You’ve got a fat stack of cigars fresh in, but you haven’t got a humidor and you don’t want to smoke them quickly. What do you do? You panic a little as you are not sure how long do cigars last without a humidor and you worry they will go to waste.
The bad news is, is that cigars typically last for only two days out of the wrapper and without humidor storage. There are ways to improve this as I explain below, but if you intend to buy a large quantity of cigars, you should consider investing in a humidor.
Factors Affecting Cigar Longevity
Cigars contain tobacco leaves and these are a natural substance that is subject to things like temperature, humidity, and light, as with any other plant. This is why storage is important, and why they don’t last long when unwrapped. Below, I discuss the three main affecting factors that reduce cigar longevity.
The temperature is not as important as humidity but it still affects cigar longevity. Ideally, cigars should be stored at a temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit which emulates the typical conditions the tobacco leaves are originally grown in.
Prolonged exposure to temperatures below this and the tobacco leaves inside the cigar can dry out and lose their flavor.
Humidity is by far the most important factor and why a humidor is so important as it effectively controls humidity levels. Cigars should be kept at a humidity of around 70% which gives them enough moisture to retain their flavor.
UV exposure can also be damaging to cigars and this is why you typically see humidors kept in dark areas without direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight exposure for prolonged periods causes UV rays to break down the natural oils within the tobacco leaves. If you have experienced the effects of this, you will know the bitter, unpleasant taste that ensues!
Tips for Storing Cigars Without a Humidor
So, how long do cigars last without a humidor? 2-3 days max! It is possible to store cigars without a humidor though, but only temporarily and I have given some basic tips below that can help keep your cigars fresh.
Use a makeshift humidor
If you want to exercise your DIY skills and go rustic you can make your own humidor! Obviously, the results will never be compared to the real thing, but they can work until you get a proper unit. To make a DIY humidor you need:
- Tupperware container.
- Humidification pouches.
You can get Tupperware from any home store or shopping mall and it should include a lid. First, thoroughly clean your container as plastic can sometimes have a weird chemical smell which could contaminate your stogies.
When cleaned and dry, place your cigars inside the container together with the humidification pouch (these usually contain propylene glycol which helps control humidity) and make sure that the container lid forms an airtight seal.
This is your homemade DIY humidor complete! All you have to do now is check your cigars and periodically rotate them. As stated, this is a stop-gap solution as you won’t have any means to measure the humidity or temperature like you can with a humidor.
Keep your cigars in the wrapper
The worst thing you can do when you get your cigars is immediately take them out of their wrapper unless you intend to smoke them! Cigars have wrappers for a reason and they work as a protective barrier that helps preserve their freshness and slow the aging process.
When you do invest in a humidor you can take the cigars out of their wrapper once they are inside and this can actually create interesting flavors as the different cigars diffuse into each other.
Store in a dark place without direct sunlight
I’ve seen many people simply plonk their cigars on a kitchen counter or in plain sight on a coffee table and it makes me wince! While they may look impressive, as mentioned above, if they get exposed to direct sunlight you are reducing their longevity. Instead, keep them in a dark place away from prying eyes and damaging UV rays!
For the Best Results, a Humidor is a Must-Have Accessory
It’s important to remember that the above tips and methods are only a stop-gap. If you want to keep large quantities of cigars, I can’t recommend a humidor enough as it is the best way to store your cigars and keep their glorious flavors.
If you are only buying one or two cigars to smoke the same day or the next day, you can get away without using a humidor but it’s still crucial to keep them in the wrapper and store them out of direct sunlight until you are ready to light up.
A makeshift DIY humidor can work too, but come on, let’s face it - it’s not as impressive or functional as a quality humidor is it? If you are serious about your cigars and want the best smoking experience, don’t cheap out - get a humidor!