Yesterday I had the unfortunate experience of being stranded on a train for more than two hours. It was a long and tiring experience, but I learned a good lesson about always being prepared. I was a Girl Scout so I really should have been more prepared for the worst case scenario. After spending two hours stuck on a train, here is what I think you should always carry with you, whether you're running an errand or commuting to and from work. 1. Winter gear Everyday I think about taking my mittens and hat out of my purse because I really don't need them. I'm only outside for a few minutes on my commute so it seems silly to carry around this extra bulk. But I am so relieved I am a purse hoarder and kept them in. I was lucky that the train I was on had heat and that we didn't have to evacuate and stand outside. But if we did, I would have been so grateful I had warm cozy gear to put on. So even though you think you might not need it, bring your hat, mitts and scarf just in case. 2. Snacks There is nothing worse then being stranded somewhere and not having anything to eat. In a lucky coincidence, I was coming home from a work party when I got stranded on the train so I had some of our Toffee Brownies in my bag. Now these brownies are absolutely amazing, but they become even more deliciously amazing when they are the only sustenance you have. And really, nothing makes a bad day better than a brownie. From now on I am going to be diligent about always carrying snacks in my purse like a bag of trail mix or a granola bar. 3. A book I'm one of those nerdy people who brings a book or a magazine with me wherever I go. You never know when you're going to need to entertain yourself. Yesterday I had The Longest Date: Life as a Wife in my purse to read as I passed the time waiting for the emergency crews to get us off the train. I find reading very calming, which is helpful when you're stuck in a confined space for an indefinite amount of time. 4. A charger Having a cell phone is crucial in an emergency so you can keep family and friends updated on what's happening and call for help if you need it. Unfortunately, your phone always seems to die at the worst moments. I now vow to bring my charger with me everywhere. 5. A smile Many people do not deal well with stressful circumstances and start to take out their frustrations on others like the police or staff who are trying to deal with the emergency. There is no point in doing this because everyone is trying to fix the problem as fast as possible. Yelling at them isn't going to make the situation better. Instead, put a smile on your face, talk to people around you, maybe even crack a joke. This takes away the tension and makes the time pass faster. I really appreciated that strangers on the train just started up random conversations with me. And I was especially happy that the transit safety officer took the time to stop to ask us how we were doing. Even though being stranded is far from fun, it could be a lot worse —there could have been snakes on the train, which is my idea of a nightmare. So make the best of the situation and put a smile on your face. What items do you always carry with you?