I live in Burley, Idaho and it can get rather windy out here. Since I enjoy my pipes outdoors, it kinda forces you to learn how to smoke a pipe in the wind.
I brought out an Marcus Fohr Black Clay Belge and a jar of C&D Star of the East. This is a very tasty Latakia and Oriental forward blend and is one of my “Top 10” go-to blends, and one that been overlooked for about a month, so when the mood strikes, I strike up a match!
So, I ventured outside onto the covered patio. The mouth of the patio faces North East and is open all the way to the South East. Winds are common out here, and in the patio, they tend to swirl and circulate. The only place that is most likely wind free out on the patio is under the table, and even then, I would most likely have to huddle over the flame.
Add to all this, it was around 28 degrees Fahrenheit before the wind chill factor.
Now, it is important to know a small fact. I am a deeply Spiritual man and I conduct online Gatherings centered around Medicine Wheel Teachings and my River of Life book. Therefore, when I sit down to smoke, it is treated as a Sacred Experience. I’m not in it for the nic-kick. I do it as a way to connect to The Great Mystery, to that which is much Greater than myself. This explains my dedication to smoking a clay pipe in sub-freezing temps with 20 mph winds keeping me company.
So after doing a bit of ceremony work, I pack the pipe and ignite a match. A char! Yeah!
Two matches later, the Star of the East is glowing.
Now when smoking a clay pipe, you become very aware of how hot the pipe gets. I use this as a barometer; if the pipe gets too hot, you will taste burnt beef jerky meets tires. Keep it cool and with this tobacco, all kinds of rich, exotic (and Sacred) flavors come up.
This little clay smoked beautifully, never over heated and I communed with it, and through it, for nearly an hour with no relights.
When I have a pipe like this, I do not feel the cold. Instead, I feel transported.
There is a lesson here: take it slow, savor rather than gulp, taste with appreciation and work with the wind, rather than against it.