You think you're prepared? Think again. We've talked to the top preparation experts—Kathy Cloninger, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, and Melissa Kirsch, author of The Girls Guide to Absolutely Everything. Follow their tips and you can tackle just about anything.

  • Moist towelettes
    No soap in that public bathroom? It was your turn in life to get pooped on by a bird? Enough said.
  • Stain remover
    When your latte goes all over you before you even get to work, use a Tide to Go pen or Shout Wipes.
  • Sunglasses
    You put on sunscreen, so remember to protect your eyes from UV rays, too.
  • A cell phone
  • A healthy snack
  • Cash
  • Three makeup essentials
    “Every woman has three things she cant leave the house without as far as grooming goes,” Kirsch says. “For me its lipstick, blush, and an eyelash curler.”
  • Adhesive bandages
    Cover cuts—and blisters from that new pair of shoes.
  • Germ killer
  • Gum or mints
    Good to have if you cant brush and floss postlunch.
  • A ponytail holder
    Its sometimes necessary on those bad-hair days.
  • A small umbrella
  • A safety pin
    Attach it to the lining of your purse for emergencies.
  • A safety device
    Get a loud whistle or some pepper spray.
  • Pain reliever
    Carry ibuprofen for aches and aspirin for chewing in case of a heart attack.
  • Feminine-hygiene products
  • Emergency list of phone numbers and contacts
  • Mini flashlight
  • A multitool item
    Try the Swiss Army Rescue Tool ($90); it features the usual tweezers and bottle opener, plus a life-saving car-window-breaking tool, a seat belt cutter, and other cool stuff.

Next Page: 10 Reasons You Should Never Be Without Duct Tape [ pagebreak ]
Use this wonder-tape to...

  1. Fix a hem or a broken heel.
  2. Secure a wobbly rearview mirror or a broken side mirror.
  3. Be used as an emergency bra or to secure a top that wont stay up.
  4. Muffle a squeaky shoe, or make slick soles less slippery.
  5. Serve as a makeshift sling.
  6. Patch a shopping bag thats about to break.
  7. Create a temporary car window or keep a bumper from falling off, if youve been in an accident.
  8. Rewrap shoelaces when they begin to fray.
  9. Double as an emergency bandage.
  10. Repair your reading or sunglasses.

HINT: To remove the stickiness, try an adhesive remover like Goo Gone or WD-40.