This post comes because of a combination of a few things.
- With my wife gone, I took on a new hobby of smoking cigars on my balcony. It is relaxing, non-life threatening, and fun to do while reading.
- Lord of the Rings is my favorite book, and they smoke a lot in that story.
- Apparently a lot of people smoke pipes while hiking the Appalachian Trail
So, although I hate cigarettes and the thought of inhaling smoke feels stupid, I thought I’d check out what smoking a pipe could be like. My grandfather smoked a pipe his whole life, and if nothing else it may be fun to have while hiking the San Gorgonio wilderness with the Puchtels this February. I don’t anticipate a big habit here, but I did get a Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob pipe as a gift from Secret Santa at work, and now I have an excuse to learn more.
So first things first … How the hell do you smoke a pipe? Do you inhale? Do you use filters? Do you have to keep lighting or just light once? How much tobacco do you put in? What type of tobacco do you put in? Is there a right and wrong way to smoke a pipe? So many questions!
Here’s the funny thing, there is a ridiculous cult following of the Corn Cob pipe. I stumbled upon Pipedia: A Wiki for Pipes, which is apparently the encyclopedia of pipe smoking. There are people with way too much knowledge on this and way too much time on their hands. A little light reading over the next few weeks, and maybe I’ll have a fun addition to my camping trips. Or, maybe I’ll have a new paperweight.
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So how did it go, did you take up pipe smoking? I enjoy it quite a bit myself and think that a pipe next to a campfire, especially a corn cob, seems to be a great pairing. Also, pipe smoking is basically the same as cigars, in that you do not inhale the smoke. It is a tasting experience
I love it. Since this post 10 years ago, I have brought and enjoyed it on every backpacking trip. It’s a great addition to winding down at the campfire. And, as foreshadowed, I also carried it on my Appalachian Trail thruhike in 2018. I’m not a regular smoker outside of those trips though, it’s more for novelty fun. Thanks for reading!