How to get high outside during a cold Canadian winter

Published Jan 29, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / AleksandrYu

It’s getting oh so cold outside, which means that many of us are freezing our toes off each time we want to get stoned. This is a reality that most Canadians understand as the frigid temperatures and high humidity is a combination for trouble, and we’re shifting towards a better awareness of the harms of second and third-hand smoke. So many of us have been doing this whole song and dance to smoke outdoors for quite a while.

It sucks, and it’s uncomfortable, but there are a few things that you can do to make things a little bit more pleasant during this less than welcoming time of year. Of course, how far you go to winterize your sessions is entirely up to you, but for the most part, tackling this challenge prepared through a little bit of extra planning is the key to staying warm this winter. There are many benefits to gearing up for this long before you’re ready to take a hit, and they’re all about you.

The benefit of pre-planning

When you plan ahead, it won’t take long to figure out how to get high while staying as warm and comfortable as possible. If you do it right, your fingers won’t go numb, your toes won’t hurt, and you’ll barely notice the cold because you’ll be prepared to dive in and out fast enough to avoid all of that and more. Instead of dreading it, embrace the challenge and make it yours.

What to do

Learning how to smoke weed in the winter comfortably is no easy feat, especially for those who are used to a far warmer climate and a simpler, less chilly process, but it’s entirely possible. You will, however, need to adapt a few useful tips and tricks to suit your daily routine.

1. Invest in warm, fitting, and comfortable winter gear

One of the first rules you need to know about having a session outside is that you’ll need the appropriate gear to do so, and that includes warm winterized outer clothing. You’ll want to keep everything from a simple toque to a warm coat, boots that are easy to put on, and even gloves handy and accessible at all times, and ensure that you take a few moments to put them on. Fingerless gloves and close-fitting options are most compatible with smoking and of course, fire retarded materials certainly don’t hurt either.

2. Choose the most effective method of delivery

It’s cold and the clock is ticking, so what you need is something that’s going to speed up the whole experience as much as possible. You might prefer some good old-fashioned dabs, but they might not be the best choice in the freezing temperatures. That big fancy bong that you love to lug around might get attention, but it’ll also be much harder to use and hold onto out in the cold. Often the simplest options like joints, pipes, or vaporizers are the fastest way to get this job done, making them some of the best choices.

3. Pre-prepare the herb

Efficiency will go a long way in helping you to enjoy this crisp outdoor experience as much as possible, and one way to cut down on the amount of time you’ll need to spend outside is to pre-prepare your cannabis for consumption before you head into the great outdoors. Grinders and dab tools get hard to use when the temperatures drop, so grind your herb, roll your joints, and pack your bowls before you get outside to save time and frustration.

4. Stay high for as long as possible

Another angle you could look at is the strength of the buzz that you’re after because if you can stay high longer, then you won’t need to trek outside as frequently, and that’s a good thing if you want to stay warm. Though you may be accustomed to absentminded puffing throughout the day, hitting a whole joint or jazzing things up with a few dabs of a potent concentrate might help to put off the intense cravings to keep going out. Supplementing with edibles might also be a viable solution for some, just to assist in getting you through the coldest parts of winter.

5. Seek shelter whenever possible

This might sound like a ridiculous suggestion as you wouldn’t be looking for or interested in ways to speed up the process if you had a nice cushy heated shed or something to get high in, but it’s something that many don’t think of and it can make a world of difference. You might not have heaters, walls, or even a roof to keep you cozy, but if you’re heading into your backyard, there will be multiple sides to the building. On windy days, shift spots to avoid the worst of it, and the same goes for more intense UV rays which can be blinding in the winter. Just a few feet could make you so much more comfortable.

Avoid or reduce trips out in the cold with smoke-free alternatives

We go outside to get stoned because it keeps the smell and the smoke away from those who might not want to be exposed to that. It’s a move of respect for the health of those we love and a great thing to do, but in some cases, it could be avoided altogether, at least for the length of winter with the assistance of smoke-free cannabis products like:

  • Edibles
  • Inhalers
  • Patches
  • Distillate
  • Oil

These options aren’t going to take away the urge to smoke as the act is habitual, but if you’re an infrequent toker, you might be ok with making the switch for a portion of the year, a move that could keep you where it’s warm all winter long. When it comes time to consider how to best deal with the cold, for some, all bets should be on the table, because getting high is something that was meant to be soothing and enjoyable, not endured or in some cases, even dreaded.

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