Pipe smoking in the Americas dates back to 9000 BCE with its highly revered place in shamanistic rituals. Native Americans continue to uphold their tradition of pipe smoking for various ceremonies, rituals, and important meetings. We’ve all heard of ‘smoking from the peace pipe’ and understand that a physical object such as a pipe can transport one into a tranquil and even spiritual state.
For as long as they’ve been able to, humans have turned to their pipes for pause, reflection, and much-needed relaxation. There’s something meditative about loading a pipe, sitting back, and puffing on it silently while thinking back on the day’s events or even the day that’s to come. Albert Einstein famously said that he believed “pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.” Coming from the man who developed the theory of relativity, it certainly says a lot about those who choose to smoke a pipe.
While it’s not as commonplace as it used to be, the tradition of pipe smoking is alive and well. People from all over the world still choose to indulge in the age-old tradition of smoking from a pipe. Regardless of what you smoke, there’s guaranteed to be a pipe out there for you. If you’re looking to take up pipe smoking, here are a few suggestions.
Find a pipe that fits your style
The first step towards learning to smoke a pipe can be the most important. Selecting the right pipe for you can profoundly affect how much you enjoy pipe smoking. Should you live a busy, on-the-go lifestyle you might prefer to smoke a pipe that’s lightweight and easy-to-use for quick smoke sessions. On the other hand, you might be looking for a more sophisticated pipe that allows for a luxuriously slow smoke which frees you from the daily grind.
As pipes can be made of a variety of materials such as wood, metal, and ceramic, a bit of research goes a long way. You should factor in frequency of use when searching for your ideal pipe. Will you be carrying your pipe on you at all times? Or will it stay at home tucked away in your man cave? Consider how often you’ll want to smoke a pipe and that will help you find the right pipe for you.
Test out different tobaccos or flowers
Although tobacco is traditionally the most popular filling for a pipe, with new laws and widespread legalization people everywhere are discovering the wonders of cannabis and CBD. Depending on where you live, you might have easy access to this healing plant. If not, laws may soon change as studies overwhelmingly outline the medical, mental, and physical benefits that cannabis provides. For now, we’d recommend getting clued up on what’s legal in your hometown.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of tobacco brands on the market for people who want to smoke a pipe in the traditional way. Chances are if you’re a fan of cigars, you’ll prefer stronger blends over others. Less seasoned smokers are likely to have a different palate that leans towards lighter blends. Similar to finding the right wine or whiskey to suit your liking, this process is about trial and error. Sooner or later you’ll find a blend that makes your taste buds sing.
Keep your pipe clean
Collectors and aficionados alike will tell you that a clean pipe is essential to maximum smoking enjoyment. It’s not pleasurable to smoke a pipe when all you can taste is ash. Your pipe’s material will dictate how you should clean it. Generally speaking, whiskey, vodka or isopropyl alcohol are great for soaking pipes in to remove any stubborn grime. Although, in the event that you have a wooden or ceramic pipe and don’t have any alcohol handy, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda is also a good option.
If you’re not entirely sure about the best way to clean your pipe, speak to the manufacturer or a brand representative about their recommendations. Lots of brands offer step-by-step instructions for cleaning their pipes either in their packaging or online. After soaking your pipe, you may need to do a bit of detailing with a pipe cleaner to remove stuck-on grime before buffing it dry. The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often you smoke, but it’s recommendable to clean your pipe regularly to maintain its proper function and taste.
Set aside time to enjoy
The best tip we can offer is to actually make time to smoke a pipe. While owning the cleanest and sleekest pipe filled with the highest quality flower makes you a connoisseur, never sparing a minute to indulge completely defeats the purpose of pipe smoking. Understandably, you may not be able to set aside time every day to sit and smoke a pipe, but finding the time now and again is priceless. In our fast-paced world where people are valued most for their productivity, dedicating time to yourself and the things you enjoy is vital.
Make time to sit — be it in your home, garage or the great outdoors — and remove yourself from the hassles of daily life. Pack your pipe and feel free to enter that centuries-old meditative state that pipe smokers know so well. Light your pipe, inhale, and release your thoughts. Exhale and rejoice, because this moment is for you and no one else. It is a sacred pact between you and your pipe, a bond that no one can break.
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