Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro, lots of people make avoidable mistakes when smoking pipes. These common mistakes can lead to a smoke that you’d rather forget, or even worse, put you off for good. Read our guide for the dos and don’ts of pipe smoking, to be sure you get a pleasant smoke every time.
Do Take Your Time
Smoking pipe tobacco isn’t a 100m sprint; it’s a marathon. This is down to general preference, however, in comparison to other smoking methods, pipe smoking should take a longer amount of time to get the best out of your experience. How long depends on many varying factors, such as the pipe you’re smoking with, the tobacco you’re smoking and so on. Smoking too fast can result in literal tongue burn and other unpleasant effects, such as burning of the tobacco. On each draw, take small sips and allow the smoke to swirl around in your mouth. Take your time to get the best out of your experience.
Don’t Inhale the Pipe Smoke
This, of course, may be obvious to experienced pipe smokers but is a common mistake made by beginners. It is crucial that you do not inhale pipe smoke, in contrary to other smoking methods, such as cigarettes. Inhaling pipe smoke can be extremely uncomfortable, similar to smoking cigars.
Do Clean Your Smoking Pipe Frequently
Cleaning your pipe is imperative to getting a good smoke. Failure to do so can result in tasting your previous smoke, ultimately ruining your experience due to negligence. We recommend cleaning your pipes after every smoke; it’s easy and only takes a short amount of time. However, make sure to allow the pipe to cool before cleaning. Once your pipe is cool, start by emptying leftover ash and tobacco by giving it a good shake and tapping gently against the palm of your hand. After this, run a pipe cleaner through the stem, give another shake and lightly tap to remove more stubborn leftovers. It’s also good practice to perform a more thorough clean every so often.
Don’t Underestimate the Packing of the Bowl
Ultimately, practice makes perfect with how to pack the bowl correctly, and there are different methods that you can use, so there is no single correct way. However, as mentioned in the previous ‘do’, making sure the pipe is cleaned frequently is important, especially when packing your pipe. It’s worth giving your pipe another clean before beginning the packing process. Additionally, it’s essential to make sure that your tobacco isn’t too moist. The main goal when packing is to make sure its firm, yet bouncy at the same time. Do your research into packing methods, experiment with each one, and you’ll soon find a method that suits you best.
Do Try Different Tobacco
There are many different pipe tobaccos to try when pipe smoking, all with different flavour profiles. Just like food, you’re unlikely to want to eat the same meal forever. Therefore, we strongly recommend not just sticking to one blend; experiment and discover different flavours, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favourite?
It’s also important to note having a different pipe for different tobacco blends will help in experiencing its full flavour profile. However, this isn’t essential.
Don’t Be Discouraged if the Bowl Doesn’t Stay Lit
This one is aimed more at the beginner; it’s common to have to relight multiple times per bowl. This is ultimately affected by how well you pack the bowl and initial attention to lighting. Practice and overall method make perfect for keeping a pipe bowl lit and will take a bit of time to perfect.
That concludes our dos and don’ts for pipe smoking; we hope you find them useful and let us know any additional tips through our social channels! If you’re interested in pipe smoking and want to know more about the history; you might be intrigued to hear that Scientific Evidence Suggests Pipe Smoking is Older Than First Thought.