Anything I am missing? New smoker advice.

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docrameous

Junior Member
May 6, 2019
54
45
Hi All —
Been wanting to try pipe smoking for some time. My uncle used to smoke them and I loved the way the room smelled.
I have never smoked, so I am not sure if I will like actually smoking as much as I liked being around it. So nothing ventured, nothing gained. I am going to go for it!
After watching some videos and reading some articles, I have collected:
- a MM corn cob pipe

- 4 oz of Lane BCA

- a few pipe cleaners

- a cheap tool

- kitchen matches
Reading advice on here and elsewhere, I seem to pick up on
- pack loosely

- smoke slowly

- keep it drier than you think

- don’t stress on relights

- it might take a few bowls to settle in the corn cob - particularly to burn the shank

- have fun and it might take some time to learn what I like
Anything I am missing? Any advice on what to pair with BCA by way of a drink?
TIA

 

acidpox

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2018
357
65
Enjoy the hobby, I'd suggest a zippo pipe lighter or your standard bic if you have trouble with matches. I did when I started and the zippo made my experience quite a bit better.

 

chuckyeageronlsd

New member
Mar 25, 2019
46
0
@acidpox I definitely second the lighter. I have both and end up using whatever is most convenient at the time.
@OP I'm not very versed in blends but I do know BCA, the local B&M calls it mackinaw and it's one of my neighbor's go tos. It's not a personal favorite, but for me I like it with coffee. As far as alcohol I would go in that direction, some coffee with brandy, kahlua, although I could also see it pairing with JD or Southern Comfort.

 

kylef

Member
Oct 17, 2018
174
122
Cape Ann, MA USA
That's one of the cool things about pipe smoking. You can spend $20 like the OP did, and aside from experience, that's all you need to enjoy a pretty high-quality smoke. It's an easy hobby to try out.
The only downside is that if you do like it, it's hard to resist the urge to keep trying different blends. I know I have a pretty small cache compared to a lot on here, but given the rate that I smoke, I figure that right now I have enough tobacco to last me until I'm 116.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,765
1,221
United States
I wouldn't pack to loosely as it will burn fast and hot. Pack your pipe and check the draw before lighting, you want a little resistance.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,695
1,066
You're more than set, so go ahead and dive in. Of course, this is also an endless discussion, so there will always be something else or something new to learn or reconsider, and so on, forever. So here goes ... learn a little about the many and various filter systems and the preferences for many various filters and for not using filters at all. You can pick this up slowly, over time, but you don't want to buy pipes with filter systems you don't want, or no filter when you want one. I think it is the most neglected subject for beginners, but you can pick it up as you go. Just know the subject is there. And second, tamping is often sort of neglected or taken for granted, so be aware of it. You can tamp a little as a final touch after packing a pipe before lighting; after lighting to settle the tobacco a little; before relights to make the leaf even for relight, etc. And finally, for now, building cake. Most do it and enjoy it as part of the pipe experience. A minority like me scoop out ash, then wipe out the pipe with a scratchy paper towel or napkin to keep a thin carbon layer, and retain the size of the chamber, thus never needing a reamer at all. This is the more unusual approach, but it's worked for me and my pipes for decades, just FYI. So there's much more than you cared to read, but take it all under advisement and just enjoy the perpetual learning curve.

 

docrameous

Junior Member
May 6, 2019
54
45
@acidpox Thanks for the advice on coffee. I’ll also pick up a lighter today. I suspect you are right. If I don’t have to worry about the matches, it might be one less thing to think about. :)
@cigrmaster - Sound advice. Will definitely experiment with insuring a bit of resistance on the draw.
@mso489 - thanks for reminding me about tamping. Will also look into filters and cleaning!
Will probably get out on the back porch this weekend to give this all a go and report my results. Thanks everyone!

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
2,819
276
SC Piedmont
Definitely concur with Harris (cigrmaster) on packing BCA. It's a coarse cut, somewhat damp tobacco, & if you pack it too loosely you'll get way too much air & a loose draw, contributing to excess heat. I love the stuff, but it's definitely a mess if not dried some. ;)
As far as ignition, I'm in the butane camp. Some people say if you let a fluid Zippo burn for a couple of seconds after lighting it you won't get the kerosene taste from the fluid, but I've just always preferred butane. You can get a butane insert that fits just about any Zippo for $20 or so from smokingpipes.com . They also have some good low-priced lighters like the Imco Chic4 (also about $20) that are highly reliable, will do you as well as anything else on the planet, *&* has a tamper built in).
Welcome, BTW -- upstate SC here -- how about you?
Bill

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,695
1,066
A note on pipe cleaners: There are standard, tapered, and bristled, and extra long fluffy and bristled made extra long for churchwarden and other long-stemmed pipes. The bristles are nylon so won't tear up the airway. The major brands are inexpensive and good quality. Watch out for cheapie discount cleaners that might be made for crafts more than pipes and can shed into the pipe airway causing more need for cleaning rather than less.

 

daniel7

Senior Member
Sep 11, 2018
305
0
Never buy Jean Claude pipe cleaners, they just fall apart during cleaning, leaving cotton "hairs" inside the pipe. Go for some better brands like Vauen, Blitz or Denicotea.

 

briarbuck

Preferred Member
Nov 24, 2015
752
157
I was going to post earlier, but being "newer" around here I thought I'd let Saltier Dogs chime in first.
Sounds like you are on the right track. Enjoy, it takes a while to get a feel for things.

 

redglow

Preferred Member
Jan 7, 2019
1,637
972
Michigan
Welcome aboard and Good luck! You'll get the hang of it in short order. Just remember not to worry. With experience, you'll go through the motions without even thinking about it. You can always visit the forum if you run into any hang ups or need more info on anything.

 

krizzose

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,131
180
Michigan
This is all great advice. I’ll just add that it will take a while to get your technique down, so expect some bad bowls along the way, so don’t let that concern you. Once you get technique tweaked properly, you can start trying the various blend types to figure out what you like and don’t like. Good luck!

 

bosmer

Member
Jun 27, 2017
100
0
One of the most valuable tools I have used to enjoy my pipe smoking is TIME.

Taking the TIME, Id say about an hour and a half to actually sit down or walk about and enjoy my pipe has been the single most valuable lesson I have learned from smoking the pipe. Using valuable TIME to smoke a pipe has improved my appreciation of the pipe itself, my packing methods, and certainly my smoking cadence which has ultimately unlocked all the wonderful flavors and nuances of the blends that I smoke.

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,572
452
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
Welcome abroad Sir ,You have given Good advice all the way,

Btw,even the undesigned gets tongue burn once in a while, like today, will tell you what was the factors causing this occurrence today,

Tobacco of my choice was the G&H Revor plug, hastily chopped apart not enough dried and smoked uncautiously,I had it coming,I was smoking it fast and tobacco was still moist even I thought it shouldn't be, sometimes something goes always wrong

 

jttnk

Member
Dec 22, 2017
272
355
I'm In my second year of enjoying pipes. I was afraid of English tobaccos

at first, but I think they are much easier to learn with. Try a crossover blend, meaning a blend that has aromatic elements and English elements. I tried and was hooked on English’s with Edward G. Robinson. Dried correctly it changed my understanding of pipe smoking enjoyment. Good luck, keep reading, there are some great people on this forum. Knowledgeable, friendly, occasionally sarcastic, often times funny, and all the time willing to share.

 

docrameous

Junior Member
May 6, 2019
54
45
Smoking Report:
Everyone was out of the house tonight leaving the place to me, the evening was cool and so I decided to give it a go on the back porch. I was a little nervous, but also really looking forward to it. Weird,I did not expect the nervousness, but I’ll be honest it was a bit like a first date! I had to laugh at myself!
Anyhow, the first half of the bowl I had to relight multiple times. I am certain this is because I need to get the hang of packing my pipe. I was struggling to get the feel of how light or tight to pack it. As a result of the poor pack and relights, I probably picked up my tempo of puffing without thinking to keep it lit. I realized I needed to slow down.
So, the second half of the bowl while not perfect, I started to settle down and relax. Relights were less necessary and I began to notice details about the smoke.
Even though it was definitely rough and it was clear I am a noob, it was love at first puff. Especially as I settled, time began to slow and I began to thoroughly enjoy the experience. Some have told me that it is relaxing, but I didn’t believe it until now. It was awesome just sitting there with my thoughts enjoying the cool of the evening in silence with my smoke. A bit mesmerizing. Better than watching a campfire.
Thanks everyone for your help. I am hooked no question about it. My only regret is that I did not try it until now. I look forward to this hobby and in particular weekend smokes when I am home from off of the road. Life is good!