Fall Wind is Coming. Should You Buy a Pipe Screen?
Here in the northeast the summer was fairly mild. Yes, there were a few really hot days but nothing like in other years. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the cool, breezy days of fall. I love to breath in the crisp air and gaze up at the colorful trees. While I smoke a pipe all year, fall is one of my most favorite times to light my pipe and commune with nature. Of course, sometimes that crisp, breezy air is not a pipe smokers best friend. It may cause your pipe to go our or worse, it blows burning tobacco on your clothes and face. To remedy the fall wind, many pipe smokers bust out the old pipe screen.
Just the other day a new pipe smoker (he has been smoking for about 5 months now) told me that he just picked up the most "amazing accessory". He said it is a metal screen that goes over your pipe to prevent tobacco from blowing out in the wind. I said, "you should have asked me, I would have gladly given you mine."
So, I get the idea behind the pipe screen and in theory, it is a great idea. However, for me, it is not worth it. The biggest problem for me is that a pipe screen makes it very difficult to tamp your tobacco. I also find that it interferes with the re-lighitng process. When I first started smoking pipes I bought a pipe screen. I thought it would be awesome to stand outside on a super windy day and puff my cares away. The reality of it is that a pipe screen is more frustrating than it is helpful. When you need to tamp, you have to take the screen off, tamp, and replace it. In the meantime, the screen can get hot, your fingers get cover with carbon and at least once during the process, the wind will whip up (when you have the screen off) and get you with tobacco.
The solution is . . . drumroll . . . don't stand facing the wind and smoke your pipe. Listen, there is always somewhere to go to shield yourself from wind gusts. Hide behind a tree, duck in between buildings. Another option it to use your hand to cup the bowl, (just don't try this with a clay pipe) to shield it from the wind.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with me that a pipe screen is unnecessary? Please leave a comment below. I'm interested in what you all think.