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 How I smoke during cold weather

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Natch

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Age : 66
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:43 pm

Like many of you, I can't (actually don't want to) smoke in the house. Fortunately, I live in the Mid-South so the climate is generally warm enough to sit on the porch or at one of the fire pits I have around the yard. But for the few months of winter (or what they call winter in Arkansas, which being born and raised in the snow-belt on the shore of Lake Superior, is not really a "winter" Laughing ) and when I don't want to trudge out to a fire pit or tree house to smoke my pipe, I've found a cheap, suitcase stove works great on the porch.



I've seen them at WallMart and other similar stores, they sell for about $20 during the summer, but often go to $15 in the fall, come in a box (some assembly required, like a lot!). The legs fold in, so I usually take in on canoe/camping trips (fill with dry kindling, they fit in the front of my canoe perfectly). But it's really become my primary way to smoke my pipe with coffee in the morning or other libations in the evening during our cold season.

This one is almost 5 years old, starting to rust and fall apart (kinda like me? Rolling Eyes ) but still works great. I've probably had 600 or more large, hot fires in this one and it might last another year or two. They work great in a small area, (even on a wooden porch and under a roof) are easily to control and extinguish, and easily movable to work with the prevailing breezes and sun options.

It can burn any scrap wood or branches you pick up around the yard. I heat the house with a wood stove and have the ultimate "man-toy" (a 27 ton wood splitter!) so I have an abundance of wood to work with. We also have eastern red ciders growing like weeds throughout my woods, so I get to sit by a wonderful cider fire when ever I want. But I've given these to friends that live on the 12 floor of an apartment with a patio, and they just pick up fallen sticks at the local park when they take their dog for a walk.

The lid not only reflects the heat back to the front, but because of it's concave shape, it creates a bit of a vacuum (OK, really a slightly lower pressure vortex, if you're a canoe camper you might understand this through using an aluminium canoe as a backdrop to your camp fire) that tends to pull the smoke away from the front more than just a flat wind break would do. If you're out in the woods, you can fold the legs down, sit on your ground pad, and be below any smoke that might waft your way. Even for car camping where you have a fire pit, I prefer this as it's cleaner, much more efficient in amount of wood burned and heat/flame gotten from that wood over an open fire pit. The one down side is it's just about a perfect one person, personal fire, two can sit side by side in front, but it doesn't work for a group.



You can also put your feet under it and they stay toasty warm!

A couple bits of advice if you decide to get one (and I can't recommended them enough):

Get an old hearth skirt or scrap of rug to put underneath so you don't scorch the porch if it's wooden;

Buy a roll of 1/4" or 1/2" wire screen and put it on top of the bottom great. It keeps the coals up higher and produces a much cleaner burn, allowing air from below. It will eventually burn out, but I can usually get about 50 fires or so before I need to replace it. You can see the 1/2" wire mesh starting to burn out on the pix above.

As with any warming fire, it's the back side (yours, not the fires!) that gets cold, so I use an insulated sitting pad at present, but have had great luck using an old, cheap Ensalite sleeping pad clamped to my old rocker. It keeps the butt warm, blocks the wind from the back side, and adds padding for the old bones.

You can close the lid (keep the vent closed on top) and it will go out and you'll have charcoal left for your next fire. It's also a great emergency way to shut down the fire if a gust of wind comes up, or you're going inside to refill the pipe or grab that next brew. Laughing



Sitting by a crackling fire under a crisp, starry, winter night, puffing on your pipe and solving all the world's problems (or just ignoring them for a time) is a wonderful way to enjoy your pipe during cold weather.

Natch


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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:04 pm

Awesome. cheers It's no secret I look forward to going outside and sitting with the pipe, to soak the world in (which goes beyond temperatures of "too hot" or "too cold." Having a south-facing patio at my flat, even on a 15F day, if the sun is out, I'm warm as could be. At night I just don't care. Laughing

I like the "personal fire pit" idea. Quite a bit, actually. I'm not allowed to burn open fires of any kind on my apartment patio or I'd be headed to a thrift store today to go find some cheap barbecue to re-engineer.

cheers

Cool
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:25 pm

I love smoking outdoors in the winter. Hell, I love smoking outdoors and that's a good thing because it's the only place I can smoke.

For Christmas my wife bought me a little stand alone fire place for a personal outdoor heater. It works nicely.

Nice to see you little slice of life there Natch. Very Happy
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ragged claws



Age : 71
Location : northern california
Registration date : 2012-11-03

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:53 pm


Thanks for posting this, Natch. I will try to find one of these to use while smoking on my patio here in sometimes-sunny California. From the photos it looks like you've got a great place to smoke and relax.


Kim
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Natch

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Age : 66
Location : foothills of the Ozarks
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:29 pm

In California, they might sell these year round. Where I live, they're a spring/summer item, so it would be hard to find one at this time of year. One other "tool" I'd recommend, and that's a long handled pair of tongs. It really helps to be able to reach into the fire and pick up this burning stick or that glowing coal and move them to where they'll burn the best. Plus, it keeps one occupied (and the neanderthal in all of us loves to play with fire! Twisted Evil ).

Natch
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:13 pm

I bought one of these a couple of years ago. It's not as picturesque as Natch's, but it works well.
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RonA3597

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Age : 68
Location : Lawrenceville, GA
Registration date : 2008-03-15

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:48 pm

Natch, thanks for posting this. It was drizzling all day so not good for outdoor smoking, but I was thinking about what I could use for cold days. For perspective, about mid 40s F, 7 C, here in Jawja. That's not cold for you folk that endure real cold, but cold enough for me. I'd been thinking about a chiminea, but I like your setup better 'cause it's more like a fireplace or fire pit. I'm going to look for one this weekend. cheers
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:26 pm

Nifty cool Natch, thats what I call resourceful
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:32 pm

What, no hot dogs?

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Slow Puffs
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Age : 68
Location : Alberta. Canada
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:57 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
What, no hot dogs?

Laughing

Like your set-up Natch. Between the snow here in Alberta and the temperatures, it just doesn't work.... Rolling Eyes ... I'm confined to the garage (unheated) or my jeep when I'm out and about.

That looks like Hawaii to me... Twisted Evil

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mark
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Registration date : 2008-07-02

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:23 pm

Nice setup Natch, well thought out. Sitting around the fire with a pipe is tough to beat.

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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:08 am

Not a bad little setup there, Natch. Thinkin' like an old yooper! (I mean that as a compliment) Very Happy
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:49 am

I had one of those for a very short time. My wife bought one years ago. She set it up and started a fire while I was at work, and invited a bunch of friends over. They didn't think it was safe to put it on the wooden deck, so they set it up on the tiny patch of grass between the deck and the end of my little parking slip off the back alley. I got home just after dark. Thing is, the way the steeply inclined alley drops off to the parking spot makes for some poor visibility. I pulled in, looking at all the happy people on my back deck, and watched their faces turn to alarm in my headlights as I heard a loud metallic bang and saw a geyser of flame and embers shoot up in front of my car. I had actually flung the firebox up under the wooden deck into a heap of dry walnut fronds and a gallon or two of old motor oil I hadn't gotten around to recycling. All with about ten mildly drunk people on the deck. I must confess, I sat there in the car laughing for about 15 seconds watching them scramble for a garden hose. Razz
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Greyson

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Age : 36
Location : England
Registration date : 2012-08-03

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:26 am

Looks like a great setup Natch! I'm pretty jealous of it, especially the snow. I'm not going to be seeing much of that anymore since I was forced to move south.


GK, you know you're a psychopath right?
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George Kaplan

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Age : 47
Location : Kalamazoo, MI
Registration date : 2012-01-07

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:52 am

Greyson wrote:
GK, you know you're a psychopath right?
You sound just like one of my ex-wife's lawyers. Suspect
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Aristokles



Location : Pittsburgh, PA
Registration date : 2010-10-02

PostSubject: Re: How I smoke during cold weather   Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:27 am

George Kaplan wrote:
Greyson wrote:
GK, you know you're a psychopath right?
You sound just like one of my ex-wife's lawyers. Suspect

What...was she ON the deck? Laughing
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