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By The Way

How to pack like a campaign reporter for weeks on the road

Early in January, Washington Post campaign reporter Chelsea Janes was sent to Iowa to cover Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign event. As she was boarding the plane, she saw the Massachusetts Democrat at her gate. “I was like, ‘I found her,’” Janes joked. Reporting on the campaign means that Janes has to be ready for any kind of situation, something she thinks about when packing her suitcase. She could be interviewing voters in the Iowa cold or a Democratic debate during a Miami summer.

According to Janes, she’s basically lived out of a suitcase for five years between covering the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates around the country now, the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the Washington Nationals on the road. “I pretty much do my laundry and put it back in,” Janes said. Among the many light layers and hats she brings in case it gets cold, she also stashes running shoes and gluten-free bread in her carry-on. It speaks to her prepared-for-anything style of packing.

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