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Caucus 2020 Part V: Preparing to Cover the Iowa Caucuses

Iowa Caucuses: Part 5

Leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is buzzing with presidential candidates. While you’re here covering the political action, you’ll want to be prepared — not just for the newsworthy — but also for the Midwestern climate!

We’ve put together a list of the top items you’ll want in your suitcase, as well as local shops you can purchase items from once you’re here.

11 Items for Your Suitcase

1. Winter Coat

Perhaps the most important item you’ll need is a heavy coat for likely below freezing temps. Stop by Active Endeavors or Scheel’s if you need to find a winter coat in a hurry.

2. Gloves

Keep your fingers warm while you’re jotting down notes. Active Endeavors has you covered here, too. Stylish fingerless gloves are available at Look @ You, and you’re sure to find something at one of the local sporting goods stores: Dick’s Sporting Goods, REI or Scheel’s.

3. Scarf

That Midwestern wind is a doozy. Protect your face with a fashionable scarf from Aimée, Mr. B, Wanderlust, Von Maur or Look @ You.

4. Hat

Keep your head warm with a winter beanie from Raygun or Active Endeavors. Athletic headbands and beanies are also available at Fleet Feet. Buy ahead of your trip from b.e.happe, an online DSM crochet shop that gives back to local children’s hospitals.

5. Boots

More than likely, there’ll be a bit of snow on the ground in DSM during the time that you’re here. Snow boots will ensure your toes don’t get wet as you move from location to location covering candidates. Check out Boot Barn, Dick’s Sporting Goods or REI.

6. Workout Clothes

Did you know that DSM has drop-in yoga locations downtown? If you want to get in those morning stretches, you’ll want to pack some athleticwear, too. Once here, you can check out Lululemon in Downtown DSM or West Des Moines.

7. Comfortable Walking Shoes

Move quickly from place to place in our climate-controlled skywalk system with comfy kicks you pack yourself or buy while you’re in town. Fleet Feet in the Historic East Village has options for all kinds of activity. In nearby Clive, Fitness Sports is an athletic shoe favorite.  

8. Something Dressy

Will you be attending the invite-only media party Raucous Before the Caucus? If so, you’ll want to pack something dressy to wear for the event. If you’re planning to shop for something new while you’re here, stop into Dornink, Badowers, Mr. B or Blond Genius. Looking for statement-making accessories? Stop in at Leona Ruby™ in the Historic East Village.

9. A Sturdy Bag

If you’re hauling your computer here and there, you’ll want a reliable backpack or briefcase. Break a strap? Drop your bag in a snow bank? Landmark Luggage in Valley West Mall has you covered with business cases, travel handbags and more. Fontenelle Supply Co. also has a variety of leather bags.

10. Everyday Accessories

Complete your journalistic look with fashion neckwear from Dona Bela Shreds. This local company upcycles to not only create beautiful designs, but make an impact with sustainable products. Or check out vintage accessories from Preservation. Sunglasses are a must, too, especially to protect eyes from UV rays reflected by the snow. Aimée carries shades for the ladies. Or try Sunglass Hut to find the right pair for you. While you’re there, you can stop in at any number of other Jordan Creek Town Center stores.

11. Snacks

While Downtown DSM has a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, you may just need something to tide you over between meals. Once you’re here, make a quick stop at Hy-Vee on Court Avenue or Walgreens on Walnut Street and pick up your favorite goodies. The East Village Pantry is an option, too!

Need something cleaned or tailored while you’re in town? Check out one of the following: Noah’s Dry Cleaning, 6115 SW 9th Street in Des Moines;  Frederick’s Quality Cleaners, 2600 University Ave. #316 in West Des Moines; or Mr. B, 1995 NW 86th Street in Clive.

Read other posts from Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Caucus 2020 series, including: 5 New Restaurants in DSM Since 2016, New Bars + Breweries in DSM, New Coffee Spots in DSM and Instagram-Worthy Selfie Spots in DSM.

As first in the nation, the Iowa Caucuses welcome national media and politicians every four years. Find out about the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, as well as the Iowa Caucus Consortium, an initiative of Catch Des Moines and the Greater Des Moines Partnership.