Is smoking in freezing weather harmful to a pipe?

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donspipe

New member
Apr 30, 2013
9
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I like to smoke a pipe while walking my dog and with the weather getting pretty chilly lately I 'm wondering if there is any cause for concern about harming a briar smoked in sub-zero temperatures? Will the temperature difference between the inner and outer bowl cause cracking? Thoughts?

 

spartan

Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2011
2,964
1
San Antonio here. What's this "sub zero" thing you speak of?
:puffy:
In theory if your pipe is cold and you puff away like a train I would be worried for you, but from the ONE time I've seen someone post on the forums about a cracked pipe due to temp difference (it was a meer not a briar) I wouldn't be too concerned.
I wouldn't risk it with my more pricey pipes though.
Hopefully a piper from the north will pipe in.

 

northernneil

Preferred Member
Jun 1, 2013
1,390
0
I live in a very cold climate and will smoke outside when temperatures are -15C or higher. I have never had any issues with my briar or corn cob pipes at these temperatures. Meershrum pipes, on the other hand, cannot be smoked during cold weather as they will crack.
So no worries, in fact, pipes work as great hand warmers!

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,594
510
I know guys that work the Slope that have heard of pipes going to pieces in the -60 and lower temps. It's all anecdotal though. I suspect, if true, that the pipe was unshielded, hanging out of the mouth and the difference of inside to outer shell temp was too great. Most guys I know that smoke a pipe on the Slope keep it in a mittened hand when smoking and inside the parka when not in use minimizing the extremes. Oh, and they are usually sitting in the cab of a heated truck. So there shouldn't be a big difference in temps when the pipe is shielded from the direct cold.
In extreme cold the mouth and nose are always shielded so pipe smoking, while not impossible, is certainly impractical. I've smoked at zero and below more than a few times, but I usually shelter from the wind and the pipe is kept in my fist when smoking, meers included and they are none the worse for the treatment. It's all a matter of minimizing the exposure to great differences in temperatures.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,998
1,705
Briar, unless it has an unseen flaw, probably accommodates low temperatures in which you'd

be likely to smoke, pretty well, I would guess. But it's just me guessing. I think with old celluloid

film, small electronic devices, cameras, etc., it never hurts to keep the items in your layers of

clothing (like under your coat) to keep them nearer a normal temperature. With a pipe this would

help, so it isn't going from nine below to burning temp all at once. Once the leaf is burning, it has

its own heat source, which will last a while. I grew up near Chicago, in the old days when the winters

were markedly colder, and my pipe smoking dad would smoke his pipe outdoors often, and for

long periods of time, and it never caused a problem. He smoked mid- and low-level briar billiards.

 

piperl12

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2012
971
0
-32C the other morning and I was puffing away while blowing out my driveway. Not ill effects I have seen so far. Seems like the fire inside the bowl keeps it toasty warm. Now me on the other hand, that was something completely different LOL

 

instymp

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2012
2,039
9
I leave 1 - 2 pipes in my ride every day & a pouch with baccy in it. Mornings in the teens, go out to go to work, pack it & smoke it. Never had a problem yet.

 

alex87

Member
Jul 30, 2012
194
0
Haven't had any problems, smoke my cobs and briar on walks with the dog, lowest has been -25C and with the wind chill being in the -30's...no problems...just don't leave it outside haha

 

zekest

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,137
2
If it is -30 F outside and you are in that environment, you have a life threatening condition on your hands, pipe smoking is the least of your concerns.

 

phil67

Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2013
2,052
2
If it is -30 F outside and you are in that environment, you have a life threatening condition on your hands, pipe smoking is the least of your concerns.
_________________________________________________
Amen to that! I've worked outside for 34+ years (retired now) and I have been subjected to extreme temperatures and the LAST thing I would have ever been concerned about is smoking a pipe. My one, and only worry at the time, was trying to keep my 'ol skinny bony white ass warm! Thanks, but I'll relegate my leisurely pipe smoking to the comforts of my home where I can fully enjoy it. :wink:

 

piperl12

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2012
971
0
If it is -30 F outside and you are in that environment, you have a life threatening condition on your hands, pipe smoking is the least of your concerns
Jeeze you guys obviously don't live in Northern Ontario, -30 is just when your snow machine starts running well! When I did my cold weather training in the Army in Northern Alberta there were days that were -50 and the tree's would split open when the sap froze and expanded. Going to walk the dog now, its a balmy -10C tonight. I think I might wear shorts :wink:

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,594
510
Work on the North Slope goes on at -60F and lower. You dress for it and watch your co-workers for frost bite, speech problems and the like. Herman Nelson's are much in evidence. Not life threatening conditions when dressed and educated for it. It can quickly become so if the rules are not followed. Mother Nature is a stern taskmaster.
No-one smokes outside in extreme temps (-10 to -20F isn't considered extreme up here. I suppose it's a matter of what you become used to. We play hockey on the pounds at -20 or -30F. Cigarette smokers really suffer if they smoke in the cold as the old blood vessels shrink quickly from the inhaled smoke (not a technical explanation but what I remember from Air Force Cold Weather School at Ft. Greely) and the fingers and toes let you know that it's time to find some warmth.
Face masks make smoking very impractical, but if you are one of the addicted you can chew, spitting downwind of course, or spend so much time in the cab of a vehicle that your co-workers get a bit PO'd as they are doing all the work.
As politically correct as Alaska has become I wouldn't be surprised if smoking in your room is now prohibited. I haven't been on up the Slope in 20 years or so.
Damn! I'm getting way off topic here! Sorry!

 

donspipe

New member
Apr 30, 2013
9
0
Thanks for all of the advice. It sounds like there really isn't anything to worry about . The dog will keep getting walked and the briar will keep getting puffed! Some great comments above - much appreciated!

 
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