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My three rules of pipe smoking

(38 posts)
  • Started 1 week ago by thomasmartin
  • Latest reply from winton
  1. thomasmartin

    thomasmartin

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    Here are my three simple rules, that assure me a pleasant pipe smoke:
    1. Smoke dryer than you think
    2. Pack lighter than you think
    3. Puff less than you think
    Nothing new and groundbreaking. I just wanted to share because I did all of them wrong first and that gave me plenty of bad smoking experience.

    Thomas
    Posted 1 week ago #
  2. workman

    workman

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    The three commandments

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  3. elbert

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    Sounds to me like it's all that 'thinking' gettin' ya in trouble!

    "An thou hast them, smoketh them!" -An Old Philosopher
    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. hawky454

    hawky454

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    3 too many rules for me.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. didimauw

    didimauw

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    Yup it wasn't until I figured those rules or that I truly figured it out. Game changing.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. dcon

    dcon

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    thomas is offering generally accepted good advice. However, I concur with hawky454. One of the attributes of many pipe smokers is their abhorrence of “rules”.

    Duane
    (Not Embers)
    Posted 1 week ago #
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    justanotherdude

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    Guidelines? I'm still trying to figure out just what #1 and #2 actually feel like.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Yep. That about sums it up if you want to get the best your tobacco can offer you.

    Tobacco, not being sentient, isn't going to care whether you agree or not, or your theories about why you're right, and everybody else is wrong.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. paulie66scandinavian

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    Just finished a bowl with slightly moist vaper tobacco,yet packing left something to be desired, I knew this all alone how this would end and as a result, I got a light tongue burn for the first time in months,, fricking bright virgins

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I got a light tongue burn for the first time in months,, fricking bright virgins

    Paul, you gotta be careful with those bright virgins.

    Certain varietals affect some smokers. Bright Virginias used to sting like my mouth was splashed with battery acid. A lot of smokers can't smoke red Virginia. Fortunately for me, I no longer seem to have any issues with any Virginias. Try drying that blend a bit more, fix the pack, and hopefully you won't experience the tongue bite.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. sittingbear

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    Good suggestions, thank you! I am always tempted to over-pack my pipe because I want more more more! However, I find that if I pack a little less and a little lighter, the experience is much more pleasant.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. raevans

    raevans

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    My three rules have always been....
    1) Put the tobacco in the pipe
    2) Light the tobacco
    3) Smoke the tobacco
    Pretty simple, but has always worked for me...

    Posted 1 week ago #
  13. seldom

    seldom

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    What raevans typed.

    Also what Utah Phillips had to say: "I’m an anarchist. I don’t make rules for other people. I make rules for myself."

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 1 week ago #
  14. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    Only the bright ones remain virgins past high school.

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. chasingembers

    Embers

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    1) Put the tobacco in the pipe
    2) Light the tobacco
    3) Smoke the tobacco

    Yep

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. didimauw

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    Yes, but for guys who don't understand, or are new, and followed the pack light smoke rule, would be something like this.

    1.) Pack bowl
    2.) Light bowl
    3.) Light bowl
    4.) Light bowl
    5.) Burn tongue
    6.) Dump out tobacco
    7.) Pack bowl
    8.) Etc. Etc.

    So "guidelines" are great to the new ones.

    Rules don't exist. Lol

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    sandiegosam

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    I generally agree with the original three from thomasmartin... however, packing light is definitely subjective. Personally, I pack until I feel just the right resistance on the draw.

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    molach95

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    I got a friend of mine that smokes cigarettes into smoking a pipe to take the strain off his lungs a bit. I gave him that exact advice, though admittedly I don't follow it myself. My pipe right now is so hot I can't touch it and I'm puffing away but I don't really care

    Posted 1 week ago #
  19. hawky454

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    Yes, but for guys who don't understand, or are new, and followed the pack light smoke rule, would be something like this.

    1.) Pack bowl
    2.) Light bowl
    3.) Light bowl
    4.) Light bowl
    5.) Burn tongue
    6.) Dump out tobacco
    7.) Pack bowl
    8.) Etc. Etc.

    So "guidelines" are great to the new ones.

    Rules don't exist. Lol

    Hehe... this is true but that is how we done did learnt how to properly smoke a pipe.

    Trying, then failing, then trying again but learning from your past mistakes/failures is a lesson you can’t learn from no book reading.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  20. ashdigger

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    I don't even have three rules for life. How the hell am I supposed to have three rules for smoking a pipe.

    BTW, here are my TWO rules for life. 1- Fuck with me and I'm absolutely going to fuck with you. 2- Treat EVERYONE with dignity and respect, until they don't respect your dignity.

    simple, easy and effective.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 week ago #
  21. augiebd

    augiebd

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    I think there is good advice on a few fronts here. When I first started smoking a pipe I tried to figure out he “rules” and tended to overthink things a bit or a lot. Depended on the day and number of relights or amount of tongue burn. I gave up on trying to get everything just right and found things went better, so keeping it simple, was advice that helped me. The biggest problem I had and still suffer from at times is packing too tight, especially the bottom half of the bowl. I do find that if I pack too tight even sipping and dry tobacco won’t save me from relights and a hot smoke.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  22. chilllucky

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    Pack it. Light it. Shut up.

    Also from Utah Phillips: "that's the funny things about laws, judge. Good people don't need 'em and bad people'll just break 'em anyways."

    Posted 1 week ago #
  23. jpmcwjr

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    The biggest problem I had and still suffer from at times is packing too tight, especially the bottom half of the bowl. I do find that if I pack too tight even sipping and dry tobacco won’t save me from relights and a hot smoke.

    If your tobacco is dry enough, you really have to try to pack it too tightly. Nor will you need "techniques".

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 week ago #
  24. hawky454

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    I like ashdigger’s rules!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  25. danimalia

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    One of the great human traditions is the passing on of knowledge to subsequent generations. I suspect we've all benefited from this type of thing, and were thus spared from learning some lessons the hard way. And of course, we're all free to disregard that advice at our pleasure or risk of peril.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  26. shayde

    shayde

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    My 3 rules:

    1. Always look cool.
    2. Don’t get caught by the wife.
    3. In the event you get caught by the wife refer back to rule #1.

    Unfortunately my wife isn’t the most appreciating of my passion for pipes and my insatiable addiction to vitamin N.

    "I have some friends, some honest friends, and honest friends are few; My pipe of briar, my open fire, A book that's not too new." -Robert W. Service
    Posted 1 week ago #
  27. tobefrank

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    One thing that helped me a lot as a beginner was the idea that the draw should feel like drinking through a straw.

    This generally results in a good pack for me, but I have also noticed that it helps to pack lighter when smoking flakes that may expand a bit after lighting.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  28. haparnold

    Hap

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    My philosophy of pipe smoking is similar to my philosophy when rock climbing:

    1. Have Fun
    2. Look Cool
    3. Safety Third

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 6 days ago #
  29. railman

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    Of all the how-to videos on YouTube, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’ve never really seen one that discusses drying down tobacco before trying to smoke it. Most go directly from “choosing a tobacco” right to “packing and lighting” skipping right over the step of drying the tobacco. I’d think video would be a great way to demonstrate the “pinch test.”

    I did some experiments with a hygrometer and was quite surprised how dry tobacco can feel and yet still be at 65% RH. Some people can smoke fairly wet but I don’t have the tongue to tolerate it and following rule #1 has greatly improved my experience.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  30. husky

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    Why is tobacco so moist when you buy it? Is it to allow the flavours to marry?
    Depending on where you are and the season, indoor relative humidity is around 40-50%
    so tobacco left to air dry will not get any dryer.
    I should be able to just leave the tin open? What am i missing?

    Posted 6 days ago #
  31. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    I'm the same as hawky454 and thereby will follow to Ashdigger's advice

    Posted 6 days ago #
  32. jpmcwjr

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    Gents-

    You've hit the nail on the head. Tobacco is tinned and shipped moist so no one can complain it's too dried out when they get it. And water is cheaper than tobacco. Those are the cynical reasons. Perhaps the tobaccos marry a bit in the tin. In the old days "tins" weren't as well sealed as they are today. Materials are better. Some of the reason is just that's the way it's always been done.

    So, what to do? You're right that feel alone is hit and miss, unless you're smoking just one or two blends and so know what the right moisture is by feel. My house is ca. 50-60% RH, so leaving a tin open for some time works for me. I use small hygrometers to dry down a jar of tobacco to about 65% RH. Below 55% I get concerned. Once it hits 60%, I close the mason jar and know that I have a bunch of a blend ready to go. Some in bail tops, some in regular mason style jars. (Ball and Kerr to be exact, as well as Mason brand).

    These hygrometers are under five bucks and can be had on Amazon. I can't recommend them highly enough for those who are trying new blends, or have a large rotation of tobaccos.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  33. railman

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    Jpmcwjr, great advice on the hygrometer. It’s a more scientific method of testing moisture, and done more easily than trying to determine moisture by weight.

    Many have probably seen this article by G. L. Pease about moisture but if not it’s an interesting read. At the end in the notes he compares RH to MBW.
    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/out-of-the-ashes/dust-in-the-wind-a-primer-on-tobacco-moisture/

    Posted 6 days ago #
  34. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Why is tobacco so moist when you buy it? Is it to allow the flavours to marry?

    Partly it's to promote marrying of the flavors of the component tobaccos. Partly it's to help against the tobacco drying out in the tin before the tin is opened. Keep in mind that few tins are actually sealed 100%. They're mostly leaking very slowly from the moment they're sealed. Cutter tops were great for long term storage, seven years and beyond. Square and rectangular tins are not.

    Depending on where you are and the season, indoor relative humidity is around 40-50% so tobacco left to air dry will not get any dryer.

    That can be an issue in many locations. If you have a desk lamp with a flexible neck you can place a dish with tobacco near the light source to gently evaporate the moisture. Years ago there were tobacco warming plates one could buy for just such a purpose. And you can zap it in your microwave, though I personally don't like the effect superheating the tobacco has on it's flavor.

    I should be able to just leave the tin open? What am i missing?

    I don't see that you're missing anything, but leaving a tin open in a highly humid area isn't going to help it dry. I live in a dry climate, so opening a tin and letting it dry works quite well for me as long as I remember to stir the tobacco in the tin every 30 to 60 minutes or so to redistribute the drier leaf with the moister. You can also leave the top slightly ajar, which will slow the drying process, but help mitigate against the top level of tobacco drying out too much before the rest of the tin dries down.

    In any case, it all depends on what you want your smoking experience to be. Indoor smokers have an easier time of it because they're sitting in a cloud of their smoke that they can smell, so the level of technique doesn't have to be all that high. Outdoor only smokers need to have a higher level of skill if they're going to taste what the blend has to offer. That's when moisture levels become more critical.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  35. yuda

    yuda

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    My rules are more for everyone else that isn't a pipe smoker.
    1. Don't bother me.
    2. Stop asking if that's really tobacco in my pipe.
    3. Ask nicely and I may let you have a few puffs.
    4. Don't bother me.

    Posted 5 days ago #
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    ukbob

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    I’ve only got one enjoy.

    Posted 5 days ago #
  37. odobenus

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    A few of my (guidelines):
    1. Smoke in the house only if wife is out of town for at least 3 days.
    2. Smoke only when I've got the time to enjoy it (alternately: make the time).
    3. Smoke only my favorites.

    Non Serviam
    Posted 5 days ago #
  38. winton

    winton

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    Everyone is missing the most important rule!

    DON'T SET YOUR BEARD ON FIRE!!!

    Posted 5 days ago #

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