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The College Challenge

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Well I haven't started this great hobby yet but I will be when I head back to college this weekend and get my few pipes that I won in the mail. But my main question is this. What is the best way to experience many different types of tobacco on a college budget? We have a local tobacco shop that carries maybe at most 5 or 6 bulk tobaccos. There is also a shop about 20 miles away that has probably around 20 or so bulk tobaccos. I have not gone into this store yet, only talked to them on the phone, but I do plan to go into the store in the next week or so and see what they have. But I'm just wanting yall's advice on how to do this as a college kid and have a good experience!
Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum and the hobby. I'm on a tight budget too and have been for the three years or so I've been smoking a pipe so I know where you're coming from. When I first started on the pipe, I made a point of promising myself to try at least one new tobacco every month, regardless of whatever else I smoked or didn't. Some months I have managed to do more and some I've struggled to get one but nonetheless I've suck to it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Another thing to consider is how much you purchase, if you're in a lean period and can get away with buying an ounce of each tobacco but getting more blends, that might be worth giving a go. Otherwise just buy what you can and dream fond dreams of what you can't and enjoy whatever's in you're pipe.

Fr Tom

PSF Chaplain
Old Ted Award 2017
I was in college back when professors smoked in offices and some of them smoked in class. We smoked in our rooms and in the common room at the dorm. I was more budget sensitive than most, and so I had a few cheap pipes and smoked OTC (Amphora Red and Sail Yellow). I had suitemates at one point who were a little more flush, and they smoked tinned stuff - flakes, Three Nuns, etc. They would offer me a bowl from time to time.

I would suggest finding some local smokers or a pipe club. Try a bowl or two of something interesting. This may not be a phase of your life where you can be in the tobacco of the month club.

Mister Moo

Gone but not forgotten
Staff member
You can always go to the FNG/FOG thread...
1. Excellent advice above.
2. Call the B&M and ask if they stock bulk blends branded McClelland, GL Pease, Stokkebye, Orlik or Dunhill. If so, post those blends here for more advice. They cost about half the price of identical tinned tobaccos.
3. Avoid B&M large glass jars full of (bulk) tobaccos that smell like vanilla, strawberries, cookies, cakes, candy and pies. You'll just need to trust me on that.
4. Get a $2.00 pouch (or 14-oz tub) of Carter Hall.
5. Get any $3.00- to $9.00 Missouri Meerschaum brand corncob pipe - no Chinese or Taiwan look-alikes. Legend, Diplomat, Country Gentleman or General are all excellent pipes you will cherish. Our friends at aristocob.com can help you out online with nice cobs if the B&M's don't stock them.
6. Get a $2.00 Czech-made pipe tool (or a golf tee or large nail with a broad flat head).
7. Get a $1.50 100-ct pouch of fluffy (not bristled) skinny pipecleaners.
8. DO NOT get a low priced little $35 white clay meerschaum pipe even if it looks like a claw or a dragon.

Fr Tom

PSF Chaplain
Old Ted Award 2017
Moo speaks truth. This is wise cousel.

I am not sure where he finds $2 pouches of Carter Hall, but otherwise this is on the money - especially #3 and #8. I prefer the $.99 pipe nail or a golf tee, but I am cheap frugal.


Well-Known Member
Everyones points are good .... even Moos ! [ - # 3 ] :booty:.......... :beck:

I'd just add that ordering 1 oz samples is a pretty cheap way to go . wvsmokeshop and smokingpipes both sell the 1 oz samples . Between the two , they have enough samples to cover the range of styles .... even Chocolate ! I really think the Peter Stokkeby Luxury blends , theres three , are a must try bulk tobacco for quality and cost . Btw , Altadis Chocolate Truffle is very lovely [ sp has it ] .. yeah , it doesnt taste like tobacco ... it tastes like Chocolate

Fr Tom

PSF Chaplain
Old Ted Award 2017
Thanks for all the ideas guys. I am getting a few samples to start with then I think I will go with the idea of just ordering an ounce of each and i will try and remember to write down what the local shop has and come back here and let yall know.
Thanks guys!
Well guys. I have gotten into this great hobby a little further now and I hope my picture will show up correctly with this being my first time to put one up here. But this is my collection of what I have so far. I've been able to do this pretty cheaply like I wanted to do in the first place. And I want to thank each of yall that helped me out by sending me something to help get me started.
You can always go to the FNG/FOG thread here. You buy an old guy one tobacco of his choice and he sends you many samples of different tobaccos.
This is a great way to try new blends.
This^^^^^^^. I did the same about a month ago and ended up with over two dozen samples of Burleys, Virginias, VaPers, English and Balkin tobaccos. Great way to figure out what you like and gives you an idea what types you want to delve deeper into.


Active Member
Lots of good recommendations so far. I'm going to take a different tack and suggest that you focus on one or two blends at first. A decent burly preferably, because they are fairly easy to smoke. Learn to smoke your pipe with that. Variety can come very easy later on. But you stand a good chance of not likeing something because you don't know what you are doing.

If you stay with pipe smoking, and smoke a few bowls a week, in two years you'll be amazed at how many you've tried. It's a bit of a journey, learning to smoke a pipe. Enjoy the journey.

You can't hurry up and relax.
Okay I hope the pictures show up well with me using my phone and not having a really good place to take pictures but anyway, here are my two briars that I have.
This one I received from another PSF member that had 6 pipes to give away to newbies and I was fortunate enough to grab one. It is a Dr. Grabow Savoy pipe. I havn't had a chance to smoke it yet but I am dedicating it to my English blends of tobacco. (Which I only have one of as of right now)

This pipe I picked up on the free pipes for newbies section on the second day of being a part of this forum from holymolar. It is a Duca Carlo pipe. I love the wood grain of this pipe. This is an amazing pipe. It smokes so smoothly and cool. The draw is perfect on it and it has a relatively good sized bowl too. I have dedicated this pipe to my Virginia blends which as of right now is Peterson Irish Oak and oh man do I love that stuff!!

After typing all this up I am really tempted to go fight the 25 degree weather just to enjoy a bowl of Carter Hall that I also received from this forum! Thanks again to everyone who has helped me with getting started!
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