Tobacco for 1 year backpacking trip.

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jacobashcroft

New member
Oct 29, 2015
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Hey there. First, I would like to thank you all for these forums. I started smoking a pipe 6 months ago and the information, discussions, banter, and bullshit in these forums has been invaluable.
I am lwaving around the new year to go on a very long backpacking trip. I will primarily be in SEAsia. If you're not familiar with the region, "luxury" tobacco is exceedingly rare, poorly kept, and exorbitantly expensive. I've seen a Montecristo #2 sell for $100. Prices and availability are not completely inaccessible in Bangkok, but that's primarily for cuban cigars.

This means that (for the most part) whatever I want to smoke between January 1st and January 1st, I need to bring. Cigars have been arranged. Pipe tobacco, not so much.
I'm a new smoker. So far, the only things I don't like are HH Dark Fired Flake, aromatics, and anything with PG in it as it seems to just destroy my sinuses. I really enjoy 10 Russians. I like Potlach. I've enjoyed a little Virginia/Perique blend by HH. I do like complexity and I can be a patient smoker.
My question and my challenge: I'm looking to buy enough tobacco for a ywar. A few different kinds, partly so I can buy in bulk and partly so I don't have to keep up with 20 bags of tobacco (which would be not only logistically a pain, but also look a little odd in customs). So, what's your recommendation for 4 or 5 desert island blends?

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
2
How much do you smoke a day x 365
I'd score a pound of something you know you like, and then a few tins for variety.

 

jacobashcroft

New member
Oct 29, 2015
9
0
I suspect a bowl or two a day is probably going to be the average. Some days conaiderably more, some days none. I will also probably share. I was thinking 2 pounds of bulk and then some tins. However, I really have no real metric for how long that amount will last me.

 

aggravatedfarmer

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2015
865
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P&C has a daughters and Ryan sale now for pound bags. Get two and spare tins. Get some Syrian leaf, English, Kentucky. All the different goodies. Don't forget pipe cleaners!

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,441
1,087
I know from monitoring my cellar that I smoke about 12 pounds a year and would need 72 packs of pipe cleaners, alcohol for cleaning pipes, and at least five pipes. Can you have someone mail you care packages along the way?

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
2
1 pound / 30 days = 0.53 oz / day
That's 15g a day, or 3.3 days per 1.76 ounce tin
At 2-3g / bowl, that's 5-7 bowls a day
Seems about right

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
2
plugs and ropes
Really good suggestion from Mike S. above. Plugs are super-durable and could easily be sealed into packages for each week or month. The thought of having someone mail tobacco ahead is tempting too, but it depends on the postal systems where you'll be.

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
2
How do you feel about backpacking around with 5 lbs of tobacco? Might be an option if you can find a way to seal it.
Another option is to check local supply. Score some of what the people of the area smoke.

 

jacobashcroft

New member
Oct 29, 2015
9
0
I can obviously do my own research, but as long as I have an audience, do plugs and ropes taste different or are they just compressed? If I had a Nightcap plug (fully rubbed) would it taste the same as the ribbon?

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,723
2
If you find a Nightcap plug, please let me know!
As far as I can tell, plugs are whole leaf tobacco compressed into bricks. Cakes (or "kakes") are shredded tobacco compressed into crumbly bricks.
Plugs and ropes do taste slightly different owing to their generally simpler constituent parts, but when cut and rubbed, can be quite flavorful.
I like SG's Brown No. 4 and Happy Brown Bogie quite a bit and would not object to smoking those while hiking around Southeast Asia.

 

jacobashcroft

New member
Oct 29, 2015
9
0
I could realistically do 3lbs if it was packaged right. If I get stopped at customs, it's going to be a problem pretty much no matter what. 5lbs is too mucb.
My research has turned up essentially zero pipe tobacco opportunities in SEAsia. Savinelli has import companies in Bangkok and Jakarta, but that doesn't mean there is any tobacco or that it isn't stupidly expensive.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,441
1,087
Oh, and I am envious as heck of what you're doing. I spent on month on the AT and thought that I was really getting out there. SE Asia sounds like a dream to me. Kudos for doing this. And bring us back pictures of you smoking your pipe in the wilderness, please!

 

uncleblackie

Member
Dec 20, 2014
280
0
If you like Ten Russians, you might consider Pirate Kake. It can be purchased in 1lb. bricks. Variety is nice but if you're living out of a backpack space/weight is important.
Also, don't fool with pipe cleaners and other knick knacks. Just bring a cob or two and be done with it. Trust me. I haven't been out for a year at a time but have done a couple months at a time and cobs can take quite a bit of abuse without the need for cleaning. No need to bring a valuable pipe that can get lost or broken.
Don't forget to check local customs laws regarding how much tobacco you are allowed to bring across the border. You might slip something by but you don't want to have your stash confiscated.

 

jacobashcroft

New member
Oct 29, 2015
9
0
I have abutz choquin gourd calabash, a savinelli opera 320ks, a cob freehand, and a few small cobs amd basket pipes.

 

uncleblackie

Member
Dec 20, 2014
280
0
Are you planning to take all of them? I hope not. What kind of backpack is this? :)
It's not a pipe smoking trip, right? The journey and the experiences are the emphasis. When you get home you'll appreciate your pipes and the variety of tobaccos more for having limited your options/kept it simple.
I traveled Europe/UK for 8 weeks with two pairs of socks, two pairs of underwear, two shirts, two pairs of pants, a jacket and a cob, all in a lightweight backpack. Would do it again.

 
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