By Mike Dubs

Here in Minnesota, we know how to make the best of what we have – and that often means learning how to do without. In winter, we do without sunshine for months on end. In summer, more than a few of us brave the high humidity without air conditioning. But there are some things that a Minnesotan would never live without – either because it’s impossible, or we just don’t want to. Here’s a list of 15 of those things:

1. An Ice Scraper In The Car – And not one of those puny ones, either. In Minnesota, you need a nice long-handled scraper with a brush on the opposite end.

2. Tater Tots In The Freezer – You know, for making hotdish at the drop of a hat.

3. Bug Spray – If you’re going to be outside in the summer – especially if you’ll be near water – a can or ten of bug spray will serve you well.

4. Caribou Coffee – Yeah, we know about that other popular coffee chain. But we’re loyal to this hometown favorite, and it’ll always stay that way.

5. A Hand-Knit Scarf – Usually courtesy of a friend or relative who was feeling a little crafty, Minnesotans know that any hand-knit item is extra warm because it was made by someone who cares.

6. Target – The joy of Target may of spread across the land, but Minnesotans have known it since the first store opened in Roseville in 1962. Ever since then, we will not live without the Bullseye.

7. Winter Boots – If your feet get cold, the rest of you follows. Minnesotans know this, so we make sure to keep our toes nice and toasty.

8. Minnesota Sports Team Shirts – We like to support our teams whether they win or lose. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have at least one Twins, Vikings, or Wild shirt somewhere deep in their closet.

9. Fair Food – The weirder the better. Every year, we prove that we’re up for trying anything once, especially if it’s on a stick.

10. Snow – No matter how much we complain about it, most Minnesotans wouldn’t want to live without a fresh blanket of snow every now and then – if only for the snowy activities it allows.

11. A Tent – How else are we going to enjoy our dozens of state parks, nature areas, and state forest campgrounds?

12. Snow Shovel – Along the same lines as the car ice scraper, it would be pretty hard to make it through a Minnesota winter without a shovel.

13. Jumper Cables – Whether we find ourselves stuck in a jam, or we see somebody who needs a little help, Minnesotans always come prepared with jumper cables in the trunk.

14. Our Lakes – Despite all the cold and snow, Minnesotans stay because of the over 10,000 lakes that dot our state. With all their beauty and recreation opportunities, the lakes make living here worth it.

15. Being Nice – Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t live without being nice. It’s ingrained in Minnesota culture.

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