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john3music

Lurker
Jan 31, 2024
36
215
Waco, Texas
john3music.com
I’ve heard people “complain” that they have to do multiple re-lights on their pipe. Personally I enjoy re-lighting my pipe. Are there any tips for being able to smoke a bowl with zero or minimal re-lights, yet still enjoy the bowl without thinking about how many times you have to light?
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,431
109,327
I’ve heard people “complain” that they have to do multiple re-lights on their pipe. Personally I enjoy re-lighting my pipe. Are there any tips for being able to smoke a bowl with zero or minimal re-lights, yet still enjoy the bowl without thinking about how many times you have to light?
Lightly packing and frequent tamping.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,431
109,327

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
1,479
12,597
France
Ive complained about it but I dont mind relights. I went through a period where I was constanly relighting. I think its something returning smokers or new smokers experience and it can be frustrating.
Some good advice from members and a bit of experimentation took care of the problem. If I never wanted to relight Id smoke a crappy tasting cigarette!
 

Sigmund

Lifer
Sep 17, 2023
1,479
12,597
France
True but if there were no cigarettes how much attention would pipes and cigars have garnered?

Not arguing..just proposing a question no one can really answer:)
 
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EvertonFC

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 5, 2020
252
482
Philadelphia
I didn't really start enjoying pipe smoking until I stopped caring / paying attention to how many relights I was doing. I think the belief that most experienced pipe smokers light a bowl once and smoke it to a fine white ash, with zero relights, creates a sense of failure in new, would-be pipe smokers, who then eventually give up on the hobby.

If you don't worry about relights, you'll enjoy pipe smoking more. The more you enjoy it, the more you'll smoke. The more you smoke, the better your technique will become. The better your technique becomes, the less relights you'll find yourself needing.
 
Aug 11, 2022
2,310
18,124
Cedar Rapids, IA
In my whole pipe-smoking career, I've only had ONE one-light bowl. I wasn't planning or intending it; it just kept going from the charring light until there was nothing left. It could be tempting to score every subsequent smoke against that one, but I try not to. It's like Zen, if you chase it, you won't catch it, y'know?

If someone posts that they're feeling insecure about relights, I try to point them to this quote and article about C. S. Lewis:

"He would listen to your essay intently, while smoking his pipe, or rather constantly relighting it. I have never seen a man keep a pipe going for so short a while or use so many matches in relighting it."

Such an iconic pipe smoker, yet he struggled as much as anyone to keep it lit! 👍
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,764
Hawaii
Ive complained about it but I dont mind relights. I went through a period where I was constanly relighting. I think its something returning smokers or new smokers experience and it can be frustrating.

I find it interesting that the subject of keeping a pipe lit and relights, keeps coming up, as if this is how it needs to be done.

People are under a false impression, as if this is the correct way to smoke, keeping it lit.

It’s a myth...

As many understand, certain aspects to pipe smoking are merely a preference, with no right or wrong way.

Keeping a pipe lit is merely a preference to someone’s particular smoking style, at any given time.

People keep talking about this subject, but no one is talking about fire and heat, in regards to blends, especially complex blends.

To much fire and heat, destroys the complexity of the blend.

Some blends have to be smoked slowly, and always trying to keep them lit, does not yield the best flavors.

Granted, someone who is quite skilled in smoking a complex blend, could keep it barely lit, with very little fire and heat, and yield a good smoke.

But as long as fire and heat are continuously going, it can degrade the complexity.

Everyone, try it next time with a complex blend, only light it enough to take a few slow sips, then let it go out and cool down, and then relight over, and do this throughout the entire bowl.

Returning or new smokers, doesn’t have anything to do with this.

I personally believe a lot of people are more obsessed or bothered with this idea, as if needing to relight is a pain, or they’re feeling like they’re not doing something right.

Relighting is only a preference...

Now, if someone can barely light their tobacco, for only a few sips, that’s another subject, possibly to moist, or packed to tight.

@Sigmund I only replied since you mentioned this, but I was also replying for everyone’s benefit as well. Please don’t feel as if I’m pointing you out, I’m only sharing is all...

Even in the cigar world, among cigar connoisseurs, it’s also highly regarded, when smoking fine cigars, to smoke slowly, keeping the fire and heat to a minimum, to yield the best flavors.

P.S. @didimauw do you think we could have a Sticky made on the forum for the subject of Relights?
 
Last edited:

EvertonFC

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 5, 2020
252
482
Philadelphia
People are under a false impression, as if this is the correct way to smoke, keeping it lit.

It’s a myth...
Great post. Although I don't think about relights, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, I've never noticed that it's also my preference to relight. I mostly smoke for 10 minutes, put the pipe down for 20 minutes, smoke it again for 15 minutes, etc. That said, I have noticed that some blends will rapidly degrade if you fight with them to stay lit. Cheers.
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
43,431
109,327
On the flip side of that, relighting introduces more "fire and heat" to the tobacco than it should be experiencing from a slow continuous smolder. I'm pretty sure I've cooked the flavor out of some bowls by having to relight too many times throughout, especially when the tobacco required aggressive efforts to relight.
Relights also consume more tobacco than just smoking.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,765
45,326
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
As a long time pipe smoker, a little more than 50 years so far, it's my experience that some blends and cuts just stay lit more easily than others, and some blends act like they're covered in fire retardant.

I can fire up a bowl, stop by a store, put the smoldering bowl in a jacket pocket, go into the store and do a bit of shopping, pay, exit, and pull the pipe out of my pocket and just keep going with no relight. I've done that many times, and my jacket pockets are something of a mess because of it.

But that doesn't happen with every blend that I smoke. Some just want to go out. There are blends that just burn easily, C&D Yorktown for one. Get the moisture level dialed in for optimal flavor and you're off to the races.

For ultimate flavor you want to slow smoke, just keeping the pipe on the edge of going out, and slowly exhaling through your schnoz. And if it goes out you'll get a real hit of flavors in that last sip. Then just light it up.

People believe all sorts of nonsense generally, so why wouldn't that be just as true for pipe smoking? Just enjoy the smoke. It the pipe goes out, it goes out, and so what? That's why you have fire, so you can relight.