Originally Posted by AntiHero84
I'm sure there are plenty sites and guides available, but does anyone have any advice for a novice? A link or two might also be helpful.
I smoked cigarettes for a few years and will occasionally smoke a cigar, so I have some experience with tobacco. My father would smoke a pipe once every couple years, but I would LOVE the smell. It looks like a good hobby for sitting on the porch, or on a hike like erdawe mentioned.
What are you looking for advice-wise?
My first piece is get a $30-40 pipe. The quality of construction will be decent. Anything past $100 or so doesn't really have any better engineering (with a few exceptions) just better design, wood etc so you won't be getting a better smoke, just a prettier one. Design doesn't have an impact on the smoke, just get what you like.
I'd say stay away from aromatics as they aren't particularly good smokes (to me at least) and you'll likely move away from them if you take this hobby seriously. You only get that aroma, not the flavor. Also, you probably won't like strong latakia flavors right away.
Other than that, go to a B&M, smell some blends, pick up what you like.
When you do light up, pack the bowl in stages. Fill it up, tamp it down. Fill it up tamp it down, repeat until just a bit below the top. Should be like sucking a drink through a straw, more or less if you've packed it right. Too tight--dig out the tobacco and start again. Too loose, tamp it down put more tobacco in.
To light, suck in while the flame is above, move in a circle formation until everything is charred. Tamp it down, wait a minute, light it up in earnest.
That's really all there is to it.