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Tobacco for 1 year backpacking trip.

(48 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by jacobashcroft
  • Latest reply from deathmetal
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    jacobashcroft

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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?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    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.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. aggravatedfarmer

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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!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. deathmetal

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    2-3g / bowl x 2 x 365 = 1460 - 2190g = 3.2 - 4.8 lbs

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    Hahaha! Five pounds is a shit ton of tobacco to carry around.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. mikestanley

    mikestanley

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    I would consider plugs and ropes from Gawith&Hoggarth for convenience and durability.

    Mike S.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. cosmicfolklore

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    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?

    Michael
    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    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

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. deathmetal

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    Unfortunately I have to conaider the postal systems basically useless for a number of reasons.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    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?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. cosmicfolklore

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    Why the Hell do we NOT have Nightcap plug?!

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. cosmicfolklore

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    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!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. uncleblackie

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    I have abutz choquin gourd calabash, a savinelli opera 320ks, a cob freehand, and a few small cobs amd basket pipes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. uncleblackie

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    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.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. uncleblackie

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    Don't forget to bring a pillow. You never know where you'll have to sleep.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jacobashcroft

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    The plan is to travel for a bit and then settle down somewher, ideally for good. I've got a decent amount of backpacking under my belt and have at least a general grasp on not overpacking. I'm basically taking a tablet, a few pairs of good shoes, and my pipe stuff. Everything else I need, I'll get there!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. peckinpahhombre

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    Can't you just hire a sherpa to follow you around and carry that shit?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. uncleblackie

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    Well good luck to you.

    Seriously, check out Pirate Kake.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. fmgee

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    The key thing you need to look at is the local laws for importing tobacco. If you travel to Australia with 2 pounds of pipe tobacco you are going to pay a shed load of cash to keep it! They let you in with 50g without duty. If you take 56g (or 2 ounces) you have to pay duty on the whole lot and duty is over $500 a kg! Most countries might be easier but you might want to know before trying.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. deathmetal

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    If you're going to stay, just bring tobacco seeds and a tin of Nightcap.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. sittingbear

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    Have you thought about the weight of your pipes? You might want to consider something very light and durable, like cobs, or something you can smoke different blends in without it being ghosted too badly, like a meerschaum, so you can take fewer pipes and cut down on weight that way.

    As far as desert blends go, I would suggest some of Stokkebye's bulk blends, such as Luxury Navy Flake (VaPer), English Oriental Supreme (oriental heavy English), and especially Cube Cut (VaBur). If I had these three blends it would cover most of my bases. Good luck, and happy travels! I'm very envious.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. fnord

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    Jacob:

    I've done a bit of backpacking and carrying a five lb. wad of Pirate Kake, while tempting, isn't smart. You've got to arrange some cache points for such a long back country - third world trip. I'm also a long-time Colin Fletcher devotee and a 40-45 lb. pack is going to be your limit.

    If you're an extremist/minimalist then enjoy that 20 lb. backpack, sleeping wet and whatever tobacco and local beer the village chief pushes in your direction. Just know that the fermented beverage offered to you started that voyage in somebody else's mouth.

    Take a couple of cobs, hoss, and leave those briars at home.

    In the meantime, tug your forelock, grab a knee and ask for The Old Cajun's blessings. He spent his early days in Laos way back when the U.S. couldn't say it was there during that recent dust-up in French Indochina. And, IIRC, Bradley was smoking Dr. Grabows back in those days but his taste in briar has certainly improved.

    Good luck to you, pal.

    Fnord

    It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says - like dumb - I'm smart and I want respect!
    Fredo Corleone
    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. sajgre

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    You might smoke a lot less than now, I know that I didn't enjoy pipe in Thailand a lot, simply to humid and hot when I was there. Other than that, amazing place to travel

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    I'd suggest a few pounds of Mixture 79. If you get lost you can start dropping hunks of it on the ground to help find your way back.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  31. bonehed

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    A falcon with a bowl or two might be a good option.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    bigpond

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    Take whatever you think will taste best sopping wet and with a nice bit of mold. If you're serious, do with your tobacco what you'll do with everything else, buy it in town or have someone mail it for pick up when you're in some place central.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  33. fitzy

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    Who/What are you on the run from?

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 3 years ago #
  34. jkrug

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    I don't know your tastes but I'd be looking for good plugs and kakes. They don't take up a lot of space and are durable as far as riding in your backpack goes Remove them from the tin and put them in sturdy plastic bags (or vacuum seal them) and you could tuck a plug or two into the nooks and crannies in your pack.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  35. okiescout

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    As mentioned above there is a lot going on here. All things considered I would rack my pipes and make sure to had a good camera.
    This sounds like a once in a lifetime experience.

    "Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
    Benjamin Franklin
    Posted 3 years ago #
  36. captainprophesy

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    Ropes and plugs for sure and a couple of cobs. Cobs weigh less than briar and ropes or plugs although would weight the same as loose bulk tobacco, are more condensed and will take up less room. ... but as Sajgre mentioned, up above, Thailand and really all of SEAsia gets really hot and humid. If you are not from that area and just going to go for the adventure, you might not be smoking as much as you might think.... but either way... Chokh dī nı kār deinthāng khxng khuṇ

    *(been a long time I've written out Thai and not even sure I spelled it correctly and I also forgot where to place the accent symbols at ) so if anyone here speaks Thai please correct me.

    I carry a gun... because a cop is too heavy!
    Posted 3 years ago #
  37. brudnod

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    Mylar zip lock bags so that the tobacco lasts longer without drying out, 2-4 ounces each (although if you are in SE Asia for a year you will certainly be dealing with monsoon season and then drying is not likely to be a problem). Pipes probably should be washable since you can hardly carry enough pipe cleaners to keep quality briars from gunking up. I have no idea what constitutes "washable" or what material that might be. Are there not backpacking forums that you can post this question to? God, I envy you!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  38. samon

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    A years worth.. damn, that's not gona be easy to smuggle in ones rectum across borders.. It'd be pointless bringing your own if you'll get tax raped at customs.

    I smoke about 2-5 pipes with about 2-5grams per bowl each day. The most packable forms of baccy are gona be plug, flake and rope, likely in that order. I'd worry about my baccy going rotten in asian climates, got a way to keep it fresh?

    As mentioned you'll need more than one pipe and a suitable means to clean it too. Falcon pipes are deffinately a good idea, metal stems, changable bowls etc.

    I wonder, what does a 5 pounds of plug look like? (one of you hoarders got a slab of plug for pciture refference?)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  39. backwoodsjack

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    I vote plugs and ropes for three reasons.

    1. loose tobacco will get pounded into dust in no time. Tobaco in a back pack with out solid storage, is tough.
    2. plugs and ropes will stay moist much longer.
    3. plugs and ropes will be easier to keep compact and stow.

    P.S. strong tobacco just goes further.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  40. fordm60

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    My experience on 5 of 7 continents has taught me no plan survives it always changes lol. My first thought was to take a few cobs in a unbreakable container and enough baccy for a week or two. As you use what you brought, start looking for local baccy. They smoke pipes there, and with a cob you have no ghosting worries. Roll your own cig baccy tastes much better nothing if you do not inhale. Point is, for me, this is to be an adventure. Adventurous rarley means I have all the comforts of home! Plus a ruck çan become quite heaclvy extremely fast. Explore and smoke what you can. Also never go into alley see what special gift they have for you!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  41. deathmetal

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    smuggle in ones rectum across borders

    Not to mention that if the bag breaks, you could really get the spins.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  42. mso489

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    sittingbear has an important point. Weight is of considerable concern to long-distance backpackers. Some Appalachian Trail hikers break the handles off their toothbrushes, among many other economies, to get weight to minimum. Extra weight, even a pound, takes it out of your feet, ankles, knees, etc., and your calorie intake. If there is any way you can have your tobacco waiting in small quantities (maybe by the same means the cigars are provided?) so you wouldn't have to haul them, that would be all to the good. Likewise, I'd go with two cobs to keep weight down. There will be plenty to keep you busy, so I suspect you will smoke less than you plan.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Sounds like a similar situation to your traditional navy flake. Bring plugs that are as compact as possible.

    You could probably take just about any flake and just press it into plugs yourself, but if you already like Ten Russians then there's no reason to switch. I would take the plugs, wrap them in tinfoil, and store it in tubs.
    I know tubs aren't ideal but they probably hold up better, I wouldn't trust a tin to hold a seal for regular use over the course of a year, and glass is simply not an option.

    That said, are you travelling with people you know in a stable country? Most reports I've heard of those parts of the world are still a little (or a lot) outlandish. The best way to experience it may be with the absolute bare essentials to survival.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  44. deathmetal

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    If it's really turbulent, you don't need to bring a pipe at all; you can simply make one from the bones of your slaughtered enemies.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    nachman

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    Tobacco, pipe cleaners and lighter fuel for a one year trip would require an added pack mule to carry smoking supplies. If it were Jiminks, I would say a train of pack mules. Two pounds and a few tins will get you almost a pipe a day. Figure about eight or so pipefuls per ounce. Two pounds would be about 260 pipefuls. Add six or seven tins and you have 365. The bulk will be dust dry before the year is up unless you seal it in some of those fancy aluminised bags.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  46. hooboy

    hooboy

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    If you are serious about settling there and the price of good tobacco is incredible or not obtainable at all I suggest that you give the pipe up ( shutter) or be prepared for a life of frustration and anxiety as well as financial hardship! From your post its obvious that since you smoke lightly and a new piper it should Not be as difficult as it would be for me!
    hoo

    I feel strongly BOTH ways!
    Posted 3 years ago #
  47. cossackjack

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    Locally produced tobaccos are available in many countries, you often have to look for it, usually in the markets places.
    If in Indonesia, try Tambolaka
    In Vietnam, Laos, & perhaps Cambodia look for thuốc lào (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotiana_rustica)
    (Hanoi also has 8 Hang Ga, Hang Bo, & Ngo Quynh tobaccos).
    All are straight, VERY STRONG tobaccos.
    Cigarettes are plentiful, so you could consider tightly packing a pipe (for slower burning) with tobacco from a cigarette(s).

    +1 on the recommendation for plugs & ropes. As they are compact & strong, you may be able to get by with fewer & smaller bowls.

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects!" - Robert Heinlein
    Posted 3 years ago #
  48. deathmetal

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    Locally produced tobaccos are available in many countries, you often have to look for it, usually in the markets places.

    This sounds like a true "tobacco tour."

    Posted 3 years ago #

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