Like many people, I live in a climate where winters can get cold and temperatures drop below zero for several months. Despite the cold, I often find myself vaping while I’m outside (such as when skiing!) and decided to come up with this little list of tips I’ve discovered over the years while vaping cannabis in the winter months. The first thing that you should be aware of is that there are three main types of portable vaporizers, battery powered, butane powered, and flame powered.
The majority of portable vaporizers on the market today are powered by lithium ion batteries, and include some of my favorite vapes including the Ascent, Pax, and Solo. Although they provide good battery life, lithium ion batteries are sensitive to the cold, and cold temperatures can drain your battery quick. In order to prevent this, make sure that you store your batteries (or vape) on your person in a pocket which retains some body heat, and only take it out for use. This can help ensure that you get a long lasting battery even in colder weather.
Butane powered vaporizers such as the Iolite WHISPR don’t suffer from battery drain, but you do need to be careful that the vaporizer isn’t exposed to freezing temperatures for too long while you’re out, as condensation can cause ice buildup which blocks the gas burner. After giving a butane powered vape a few minutes of cooldown time, I recommend storing it near your body as you would with a battery powered vape.
Flame powered vaporizers such as the Vaporgenie Classic and Vaporgenie Glass on the other hand can be stored in the cold with relatively few problems, but they do pose more of a challenge while in use outdoors. They are often less discreet, and subtle changes in wind can make heating up bowls difficult. Also make sure to bring a warm pair of gloves with you while out, as your hands will need to be exposed while you heat your bowls up. No matter the type of vaporizer, always make sure that if you’re planning to take it out and about with you while performing active winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or skating, you have a jacket pocket which is fairly well padded in order to protect your vaporizer from fall damage. Smaller vapes can also be stored in hard sunglasses or ski goggle cases.
Aside from each type of vaporizer needing its own storage conditions, if you have a battery or butane portable, I suggest trying to keep your vape in your sleeve while taking hits. This can help warm up the air entering your vape, producing thicker and more consistent vapor in the cold. I also suggest setting your temperature a little higher than you normally would in order to help maintain a good vapor temperature. For example, in warm weather I’ll vaporize at 205C-210C, whereas in the cold I’ll use 210C-220C depending on how cold it is out.
I also recommend carrying a small cloth with you, especially if it is snowing heavily outside. While using your vape, snow may land on your vaporizer and melt, causing a buildup of water. Make sure to remove any residual water before putting your vaporizer away, and even when it isn’t snowing out condensation can build up due to the large temperature differential between your vape and the winter air.
Following these tips and being aware of how to take care of your portable vape in the winter goes a long way in ensuring that you get maximum performance from your unit.