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The most common technique for packing a pipe is the "three layer" method. The objective is to end up with a bowl that is evenly packed from top to bottom; this is done by packing each layer progressively tighter. Trickle tobacco into the bowl until it is slightly overfull, then press very lightly with your finger until the bowl appears half full. Fill the pipe again and press down until the pipe is 2/3 to 3/4 full. Finally, overfill the pipe and press the top layer down fairly firmly. When finished the tobacco should feel "springy" to the touch. If it has no give at all, it's packed too tight. If a touch leaves an indentation, it is packed too loosely. Finally, test the "draw" by sucking air through the unlit pipe; the resistance should be about like that felt when sipping a soft drink through a straw. If the draw doesn't feel right, then empty the bowl and start over. A slightly different touch must be used depending on the size of the bowl and the cut and moisture level of the tobacco, but this will become second nature with experience. In fact, you will undoubtedly develop your own packing techniques with time, and you will find yourself loading your pipe without even thinking about it.
 
The most common technique for packing a pipe is the "three layer" method. The objective is to end up with a bowl that is evenly packed from top to bottom; this is done by packing each layer progressively tighter. Trickle tobacco into the bowl until it is slightly overfull, then press very lightly with your finger until the bowl appears half full. Fill the pipe again and press down until the pipe is 2/3 to 3/4 full. Finally, overfill the pipe and press the top layer down fairly firmly. When finished the tobacco should feel "springy" to the touch. If it has no give at all, it's packed too tight. If a touch leaves an indentation, it is packed too loosely. Finally, test the "draw" by sucking air through the unlit pipe; the resistance should be about like that felt when sipping a soft drink through a straw. If the draw doesn't feel right, then empty the bowl and start over. A slightly different touch must be used depending on the size of the bowl and the cut and moisture level of the tobacco, but this will become second nature with experience. In fact, you will undoubtedly develop your own packing techniques with time, and you will find yourself loading your pipe without even thinking about it.
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You may also try Pipelighters.net method called [http://www.pipelighters.net/pipe-lighters/the-ptl-club-pack-tamp-and-light PTL Method a.k.a. Pack, Tamp & Light]
      
Frequently, the tiny smoke hole in the tobacco chamber may become clogged with tobacco, when filling and packing the bowl.  It is not necessary to empty the bowl to correct this problem. Just remove the tip, and then clear the smoke hole with the reamer tool, a thin steel rod.
 
Frequently, the tiny smoke hole in the tobacco chamber may become clogged with tobacco, when filling and packing the bowl.  It is not necessary to empty the bowl to correct this problem. Just remove the tip, and then clear the smoke hole with the reamer tool, a thin steel rod.
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=== Lighting your pipe ===
 
=== Lighting your pipe ===
Barring such bizarre contraptions as parabolic mirrors, lasers, and miniature blowtorches, there are three ways to light your pipe: with a match, with a butane lighter, or with a fluid lighter (e.g. a "Zippo").  For a great source of information on Pipe Lighters click [http://www.pipelighters.net here] to read reviews on varying brands and styles of pipe lighters; both well know lighters [http://www.pipelighters.net/pipe-lighters/zippo-pipe-lighter-classic-chrome-only-13-65 Zippo] or [http://www.pipelighters.net/pipe-lighters/xikar-scribe-pipe-lighter Xikar] or some other less know brand as [http://www.pipelighters.net/pipe-lighters/tsubota-pearl-eddie-pipe-lighter Tsubota's Pearl Eddie].
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Barring such bizarre contraptions as parabolic mirrors, lasers, and miniature blowtorches, there are three ways to light your pipe: with a match, with a butane lighter, or with a fluid lighter (e.g. a "Zippo").
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The wooden match is the traditional pipe lighting device. Strike the match and hold it for a second or two while the sulfur burns off. Bring the match to the tobacco surface and, while puffing gently, move the match around the tobacco in a slow, even circle.  For a decscription of the pro's & con's of matches vs. pipe lighter you can read more [http://www.pipelighters.net/pipe-smoking/matches-vs-lighters HERE].
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The wooden match is the traditional pipe lighting device. Strike the match and hold it for a second or two while the sulfur burns off. Bring the match to the tobacco surface and, while puffing gently, move the match around the tobacco in a slow, even circle.
    
Butane lighters are more convenient than matches, and, unlike fluid lighters, there is less risk of imparting an unpleasant taste to your tobacco. If you wish to use a butane lighter, then purchase one that is designed for pipes. Such lighters have an angled gas outlet that makes it easier to direct the flame into the bowl while avoiding burned fingers.
 
Butane lighters are more convenient than matches, and, unlike fluid lighters, there is less risk of imparting an unpleasant taste to your tobacco. If you wish to use a butane lighter, then purchase one that is designed for pipes. Such lighters have an angled gas outlet that makes it easier to direct the flame into the bowl while avoiding burned fingers.

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