Smokin’ on Pipes

From Hugh Hefner to Clark Gable to our grandfathers, classic men smoked pipes.

Chris McFadden, pipe enthusiast and Sievert’s Limited tobacco shop employee, suggests doing your homework before you walk into a pipe shop.

“Start with an inexpensive pipe to see if this is really what you want to do,” he says.

McFadden says corn cob pipes are a good place to start. They start at around $10.

“It may not look as elegant as some of the other pipes, but it’s an inexpensive pipe that smoke really, really well,” he says. “And they’re really good in terms of the tobacco flavour that you get.”

If that’s not your style, try a briar pipe. Briar is a very solid wood and is what most pipes are made of. Medico pipes start at around $40 or if you want to splurge and support a Canadian company try a Brigham pipe. All pipes look different so go look at them and see which one looks and feels the best to you.

Be aware that while most pipes come pretreated, others don’t. Pretreated pipes help prevent the lit tobacco from making holes in the pipe bowl.

Once you get your pipe and you’re ready to try it out start here:

The four steps to smoking a pipe

1. Fill your pipe with tobacco.

2. Do a charring light. Light the tobacco by moving your lighter in a circular motion around the bowl. “The tobacco will probably puff up a bit and char,” warns McFadden.

3.. Using a pipe tool, tap the tobacco down slightly and then light it again. “So again you do a circular motion around the bowl, being careful not to burn the top of the bowl,” says McFadden

4. “You might just give a very very light tap to move the burning embers down to the next layer of tobacco,” says McFadden and then you’re to smoke.

It might go out a few times. you haven’t done anything wrong.

“Let it go out, let it cool down and come back to it, it’s perfectly fine,” says McFadden.

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