Cigar Smoking: Old Man Winter Edition

Those of us who live in the Snow Belt know that the arrival of Old Man Winter leads to changes in where we can enjoy a nice stick. Gone are the days of lighting up on the golf course or on a restaurant’s outdoor patio. Instead, we must seek other accommodation:

  • Garages and porches.  A garage or three-season porch will work in a pinch, if you plan ahead. Make sure the space is ventilated; prop doors with a 1″ opening so the smoke seeps out and doesn’t cure you more thoroughly than your Christmas ham. A simple oscillating fan, pointing outside, builds airflow. And if it’s really cold? A propane sunflower heater packs a huge wallop in a small space. These devices — which can be had from hardware superstores for $40 to $120 — screw to the top of a standard refillable propane tank and can heat a reasonably enclosed three-season porch from 30 F to 65 F in mere minutes. A single-ear sunflower on a standard propane tank will push out heat for 30 or 40 hours or more, so you could get weeks or months of heat on a single $20 refill.
  • Smoke shops.  Why freeze?  Patronize your local tobacconist. In the cold-weather months, routine foot traffic slows down. Help keep your favorite smoke shop in business by buying product on-site and enjoying it in the lounge. Not only will you keep toasty, but you’ll meet new people and further indulge in the social aspects of cigar culture.
  • Cigar rooms.  Have an under-used room in your house? With a little bit of effort, you could convert it into a first-class man-cave smoking room. All you really need is furnishings that don’t trap smoke (leather instead of cloth furniture, hard floors and not carpet) and a decent exhaust fan to pull air outside. A window-mounted unit works wonders. (You could also try an indoor air purifier, but the nature and volume of cigar smoke usually overwhelms all but the most expensive models.)

Don’t let the falling temps curtail your enjoyment of premium cigars. Prepare now so that the worst of winter weather won’t interrupt your smoking bliss!

3 thoughts on “Cigar Smoking: Old Man Winter Edition

  1. AccessVegas Reply

    Those outdoor gas heaters can really make a difference, no doubt about it. I’m looking into one for this winter.

    I like the dedicated room idea and am looking into it for my next house (I plan to move this spring). I’ve found a couple of good tips:

    1. Totally seal off the air duct in the room (which can easily be done by unscrewing it, totally covering it with foil, then screwing it back in). Otherwise, any air out of it will push the smoke through the gaps in the closed door and into the house. For the truly dedicated, weatherstripping the door is a good idea.

    2. A simple bathroom fan – besides being noisy – won’t move the air you need. I know because I took an outdoor (but totally enclosed) storage room in my house and installed a bathroom fan. Not enough air movement. For the dedicated (and especially if you are having a number of people smoking in the room), you’ll need to mount an industrial kitchen grade fan outside (reduce the noise) and run an duct into the room.

    The cigar shop idea is probably the best for most people who only have 1-2 sticks a week. Great fellowship with others, comfy WARM atmosphere, and you are helping your local economy during a slow time. We can’t take our local cigar shops for granted. They are the one place we can really go and enjoy ourselves in an adult atmosphere without the pleasure police giving us dirty looks!

    • Jason Gillikin Reply

      Excellent points. I’d also mention the obvious: Keep a fire extinguisher handy and think carefully about smoke-detector placement. If the door opens to an area with one, you could set it off if you need to leave the room before the smoke clears!

    • Derek Vore Reply

      You have to be careful with those gas heaters… don’t use them indoors, only outdoors. If you’re going to use it in a screened in porch, make sure you have open windows to ventilate the gas fumes. Burning a propane heater indoors can cause a buildup of CO which can kill you.

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