Savoring an excellent cigar is one of the high pleasures of the week for many.
Other than your local cigar lounge, enjoying a smoke outdoors is the most typical option for cigar enthusiasts. But even then, many municipalities have cracked down on outdoor smoking, so cigar lovers have been forced to retreat to their own backyards.
Let’s face it, that solution is not always ideal. Depending on where you live, the weather can directly impact your enjoyment of a premium stick.
If you live where the winters can be particularly brutal or where the summers are blazing hot, outdoor cigar indulgence is severely limited. Some are fortunate enough to live in climates just right for outdoor cigars. But what about the rest of us? Is there a work-around to this frustrating predicament?
Let’s talk about some ideas in creating an outdoor space where you can relax in relative comfort with your favorite stogie with friends. We’ll think in terms of three essentials for an outdoor cigar area.
You will need some shelter from the elements and the wind. Keeping the sun at bay or the cold drizzle off is a basic need. No one can truly enjoy a cigar if they’re squinting and sizzling or shivering and having to hold an umbrella.
Also consider shelter from the wind. Part of the experience of the cigar is the smoke rising lazily, creating an almost meditative mood. Your outdoor area may have wind protection from one, maybe two directions, but many times, that’s not sufficient.
One solution is a temporary pop-up canopy with wind screens. Nice ones are available at outdoor stores or sporting goods stores for a decent price. Just put it up when you need it, take it down when you don’t.
Another option, more permanent, but also more costly, is to build a covered open outdoor structure on your patio or yard. Something like a four-sided gazebo works. You can attach windscreens to the sides. This option provides a space you can use year round for other purposes as well.
So you’ve got cover. What about the heat and the cold? Let’s talk climate.
On those cold weekends or evenings, invest in one or two standing LP patio heaters. These bad boys put out an amazing amount of warmth. The heat is not forced, but radiated downward by the large reflective tops. Put these in your covered, wind protected shelter, and the heat is better contained for a more consistent climate.
For those scorching hot days, consider using a mister system attached around the perimeter of your covered shelter. Another hot day option is a portable air conditioner or a forced air mister. In a shielded shelter, the cold air can be kept in fairly well, but the disadvantage is having air blowing around, disturbing the smoke.
Finally, we need to address the matter of comfort–outside of climate and shelter.
Set up some comfy chairs. Once you settle in for a cigar, you generally don’t want to be shifting around from seat to seat looking for just the right spot. I don’t recommend typical lawn chairs, though they’ll have to do if that’s all you’ve got.
A great cigar chair has generous arm rests. They’re wide and long enough to comfortably hold a book, your tablet, or a magazine while reading. A foot rest is always a welcome addition.
Have a small table positioned nearby for your ashtray and drink. My goal is, once I get settled, I don’t plan to get up again until the cigar is a nub.
If I’m shielded from the elements, relatively warm or cool (depending on time of year), and seated comfortably, I’m going to have an excellent cigar experience outdoors. And you can, too!