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Sunday, May 21, 2017

10 Things You Definitely Should Have in Your Backpack at IAPS



'Wide Open Spaces'          18x24         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $400
 It's that time again! The IAPS convention is just around the corner and it is time to get organized. This will be my fifth time going to the biennial convention of the International Association of Pastel Societies. I'll be going as an instructor and representing the Southeastern Pastel Society. I've started my packing process. I've already shipped my boxes of demo supplies to a friend in Albuquerque and I have started to organize the rest of the stuff I need. I want to pack as light as possible but still have the things I need to be comfortable and productive.

One of the things I always have when I travel is some kind of day pack or bag. This bag has all the necessities to make a day of exploring enjoyable. When attending a convention such as IAPS it is great to carry a bag or pack so that you can enjoy the festivities and events without having to go back to your hotel room.  I'd like to share my list of the 10 things you should have in your day pack. (keep reading even if you aren't going to IAPS since these things are great for all general travel.

Be prepared and ready for fun!

Everything fits in the bag. I love Baggallini bags! 

1. Cell phone/ charger or power cube
Be sure to bring your smart phone. You'll want it to take photos, show your work, check time and weather. You might want a charging cube to charge your phone on the go especially if you are not staying at the convention hotel or don't have time in between sessions  Bring a camera or tablet for photos if you don't use your phone for photos.
Be sure to put your phone on silent during the demos and workshops and take photos only during photo breaks so as not to block the view.

2. Snacks
 Snacks are always good. What if you spend too much time in the expo and you're running late to your next session?....a healthy power snack will come in handy.... nuts, power bars, dried fruit , a little dark chocolate will help you power through a busy day.
Choose snacks that are small, packable and individually wrapped. Bring them in your suitcase or head to a grocery store in ABQ to stock up on snacks and water. Bring some plastic baggies for your extra snacks. I like to carry a mini pack of baby wipes for cleanup.

3.  Empty Water Bottle
 Keeping HYDRATED is the most important thing you can do to keep going strong at the convention. Remember the altitude in the city of Albuquerque is over 5000 feet above sea level and altitude sickness is real. Keep hydrated. You can buy water of course but I am bringing my own Hydro flask bottle that I will keep full and in my backpack or bag at all times.
Albuquerque is also in the arid high desert so things dry out quickly. Bring your favorite moisturizer.

4. A Goody Bag
 Bring an extra foldable bag or compact bag or duffle. The kind that folds up into tiny envelopes but opens to a good size.  You might want an extra bag to carry around the goodies you find at the expo or shopping excursions around ABQ and Santa Fe. They take up no space and come in handy!
These small foldable bags are available everywhere now for just a few dollars.
I love the compact daypack from Sea to Summit which can also serve as your day pack as well as for extra goodies!




5. A lightweight jacket or sweater
 It can be cold in the convention rooms and there is nothing worse than trying to stay warm and not being able to focus on the instructor or demo. It's hard to think about carrying  a jacket when it is so hot outside but you'll be glad to have it if the air conditioner is blasting.
The long range forecast is showing highs in the 80's and lows in the 50's so a jacket will also come in handy once the sun goes down.

6.  Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat 
You will want to pull yourself away from the hotel and convention activities to explore the area. (more on that in an upcoming post)  And when you do go outside be prepared for the high desert sun with sunscreen, lip balm with spf and sunglasses. Add some extra protection with a packable hat. You'll need it if you are going to spend time outdoors exploring or painting. The high altitude intensifies the effects of the sun's rays so be safe and use sunscreen, sunglasses and wear a hat!

7. Business cards....or calling cards
Make sure you have cards with your contact info and a photo of you or your work. You will want to exchange them with your new friends! If you don't have business cards they can easily be printed on your own printer or if you are feeling creative, illustrate your own! Be sure to keep plenty of cards in your daypack!

I get my cards through moo.com and I love them!

8. A notebook and pens
You'll want to take notes while in the demos and workshops so be sure to bring a slim notebook and a few good pens. I took so many notes one year my pen ran out of ink so now I bring several of my favorite pens. Throw in a copy of the daily convention schedule so you know what is going on and where to be.
I love my turquoise Moleskin notebook and Le Pen black pens. The notebook is slim and gets me in the Southwest mood!

9. Small sketchbook and pens
 Great for getting creative and making memories when you have some downtime. I don't go anywhere without a small sketchbook kit. I usually have some pens and some way to add color like the Derwent Inktense pencils and a water pen.
You might think you won't have time to sketch but it is a great way to do something creative after filling up on inspiration. I'd rather have a small kit that I don't use than regret not having one with me.



my small sketchbook kit


10. A comfort kit
 I like to put together a small pouch with comfort items such as pain reliever, bandaids, any other needed meds such as allergy pills, inhalers, etc., tums, feminine products, tissues, safety pins, Mints or gum for fresh breath. Don't forget an emery board. I always seem to need one! The kit keeps you from having to run back to the room for any needed necessity.
Putting all of these small comfort items in a zippered pouch makes for an organized pack and keeps them handy!

Did I miss anything important? Let me know what you keep in your bag in the comments. Also if you have any general IAPS questions let me know and I will answer them in my upcoming FAQ post.

6 comments:

Jennifer Grupp said...

Hi Karen! Just curious....is the IAPS always in Albuquerque, New Mexico?

Karen said...

Hi Jennifer, Yes the convention is now always in Albuquerque. It's a great excuse to visit the SW!!!

Anonymous said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!!

Evelyn said...

Thanks for these tips, Karen. I have one more suggestion: an iPad mini. Mine goes (in my purse) wherever I do, safe in a Logitech keyboard case. It holds everything I used to carry in paper form: plane and hotel info, IAPS registration and supply lists, an abundance of reference photos, and my Squarespace website in a form accessible offline. And if I have wifi, the screen is more generous than on my phone. See you in Albuquerque! Best, Evelyn

Susan said...

Hi Karen, Thanks for your great tips! However, I am wondering what a "water pen" is? I am putting together a small kit for travel. Thanks....

Karen said...

Susan, I meant to say water brush. They are brushes that hold water and several brands are available. Search for water brush online. Sorry for the confusion!!