Skip to comments.Prepper question - Storing tobacco
Posted on 06/22/2012 7:31:14 PM PDT by djf
One of the local smoke shops has recently started selling bulk pipe tobacco in large plastic bags. Bu "bulk" I mean 5 pound bags, which amounts to about a cubic foot.
Being a smoker for too long (I know! I know!) and being somewhat into the prepper/survivalist mentality, I bought one.
My question is about what I can do to keep it at the proper humidity. Thinking about transferring it to large airtight plastic containers and putting in like a moist paper towel inside a plastic sandwich bag, that sort of thing.
Also, does anyone know if tobacco is light-sensitive?
Ideas and suggestions would be appreciated, especially personal experience, like folks who store cigars, etc.
Airtight glass jars are recommended for anything longer than a couple of months.
Of course, any good prepper would also consider this.
I have doubts about long term storage of tobacco. Seeds are cheap. Or just buy tobacco leaves every three years and store them the best you can. They have the advantage of not being taxed as a finished product.
Roll it all into cigars. Put them into a cedar box, and keep them at 70/70. ...and that’s all I know.
I read some pipe smoker boards where they store the tobacco in canning jars to age it. They had a good seal and kept it in a cool dark location.
My legal mind altering drug of choice is coffee and my SHTF plan is to be content to chew a few stale whole beans in the AM.
Bear in mind, of course, that the day will come when the last shred is gone.
There's a plan.. that's a plan.
Even if you don’t smoke, tobacco could prove useful for barter. I stock extra toilet paper for barter and hope I never have to use it for that. If not, I’ve got a lifetime supply :)
Glass jars would be costly because of the money involved, the weight, and the number I would need to store it all.
I already filled one plastic container (abt 1 1/2 gallons) and am through about a third of the bag, so we’re talking some serious volume.
After the apocalypse?
A pack of smokes will cost you a gallon of gas!
If the container is airtight, it will retain existing moisture and not dry out. Adding moisture would likely induce rot, especially if you used unsterile water. I think a good container would be glass canning jars with new lids.
A pack of smokes already costs about 2.5 gallons. They will be more expensive than that.
Nicotine is also a powerful, powerful insecticide. Soak it in water, then strain it.
That water will kill just about any bug there is!
You are probably right. Especially, given the stress of a SHTF scenario, smokes would be an ultra-premium item!
But gas supplies would dwindle rapidly (think Road Warrior) so it would depend on supply and demand, I guess.
In general, I think post-SHTF, driving anywhere might be a very dangerous proposition.
Glass works well but can break, if that’s an issue for your situation.
If you want transportability/ruggedness, plastic is ok.
For temp, 70 F.
For humidity, the “always works” gauge, your experienced hands will never fail.
To calibrate your hands, make a point of noticing the feel prior to smoking, and remember how well it smoked in terms of smoking damp (swells, tight draw) all the way to smoking dry (burns too hot, too fast). Way too dry will crack in your hands as you handle it. Just right burns cool and even.
IMHO, yes, tobacco is a high value commodity in both good and bad times.
Dry tobacco can be gradually brought back to the right humidity over 1-3 weeks. (Dry cigars must be introduced to humidity gradually or the wrapper will crack, i.e., it will break up in slow motion.
Tobacco lasts forever if not damaged.
You can tell that we are far removed from early America, when tobacco was commonly known to be a fine substitute for money.
Do you know is it illegal to import tobacco? I one time researched trying to get some real Turkish tobacco without success.
The best stuff I’ve found so far is pretty pricey, I LUV the Drum Halfzware Shag.
Cigar fans store 100% tobacco for months or years with do-it-yourself projects:
Cigar shops do sell products to humidify the box or bag or whatever you’re using if need be (if the tobacco starts to dry out). Some of them look like tubes of gel. I sometimes use these in my cigar humidifier. My guess is that if you keep it air tight you’ll be fine. Keep it in a dark cool place.
Get a mason jar or other clear air tight container. Get a good hygrometer to check humidity, obviously not battery powered. And lastly, get some treated humidor pads and some desiccant.
Place tobacco and hygrometer in the container at room temperature. Wait one day and check. Place desiccant or humidor pad inside. Check once a day until humidity is at proper level. Remove pad or desiccant and seal container. Check to make sure the humidity stays stable every few days. Then just keep the jar at a stable room temperature. It should last at least 10 years.
Proper humidity for short term storage of tobacco you want to smoke is 60-70%. For long term, around 12-17%. You should moisten stored tobacco with humidor pads before smoking.
I like to hear from people who’ve done this kind of thing before.
Just like any other activity. The point of driving would be to put some distance between you and the people who want your stuff. Perhaps you can even cross the border with Canada.
If right now 50% of the population want your money (and get it,) you can expect that number to rise sharply after the SHTF. In absence of law enforcement (or laws,) living among people would be scarier than petting grizzlies in Alaska. The solution to that is in forming communities of like-minded people, with their own laws and the sheriff and the mutual defense force. But you may need to get there on your own. It would be very bad for your health to remain in or close to any city with a large percentage of criminals, whoever they are. Those guys have no option left to them except to rob you and everyone else of everything you have. They can't produce anything; they only can take what other people produced.