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Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
Burlington WI
I always go back to the story of my first slow smoke.
But I'll make it short this time.

We were in a leased vehicle. We had smoked cigs in it before, but never my pipe. Got out of the car to hike, lit my pipe, and trail was closed. Got back inside the car, and I sort of "hid" the fact that I was still smoking it. Like I was being naughty. The coolest, most flavorful and longest smoke I have ever had.
Jan 29, 2024
Boston Ma
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.
I started a thread “ the relight debate “ and have quite a few takers and have learned a lot . I particularly enjoyed your description of keeping the furnace alive in your pocket . My tamping technique has lightened up and as a result I have far fewer relights . I love the idea that it should be “on the edge of going out “ thank you for the entertaining and informative post .
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May 20, 2023
Connecticut (shade leaf tobacco country)
I managed to keep a pipe lit the whole time to the end of the bowl. Dry tobacco, tamping religiously, ensuring good cadence. Just too much dam work. It became a chore. I'll relight to keep my sanity. I relight maybe a few time per bowl. Maybe more or maybe less. That's just fine for me. I don't need to be that concerned about the relight.
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Swiss Army Knife

Can't Leave
Jul 12, 2021
North Carolina
Drying a bit helps a lot but usually new smokers complaining about relights is because they're either packing too tight or their relight method is a pain.

So check the draw when you pack and get something that doesn't suck to relight with. I always tell newbs to stay away from matches for that exact reason. They're fun and cheap but it can be like driving a stick shift in heavy traffic. Stick with a decent bic if you're not too fussed with giving your bowl's rim a bit of character or if you've got money to spend get a decent pipe lighter.


May 21, 2020
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?
Just don't think about it. Easy. There is no approved method.
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Mar 30, 2019
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
Ironically smoking slow seems to help keep it going without relights. Also if you don't worry about relights you will have less. But they happen it's not a big deal. Though I find if I let it sit for a few extra seconds the relight goes better then if I do it the moment the pipe goes out.
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Can't Leave
Sep 4, 2022
Hercules, California
I used to struggle with relights especially cause I smoke outside and it can be quite windy where I live. But I’ve noticed that if I do a few “ghost” lights and then really make sure I have the entire top surface lit the entire smoke goes better. I used to be happy with a 20 minute smoke and a tablespoon of wet dottle, now I can regularly get 45-60 minute smokes with just a few crusty scraps at the bottom or sometimes almost all ash if the stars align. I’m a finger tamper, but tamping definitely helps too.


Dec 31, 2021
Nothing wrong with relighting. Sometimes I relight my pipe 3 to 4 times, sometimes never relight at all, depend on what pipe and what tobacco i'm smoking. Usually newly open tobacco and not dried enough, will require relight more.