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Discussion: Winter Smoking Tips

Discussion: Winter Smoking Tips

Happy Monday, Small Batchers!  

As we’re a little past the midway point of winter, I wanted to revisit an idea we kicked around a while back. 

I sent out a few feelers for winter smoking tips, and the response was overwhelmingly specific.  In fact, we could sum up the sentiment in three words from what I would have considered winter pros: don’t do it

There’s a man named Rich, though, that marches to the beat of a very cold drum.  He's part Santa Claus, part polar bear, and 100% willing to sacrifice his body for a great cigar.  Below is a very well thought out 10-point plan to, if you’re crazy enough, tackle the cold and enjoy your cigar. 

AGREE OR DISAGREE? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS, SUCCESSES, OR FAILURES BELOW! 

  1. Find a place to smoke inside. This is a good opportunity to get to know the folks at your local cigar lounge.
  2. If you can't smoke totally inside, find a place that's more inside-like than going outside. Think about converting some of your garage to your smoking space. Or maybe it's a good time to set up a smoking shed? I'm looking into getting an ice fishing shanty setup for my back yard for now. Seems like a couple hundred bucks would get that set up with a tent-style pop-up and a good heater.
  3. If you're going to be outside, get a heater. The big gas heaters that are slightly taller than a person are the way to go. They keep things toasty. (Note: I've been smoking outside for like a decade in winter and have never actually done any of the things above yet) 
  4. Get warm clothes. Wear a heavy coat, snow pants, boots, gloves, a face mask - everything you'd wear for a day on the slopes, basically. It's going to get cold.
  5. Look into heating pack if it's really cold. Pop 'em in your boots or keep 'em around for your hands when you start to freeze. Those things are little miracles.
  6. Pick shorter cigars. I don't mean Tatuaje Needles or Cracker Crumbs or any of those other not-actually-good small versions of cigars. Pick real, good, and real good cigars, but pick smaller ones than you would normally pick.
  7. Don't pair with a cold drink. Drinking a cold drink when it's freezing is plain stupid. Speaking of drinking, be careful how much alcohol you drink in the cold. You'll feel warmer, but you'll actually be colder. Can get dangerous if your body temp gets too low.
  8. Be ready to give up on your cigar and go inside. Sometimes it's not worth it.
  9. It's usually smart to avoid smoking in the wind, but especially true in the winter. Winter wind is no joke - it's cold. Set up your smoking spot where there's a wind break if you can (good advice year-round).
  10. It gets dark early, so if you're planning to take any pics to share on social media or add to a cigar dossier, figure out lighting. Or better yet, don't. Adding more things to worry about in the cold is kind of crazy.

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Comments
2/10/2019 7:21 PM
That guy sure is smart.
2/11/2019 5:51 AM
Coming from South Central PA (it’s snowing as I type this), I agree with this guy completely. I use my garage if I just want to set down, but often I’ll keep moving while I smoke to keep warm, I drink coffee during, I usually wear a base layer, and I try to avoid the wind. But, some days, it is just too cold for it.
2/11/2019 6:06 AM
Great tips. I'll add a few: drink lots of water and get up every couple of minutes and walk around to keep yourself warm.
2/11/2019 8:21 AM
Good stuff here! The cold weather is always a great reason to get out and support the local B&M! Also a $25 heater from wally world goes a log way if youre in the garage.
2/11/2019 9:10 AM
Looks like some great tips here. There are tons of options to get your smoke on in the winter months.
2/11/2019 9:33 AM
As one who is admittedly addicted to my evening ritual of winding down with a cigar after a long day of work, I do not let the weather stop me – ever.  It hit -50 real feel in Chicago about 10 days ago.  I still had my evening cigar in my garage and only needed to turn on one “ear” of the propane heater (all garage doors remained closed except to “vent” about 25 minutes in).  Many years ago I converted the third car portion into a cigar lounge.  Not much to add beyond what has already been mentioned.  However, I will say that proper boots are required and keeping the feet elevated helps (my chaise lounge chair was bought partially for that purpose) keep the feet warm (keep them off the cold ground).  My boots, while extreme, have a 3 inch thick rubber sole; if the feet get cold, you are done.  While I get mocked for “layering up” just to have a cigar, I was actually quite toasty and partially regretted I only brought a corona to smoke.
2/11/2019 10:00 AM
Big propane heaters won’t work in a small tent lol.  Get a Mr Buddy heater for that.  But yeah the tank top propane heaters kick out a good amount of heat.  The big stand up heaters are good too but won’t keep your feet warm!
2/11/2019 1:45 PM
Best tip. Sweet talk the wife and then smoke in the bathroom with the extractor on. Just as you finishing turn off the extractor and light a berger burner and let it run for 20-30mins with the tabaco neutriser oil.  Cap the burner to put it out then turn on the extactor. Sorted. Even my wife thinks it's acceptable. Warm relaxed smoking in the Peak of winter
2/11/2019 4:10 PM
I smoke in my house with the combo of a winks 5500-2 air purifier, febreze oil wall plug ins and febreze fabric refresher spray.

I keep the purifier on while smoking and then spray the couch down with the febreze. Smoke smell is gone within 24 hours. I have smoked 2 hours with this set up.
2/12/2019 2:02 AM
It's really cold out here, 60ºF when the sun goes down. Sometimes even 50! I usually light a few logs and put on a jacket and am good to go (with a nice pour of alcohol).
2/12/2019 9:12 AM
Personally it gets down to -10 or so in Northern Colorado, so I strictly stick to indoor smoking this time of year. However, back in Seattle when it was a brisk 40 degrees or so at night, I wouldn't hesitate to brew up a cup of black coffee and grab a nice warm sweatshirt and go outside. But here in Colorado it just isn't worth it.
2/12/2019 10:25 AM
Great tips. Definitely stock up on smaller smokes for the winter months. Mini La Nox, Short Story, Papas Fritas, La Casita Criolla, Warped Oso Cub. Pretty much anything that comes in Corona. Closest lounge is almost an hour from my house so smoking outside is normal, even in the winter.
2/12/2019 2:40 PM
Tossing out most of January and February (I ain't going out in -10 degree and 15 mph winds), a nice late afternoon in Central Mass, maybe some light snow, on the back deck, with a coffee mug and a smoke, just listening to the sound of the trees swaying and an occasional bird or squirrel (probably thinking I am just as dumb as they are for being outside), often makes a bad week at work disappear in ones psyche.
2/12/2019 3:43 PM
I have a nice 3 season room .Its called a 3 season room because in the winter it gets cold. When I know I'm  going out to smoke one I turn the electric heater on and couple mins later its nice and warm. Sure beats smoking out in my screened deck.
2/12/2019 7:21 PM
To add on to number 7: coffee and/or tea seems to pair very well!
2/13/2019 2:04 PM
I moved to Florida so I could smoke year round.  I suggest everyone does the same....
2/13/2019 6:33 PM
It was briefly in the 40s this morning in Texas. I had to put on socks.
2/13/2019 7:34 PM
Eh, if I owned my own home and it had a back porch that had windows and screens, I'd smoke at home when it's cold. Otherwise, it's either the local B&M or not at all.
2/14/2019 6:57 AM
Local lounges come in HUGE in the winter months. Of course I would prefer to smoke at my place but it's too cold.
2/14/2019 11:19 AM
I second the Mr Buddy heater.  It works well in small spaces and provides a little ventilation.
2/14/2019 12:22 PM
Yeah these are good tips for sure. I would just smoke in my car with the window cracked. I normally give my coworker who smokes as well a stick to let me smoke in his house. Going over his place later today to smoke and drink a few beers. Can't beat that!
2/15/2019 7:51 AM
A lot of great tips and ideas here, especially those heating packs, they're a life saver. I'd also add that standing up and moving around helps warm you up, don't just sit there and lose all your body heat.
2/15/2019 8:20 AM
That's a pretty extensive, and well thought out list for enjoying a cigar in the cold. I personally just wait until the weather returns to bearable levels. I think that is one of the things that separate cigar smokers from cigarette smokers - the ability to forego a smoke because the weather is not favorable to do so. I speak more to the addiction factor more so than the time required to smoke factor
2/15/2019 12:38 PM
Fortunately for me I'm able to smoke in the basement during the winter. But nothing beats being out in the sunshine during the summer with a nice smoke.
Another option for those who can't smoke indoors: smoke in your car if it's smoking friendly. Crank the heat, crack the window!