The cigar community and the prepper/survivalist community overlap somewhat. I would know; I write professionally for both. Not all preppers smoke cigars but many (a majority maybe) of cigar enthusiasts engage in some form of survival activities whether they think so or not. These tend to be employed or self-employed professionals of one sort or another. Most have something worth protecting. Most are conservative or libertarian leaning.
I’ve found that gun culture and the cigar hobby are almost synonymous. If you’re in a cigar shop lounge, odds are someone around you is carrying. It’s also likely that someone there is woefully out of shape. A little less food and drink would benefit many the cigar aficionado.
Something else to benefit the clique is a consideration of how the hobby might be impacted by an emergency situation. Everyone enjoys a good cigar or they should. What happens when or if the grid goes down? It doesn’t have to be a total collapse. An ice storm or a flood or a house fire can place the cigar lover in dire straits.
If the problem is only temporary, then most will be okay. Most cigar men (we’re mostly men) keep a stocked humidor at the house. Two or three days stranded there will deplete the box.
What happens if the house burns down, cigars and all? Or, if there is cause to flee the house. Or one is trapped on the road in an emergency. Or if the two or three days turns out to be months. These are worth thinking about and preparing against.
Why Does It Matter?
Most cigar guys smoke cigars to relax. Remaining calm is important to any survival situation. If one is to be inconvenienced for a long time (or short), it makes sense to have a few sticks on hand to ease the tension. No, it’s not critical but it may be a luxury you might want. It’s easy to take care of if you plan it out.
If at all possible you should stock your favorites for the SHTF scenario. However, if the pickings are slim, you may have to compromise or be willing to do without.
In the event that no proper storage or humidification is available, you might consider choices that you wouldn’t otherwise. A really good quality might suffer dramatically from a prolonged lack of care. Others, usually cheaper makes, might do better. Their lower quality might actually be a long-term benefit. Think about that as a measure to just to get by.
However, hopefully you will pre-plan a little and not be left with drugstore smokes. There are a few items which can help you grab and go. Storage and portability is the key here.
Xikar and a few other manufacturers make travel cases, fortified humidors with handles. Here’s a larger model:
That one will hold a lot of sticks – maybe 80. It was specifically designed to keep smokes safe and happy while traveling. It even works in the poorly pressurized holds of commercial airliners (that’s what the little knob next to the handle is for). That model costs about $100 but there are smaller and less expensive ones available. Some hold a mere 5 – 10 cigars and would be perfect for your bug-out bag or your car.
If you have to you can simply keep the cigars in a zip-lock bag with a humidity pillow:
If need be a dampened paper towel will suffice for humidification. Tap water should be shunned though it might not really matter in a dire emergency – do what you have to.
If you have the smokes, they’re still useless without cutting and lighting apparati. A good cutter and a torch will easily fit in your bag. It’s not a bad idea to have a fire starter of some kind anyway (critical, really). Keep the fire simple as the main thing you want is reliability. Also think about keeping a little extra fuel.
The cutter could be as simple as a pocket knife or a multi-tool, also things no prepper should be without. If push comes to bite, one can do just that – bite the cap off with your teeth.
The biggest thing to remember is to keep your priorities straight. I said this is a luxury. that’s true anytime but especially in case of emergencies. Water, food, shelter, and safety are all more important. Enjoying a Habano should be one of the last things you prepare for.
Also your situation might preclude smoking even if you can technically do it. Cigars do give off a delicious, rich smoke. I’m sure you’ve had nice people praise the smell and that you remind them of so-and-so; jerks and busybodies will tell you it stinks. The point is it does generate smoke and smoke travels. If you want to remain concealed, you might not want to give off a smoke signal.
As with anything else, here, a little planning can go a long way. Yes, one could survive without the joy of cigars. Why do that if there’s an alternative? I say survive in style.