28 Things Everyone Must Keep in Their Car

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Cars can be smooth little self-contained universes, but when something goes wrong, that universe can collapse quickly. Whether you’ve been driving for decades or have a new teen driver in the house, it’s useful to review what special items can really come in handy when stored in your car.

Not everyone needs all of these items all of the time. (Good luck fitting them all in a smart car or Mini Cooper.) I grew up in Minnesota, where having a bottle of sunscreen handy for half of the year would’ve seemed like a sad, sick joke. And my Phoenix friends rarely need a blanket or parka unless they’re mountain-bound.

But knowing what’s available, and what your own family, climate and natural-disaster risk may require is a place to start. Here are 28 items you should consider — what you end up actually loading in the trunk is up to you.

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