How or Why Did You Start Smoking a Pipe?

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Preferred Member
May 6, 2016
West Texas
Weather its as simple as "I grew up watching my grandpa smoking a pipe" or the long detailed stories, members speak up.
Me? a friend gave me 2 pipes and got me started, The long version:
In late 2001 and 2002 I was assigned to 3rd Infantry Brigade (RAKKASANS) 101st ABN DIV deployed to Afghanistan, after the initial hostilities had calmed and base camps were established a friend of mine would routinely sit outside the TOC and smoke his pipe, I would sit and talk with him about whatever and drink coffee. One evening as we sat he handed me a box and said “the mail came through” I opened it to find 2 Cob Pipes, (MM Country Gentlemen, 1 straight and 1 bent) a pouch of Captain Black White Label and a pouch of Half and Half, he explained that I seemed interested in his pipe and asked his wife to send some stuff to “get me started”. So our nightly ritual consisted of pipe smoking 101, he became my mentor and our last 4 months more bearable. I learned a lot about pipe smoking basics, tobacco, blends, cuts and so on. After we returned to Ft. Campbell I continued smoking pipes and ventured to other pipes and blends and continued to enjoy pipe smoking.
As fate would have it a short time later in early 2003 we found ourselves in Kuwait awaiting the Invasion of Iraq, siting in base camp with my friend caring on our ritual with a few new additional members of our group. Over time we found ourselves in Baghdad, Mosul, on to Tal-Afar and places unknown on the Syrian border, we got together whenever we could until we all came home.
After my Army days and I had moved on, I was going through my old stuff and found the Straight Country Gentleman and an open pouch of Half and Half and it took me back to my early days, turns out I prefer bent pipes and didn’t care for Half and Half, but I realized that is the only tobacco I smoked in that straight cob that my friend gave me, so I loaded it up, enjoyed a smoke and looked up some old contacts, that is when I learned of the passing of my friend. That pipe and pouch was placed on the shelf with some other memorabilia from my Army days, I smoke Half and Half in that straight cob on the anniversary of my friends death and the anniversary of the presentation of that gift that started my pipe smoking, the other days they sit in honor on that shelf.
In my years I have made friends and lost too many, I realize how a simple gesture could have an impact on a life, I believe; it’s the little things that count the most, in Karma, and paying it forward. Now it’s time to have a bowl of Half and Half.
Rest In Peace Gordon (March 1965-July 2007)



Preferred Member
Jul 12, 2013
Thanks for sharing that with us Pagan, I understand your feelings and will fill a bowl too in your friends memory.
A friend introduced me to pipes back in 01 I think it was, and I purchased my first pipe shortly afterwards. Since then I have tried to learn as much as I can and stared crafting them too.
I take about five or six with me on deployments. The crew I was flying with even bought some pipes and wanted me to show them how to get started, so we would spend the evenings filling our bowls and smoking price Albert.



May 15, 2016
Pagan: Thank you for sharing. Here's a bowl to your friend.
"For all those who've been down range, to us, and those like us -- damn few." - Act of Valor
I've never been down range, but many of my friends have; and no man has greater respect for those who have than me.
I was always interested in pipes, even from a young age. Though, I don't really know what it was, something subconsciously drew me to them. I picked up a simple hardwood from a cigar shop in 2013, which I smoked for a little less than a month. My fiance (now my wife) carefully communicated that she prefer I didn't smoke. So I quit.

After joining the Coast Guard, everyone has some vise or another, and I found myself smoking cigs, or spitting dip, more and more. I don't care for cigs, or dip, and my wife cares for them less. So I sought out a way I could relax in the afternoons that would agree with both of us. Along came the pipe. She conceded. And here I am!



Apr 3, 2015
Great story Pagan! I started because I was a physics student and, well, it seemed to fit. I'd seen my grandfather's pipes and heard stories, but only knew him "at the end" without smoking.
I smoked occasionally in the Air Force. I' ve since fired up more often, and introduced my son and his friend. The latter is now a Nation Guardsman and deployed. Sharing time for a pipe creates bonds and conversation.



Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
I had an uncle who smoked and a friend whose Dad smoked. I was always enamored with it. In '89 I was walking past a Tinder Box. Went inside and that was all she wrote, except for a brief stint with cigars.



Senior Member
Apr 26, 2016
I had an uncle who smoked a pipe which intrigued me somewhat, but really, for me, when I was finally a teen, had just started experimenting with cigarettes since I was "grown up" now, and happened into a pipe and cigar shop one day. I tried some cigars and immediate saw the pipes on the walls as something really beautiful and cool--- there was obviously a lot going on there, another world that I knew nothing about, so I bought three, a Peterson, a Meerschaum and a Preben Holmes Ben Wade and some MacBarens tobacco. I gave up the cigs after about a year or two as really nasty, will still smoke a cigar once in a while when the mood strikes but it is so much trouble taking proper care of them in a humidor, but I still have one of those three original pipes and haven't looked back since. The pipe is the thing.



Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
I was a cigar smoker when I started college. In those days you could smoke in class (not lecture halls, just small classrooms). I caught major flak, mainly from the girls. I had no intention of taking up cigarettes, but they all said how they loved the smell of a pipe. So I stopped at a B&M just off campus, intending to get some typical-smelling pipe tobacco (aka, aromatic). Whiffing over the house blends in large apothecary jars I happened on one that almost made me retch. I asked the owner what it was and he said "It's called an English blend, it contains Latakia". I asked him if it smelled as bad lit, and he replied, "Worse, but it tastes surprisingly good to the smoker". That was all I needed to hear. Walked out with a baggie of the foul stuff and a grin on my face contemplating the reaction of those girls in class. They almost turned green. It was epic.



Junior Member
Jul 6, 2016
I watched my Grand dad with a pipe in his mouth all the time he was awake, burning or not burning I always like the smell ,He died when I was 7 years old in 1959 and I started smoking a pipe off and on in the early 70,s ,I guess it's in my blood



Mar 21, 2016
My Grandad had this awesome pipe collection which I believe is now in the hands of a none smoking family member and as a child I used to admire the different pipes and enjoy the smell of his pipes. Although I must admit that I have never seen him smoking a pipe he was a chain cigarette smoker. Now my uncle used to smoke a pipe and we used to spend our holidays with him in the country, so for me the smell of pipe smoke always brought a nostalgic experience for me.
Now late last year I was walking in a carpark of a mall and this old gentlemen walking behind me smoked a pipe, I turned to him stared him in the eye and I had to admit that I probably intimidated him (Gym rat here) and told him that that is one of the best smelling aromas I have ever smelled, he just smiled and jokingly laughed and said thank you. That is when I decided to make a point of getting a pipe.



Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
Coeds! The pipe smoking profs appeared to be getting more than their fair share.



Senior Member
Jul 29, 2012
I was a non-smoker for 40+ years. Wife was coming home from a business trip in the USA and saw a Tobacconist at the airport. She stopped in and purchased me a Savinelli pipe and some cherry flavoured tobacco for Christmas on a whim. I never said or thought about pipe smoking until I got that pipe. Now I have about 30 pipes and a growing stash of pipe tobacco.



Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2013
My Grandda smoked a pipe and I bought him a small meer for Christmas one year. After he passed my Nana gave me the pipe back to remember him. One day on a whim I bought some Middleton Cherry and tried smoking the tiny meer..... Burnt the hell out of my tongue something fierce but never gave up on it, trying again every few months. Now 50 pipes later I have learned that pipe smoking isn't cigarette smoking, I prefer virginias over aros, and that I will never smoke cherry tobacco again.
That little meer is still going strong and is great for rope tobacco and every time I light it up I think of Grandda puffing on his pipe.



Junior Member
Nov 2, 2011
I'm not really sure who turned me on to pipe smoking. As my origin story posted on here some four years ago would have it ("Why I Smoke") I happened to be in a tobacconist in Old Town San Diego (Racine and Laramie for those familiar) and wandered into the pipe section from looking at cigars. I got a basket pipe (a straight acorn with a natural matte finish), some house blend semi-aromatic, and then took it with me on deployment. Nowhere in there does it mention other inspiration, but I have foggy memory of discussing pipe smoking with a friend.
As my origin story also mentions, my early pipe smoking filled a void in my life left when I couldn't pursue my passionate hobby of beer brewing.



Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2013
New York
Everyone in my family smoked a pipe with the exception of the women! Given that the average date of birth for most of my Uncles when I was growing up was between 1895-1901 my taste in tobacco and pipes is just an extension of what they smoked all day long.



Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2016
Well, After my father passed away, I found a box with some of his stuff.. among them were two pipes A Falcon extra straight with an apple bowl and a chimney Pierre Morel.. I was fascinated by both and thought of keeping them as a memoir. A couple of months later, I started digging online on how to clean pipes, and then went to a local tobacconist and got the blend he used to smoke "Captain Black Cherry" and gave it a try.. and I instantly fell in love with baccy.. I started getting more baccy and trying it out.. Then I knew I was hooked.. And since,I have bought three more Falcon bowls and 4 more pipes..And a considerable amount of baccy.. Around 30 tins and 10 pouches



Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2012
In 1956 I found an old pipe and some dried tobacco in a large family closet. Assuming it was my father's and knowing he was a cigarette smoker I took ownership. I was well below the legal smoking age but nobody cared back then. I had been buying and smoking cigarillos for two years. It was a terrible smoke, but some fresh Edgeworth and a new Stanwell was a big improvement. Then after trying Amphora I switched to Balkan Sobranie, which I smoked for about 30 years.



New member
Jul 17, 2016
Well I always enjoyed smoking. I found it to be a meditative ritual that allowed me to get lost in my thoughts. I just dident like the addictive side of smoking cigs. Loved the flavor though.
One day I stumbled upon Pipe Smoking on youtube. Looked unique and cool. So I dug a little further. I found the StuffandThings channel and watched Bradleys guide to pipe smoking. I learned about how pipe smoking was a deep meditative ritual. Designed to relax and reflect upon life. Pipe smoking sounded perfect for me. It combined my love of thinking and reflecting about life and philosophy. With my love of the occasional smoke. Pipe smoking is all about sitting and thinking and enjoying a fine smoke.
I also enjoyed the connection I could get from pipe smoking. Most of the philosophers and such I look up to smoke a pipe. And with smoking a pipe I felt a sort of connection to them. I felt like there was a thing I could relate to them with. I felt like I was part of a tradition. A tradition carried out by people like me. People who loved philosophy, art, literature ect.
But I couldn't buy my first pipe yet. At that time I was under 18. So I just watched the youtube pipe community's videos. Fell in love with Macthes 860 videos. I really enjoyed how when he smoked he went somewhere deep in his mind. Somewhere thoughtful. He was really able to think and relax and explore his mind while smoking I felt. And this confirmed even further pipe smoking was for me.
So when I turned 18 I bought a pipe. Never looked back since. I only smoke occasionally though. Just when I feel like relaxing and reflecting and thinking. But the taste of tobacco is a big part of it too. I really love exploring new blends. And I love learning more about the hobby. Different types of blends. Aging. Just general pipe smoking stuff. Learning is fun to me. As is the ritualistic side of pipe smoking.
Pipe Smoking is just "me". Always will be.
And I guess thats how I got into it. Grateful I did.