September 15th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Behind the scenes: Journalist's packing list

How do you prepare for a job that could take you anywhere? Over his 22-year career with CNN, National Correspondent Gary Tuchman has traveled to all 50 states and 27 countries – often at a moment's notice. He has the logistics down to a science, starting with his list of must-have items for the road. One essential may surprise you.

“Wherever I go, I have my rollerblades,” he says. “I've been skating for 20 years and these have been with me all over the United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Japan.” Not only are his rollerblades great for exercise, they’re also a way to meet people.

In Haiti, many of the locals Gary met while skating ended up in his stories. He calls his rollerblades a conversation starter. “They are good at work, they are good for work.”

Gary has faced just about every challenge while reporting in the field, but whether covering hurricanes or traffickers in Mexico, safety always comes first. In dangerous situations, Gary and his crew don’t take unnecessary risks. “The more I’ve done this over the years, the more careful I am because there are risks,” he says, “but we feel it's important to bring it to the viewers.”

Follow Christelle Koumoué on Twitter and follow Gary Tuchman.

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