Survivalists prepare for the looming emergency situation when they need to flee their home in a hurry by prepping what’s known as a bug-out bag. This prepared bag includes basic short- and long-term survival items sure to benefit someone in a crisis. Think food rations, a multi-tool, water filtration system, and lots of paracord.
We’re building-out our own version of the bug-out bag–the cigar smoker’s edition. Keep your standard travel bag stocked so you’re ready for the short-notice trips when you need to grab a handful of cigars from your home humidor and have everything you need.
And just who needs the bug-out bag? We’re talking about the frequent business traveler who wants to light-up after a day’s work, or share a few stogies with associates. Or the gift-bearer, bringing more than enough cigars to pass out at bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Wherever you go or whenever the need arises for travel, your bug-out bag is ready to go.
A Note on Flying
Before we jump in, a note on travel. Will you be flying? Carry-on or checked bag? This changes the functionality of a bug-out bag for the simple reality of current TSA regulations. TSA prohibits any torch lighters from carry-on or checked luggage, for example, and cigar cutters won’t pass security for obvious reasons. Avoid the situation where you’re packed for the perfect cigar setup but everything gets confiscated before you arrive. Here, we’ll take a look at some alternatives.
The Standard Setup
The goal of the standard cigar smoker’s bug-out bag is to ensure nothing gets left behind. When it comes down to the essentials, this is all you need: a travel humidor, a choice in mild or full-bodied cigars, a trusted torch lighter, and a quality cutter. Let’s review this standard setup.
To prep a bug-out bag, you need the right bag. The perfect choice will offer storage sectors and compartments for organization. You want to dedicate a separate compartment for your cigar accessories and supplies. This prevents any tobacco scents spreading to your clothes and provides a little more protection should any liquids spill.
Combine your cigar compartment with items you won’t be wearing and that won’t potentially contaminate your cigars. Toiletry bag? Make sure it’s in another compartment. Same goes with liquids stored in ziploc baggies.
Speaking of liquids. A good bag for your bug-out bag will be made of waterproof material. There’s no telling at what point a leak from another bag will spread to yours or when a half-capped drink resting on your bag will be the downfall of your cigars.
Accessories are the best argument to have a bug-out bag. Buy an extra cutter and torch lighter–or even a combo cutter/lighter–and make a deal with yourself that they never leave your bug-out bag. Otherwise, there will come a day when you open your bag to find that your extras are missing, and the point of the bug-out bag is moot. Maybe this is your reason for personalizing a cutter to specify its purpose as the bug-out bag cutter, much like a dedicated tool-kit for each vehicle.
Here’s the flying caveat for accessories: transporting a fire source and a cutting element through an airport is going to be tricky if not impossible. There’s no good option for transporting a torch lighter except by mailing to your destination–which is cumbersome and potentially ridiculous, and you’re likely better buying something affordable at your destination.
Soft-flame lighters are allowed on planes (one per person). While not optimal for lighting cigars, we suggest a fun hack to still provide a quality lighting experience. Pack a few sticks of Spanish cedar in your cigar bug-out compartment. When it’s time to light-up, use your soft flame to light the cedar wood, and try out this unique alternative to light your cigar.
If not traveling through an airport, build out your bug-out bag with quality accessories from trusted brands like Xikar, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking when jostled during taveling. While your travel humidor should have an accessory pocket, you could also option a rugged Pelican case to store accessories and a butane refilling can, too.
The travel humidor is the key to a proper cigar-lover’s bug-out bag. It provides physical protection for your cigars as your gear gets bounced around, jostled, and handled, and it should fit in a perfectly sized compartment on your bug-out bag if you’ve chosen your bag correctly. Travel humidors are protective, but the less open space where they can move around in, the less chances of damage.
Most travel humidors rely on some form of short-term humidification, like a humidor pack. These are not optimal for long-term storage, but they can work in a pinch. When you’re building your bug-out bag, ensure that you keep extra humidor packs inside, especially if traveling to a higher elevation often. It’s harder to maintain cigars at higher elevation, and extra packs will help–especially if you’re bringing cigars back with you.
So what cigars do you pack, short-notice, when you’re not sure exactly what your opportunity or situation will be to smoke? You won’t want to keep cigars stored in your bug-out bag in a travel humidor, but these should be what you grab on your way out, quick and easy.
Always keep a variety of cigars in stock at your home humidor. Not only is this helpful when perusing your selection for the evening’s smoke, but it ensure options when you need to grab-and-go. Keep a few mild and full-bodied cigars on hand, and grab at least one of each to put in your travel humidor. Many cigars will come in a cellophane or plastic wrapper, and these can be a wise choice to include when you’re on the way out the door.
Curious about which cigars you should keep in your collection? The benefit of a monthly cigar subscription like Klaro Cigars is that you can keep an incoming variety while still stocking up on your favorites. When it’s time to grab something on the go, you know you have a selection and you know what you like. Plus, cigars from the Klaro subscription each arrive to you in a sealed humidified package, which will extend their protection should you choose to include these on your next trip.
Return & Restock
When you pack everything you need on the way to your destination, you might end up bringing cigars back–whether those from your collection you didn’t smoke, or if you bought a few selections during your travel. After all, you brought a travel humidor and extra humidor packs, so getting them home is possible.
But after all that travel and change in humidification, these cigars might be overly dry and won’t smoke well in their less-than-prime state. The good news is that, if they haven’t cracked from drying, you can rehydrate them with a properly seasoned humidor once you’re home. It might take time–two or three weeks–but you can check up on them after this time to see if they are fresh with these quick tests.
Build your bug-out bag so you’re always ready to leave the door properly equipped for a good cigar. Happy smoking.