It’s always nice to get a little taste of home when you are living far away.

Most of the care packages that I have made were sent to my husband while he was deployed or on a hardship tour with the Army. He always appreciated snacks from home, since he couldn’t always get them where he was stationed.

A huge list of things to put in care packages
(This Just Add Water package from DIY Cuteness is a great idea!)

Microwaveable Foods

  • popcorn
  • instant oatmeal
  • mac-n-cheese
  • mug cake mixes
  • ramen noodles


  • granola bars
  • trail mix
  • beef jerky
  • dried fruit
  • pringles
  • nuts
  • hard candy
  • snack cups (fruit, pudding, etc.)
  • crackers
  • individual packs of cereal
  • fruit roll-ups/gushers/fruit snacks
  • pop tarts
  • rice krispy treats
  • sunflower seeds
  • pretzels
  • cookies


  • kool-aid packets
  • Gatorade powder
  • hot chocolate
  • tea bags
  • coffee
  • creamer
  • small juice boxes


  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • hot sauce
  • seasonings
  • relish
  • favorite sauces
  • sugar


Another popular option for things to put in care packages are toiletries. Toiletries are often expensive and sending some to college students can be a great way to ease their financial burden.

My husband always appreciated when I sent him toiletries overseas. He usually only had access to a limited selection and liked to get his ‘regular’ things from home.

bath-themed care package
(I sent this bath themed care package to my husband while he was on a hardship tour in Central America.)

Bath Time

  • soap/body wash
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • shaving cream
  • razors
  • toothbrush/floss
  • toothpaste
  • deoderant
  • q-tips
  • nail clippers
  • mouthwash
  • towels/bath cloths
  • comb/brush
  • lotion

First Aid

  • Tylenol/Motrin
  • antacids
  • cold/allergy medicine
  • cough drops
  • bandaids
  • eye drops
  • bandage wraps
  • neosporin/antibiotic ointment
  • nose/throat spray
  • anti-itch cream

Other Toiletries

  • bug spray
  • sun screen
  • chapstick
  • tissues
  • baby wipes/antibacterial wipes
  • baby powder
  • foot powder
  • hair ties/bobby pins
  • make-up/skincare items
  • hair spray/dry shampoo
  • hair gel/mousse


A good care package theme is one based on fitness or working out. There are a lot of things you can send in these kinds of packages.

What to put in gym theme care package
(Fitness inspired care package from Countdowns and Cupcakes.)
  • protein powder
  • shaker bottle/water bottle
  • vitamins
  • protein bars
  • tuna packets
  • blister/chafing protection
  • resistance bands
  • cooling towels
  • gym shorts/shirt
  • shoe inserts
  • wireless headphones
  • fitness dvd


Even while your loved one is off doing important or wonderful things, they are bound to have some down time. Instead of spending their time being homesick, aim to help them stay entertained during those hours.

Depending on the things they have access to maybe you could send some of these things to help pass the time:

What to Put in Care Package
(Fill this movie-night themed care package with tons of fun movies and snacks!)

Read & Write

  • books
  • magazines
  • comic books/graphic novels
  • puzzle books
  • devotionals
  • journals
  • art supplies
  • sketchbook
  • adult coloring books


  • DVDs
  • video games
  • CDs
  • handheld electronic games
  • iTunes gift cards
  • batteries


  • football
  • baseball/baseball glove
  • playing cards
  • poker chips
  • dice
  • board games/dominoes


There are so many things that you don’t think about until you don’t have and can’t get. These little things are great to send when you’re trying to think of what to put in care packages.

care package decorated by kids
(I sent my husband this care package after I let our girls decorate it. It wasn’t the most Pinterest-worthy package, but it meant a lot to him.)


  • cards
  • letters
  • pictures/photo albums
  • scrapbooks


  • prepaid phone cards
  • alarm clock
  • flash light
  • tool set
  • air freshener/Febreze
  • blankets
  • sheet sets
  • candles
  • gloves/hats/scarves
  • socks/underwear
  • hand & foot warmers
  • sunglasses

I hope this massive list of what to put in care packages helps you send some love to the one you miss!

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you put in your care packages or how cute you decorate it. It will always be the thought that counts. Your loved one will appreciate that you are thinking of them and missing them while they’re away.

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