Smoking pipe tobacco is a unique experience that can be extremely enjoyable – when you do it properly. There are some tricks that are helpful to be aware of when you begin to smoke a pipe. While you can learn by trial and error, this is not necessary.
Starting from the Beginning
When you begin to smoke pipe tobacco, it is good to start from the very beginning. Getting into good habits from the start will ensure you have a pleasurable experience each time you smoke.
Be Sure the Pipe is Clean
You should ensure there is no ash or un-burnt tobacco, which is officially referred to as dottle, left to block the draft hole. This could prevent you from achieving a good draw.
It is important to use much less tobacco than you think you actually need. Many people do not think about this factor of smoking pipe tobacco. While this may sound somewhat simple, it is in many cases, the smallest things that are completely overlooked. If you cram too much tobacco into the bowl, it will cause a tight pack, which can make it difficult to draw and cause a smoking experience that is not pleasurable. It is always smart to start with less and then smoke another tobacco bowl if you decide you need more.
Pack the Bowl Loosely
When it comes to packing, there is a general rule of thumb you can follow: if you draw and if feels as though you are drinking water through a straw, then the pack is just about right. Keep in mind, it will be easier to tighten the bowl while smoking than to loosen it.
Check the Draw Prior to Lighting
If you feel as though the draw is too tight, then your only option will be to dump the entire bowl and pack it again. This will help ensure that you do not waste any tobacco. If you wind up lighting the draw and it is packed to tightly, you will wind up wasting all of the tobacco.
Leave Space Near the Rim
When you pack your bowl, it is important to leave between an eighth and a fourth of space at the rim. This will provide room for the tobacco to rise when you light it without the tobacco that is burning ever touching the rim. It will also provide you with the ability to put the entire flame in the bowl to light the tobacco. This will help the pipe stay in good condition longer.
When smoking pipe tobacco, it is a completely different experience than cigarettes or cigars. Taking time to get good at the process is important.