Friday, January 3, 2014

20 pound limit

First, I'd like to say hello to any alphabet agencies monitoring this blog. It's just the harmless mullings of an old broad, so enjoy!

I just finished packing a box for my nephew who is deployed. Based on what I know about his specialty, I doubt he's in a warm bed every night. So what do you send someone who probably humps all he has for a couple weeks at a time, given the 20 lb limit of international priority mail?

There are a few sure bets: Mrs Field's cookies (individually wrapped), dental floss, Hall's cough drops, baby wipes, protein bars, new toothbrush.  What else, given that he probably has the very basics?

I know he's not in the tropics, so I found an alpaca watch cap at the local farmer's market. It's about the same color as I imagine the dirt to be over there, so it went in the box along with felted alpaca boot insoles and a pair of socks. I hope the cigars were OK, too.  That pushed the $$ limit, but the box had a little space and weight left.  I put the munchables in a couple of rodent-proof cookie tins, in case his FOB has a rodent problem.

Being a basic worrier, I also assembled a pocket EDC for him from a small black mesh bag with a zipper. It's about 4 X 6 inches, no real depth, to fit in a trouser pocket. It has 2 mylar blankets, a firesteel, a chapstick, a tool card (with knife, compass, magnifying glass, etc.), small carabiner flashlight (LED)  and small protein bar.

In a couple months, I'll send another box, max weight 20 lbs. Max budget is around $100.  Any ideas or suggestions from those of you with experience 'over there?' Box may get there as Spring begins, or a little before.  Thanks!


  1. As a backpacker that likes to camp during the coldest days in February, I have a few suggestions. Chapstick is a God send. Lotion is nice too, always unscented to not attract the insects. Clean socks always feel nice, especially after a long day on your feet. Heck, even camp slippers to get out of the boots for a few minutes while walking around camp. just make sure the toes are protected! Since the weather is cold, chocolate is always a welcome treat and hot tea [ Earl Grey rocks! ]. A clean mouth and face make for a great treat before dinner. A deck of playing cards, a classic paperback book, and soft TP can make for a great night too. A starwheel and astronomy book [I prefer National Audubon Society Guide to the Night Sky] can make the night sky come alive - printout a piece of paper to show how to use the starwheel if he is new to it.

  2. You may want to find room for chocolate bars and coffee. back in my day these traded like gold.