OutOnTrip takes a look at the fine art of smoking a raw Chillum pipe. We explain the tricks that experienced smokers use and also talk of Chillum etiquette.

Chillums – Smoking and Etiquette


As we’ve said elsewhere, we really love Chillums here at OutOnTrip. They represent the traditional and raw smoking experience and nothing really gets simpler than a Chillum pipe. However, smoking a Chillum can be tricky business for the uninitiated, though once you get the hang of it, there is no easier (or cooler) way to smoke up. So here’s how you smoke a Chillum in 4 easy steps.

sadhu smoking a chillum

Step 1 - Get the right stuff in

Chillums are usually filled with a mixture of tobacco and hash, so have a cigarette of your choice and hash around before you light up. Grind the mixture together into a fine powder for your pipe. Before you fill it in, make sure your chillum stone is in place so that the mixture doesn’t simply fall through the pipe’s small end. These days, chillums are sold with a stone, but if you have a pipe without one, never fear! Traditionally, people searched for just the right stone off the ground to block their chillum pipe with and you can do the same. Make sure it has enough space on the sides to let the smoke through.


Step 2 – The hold

The art of smoking a Chillum comes right down to holding the device properly. Since a chillum is essentially a pipe full of weed, never hold it completely vertical (leave that stunt stuff to the pros). Always hold it at an angle between hands by making a cusp as seen below. There are a lot of variations to this hold, so practice it a couple of times to see what works best for you, but a two-handed hold is recommended. Another note of caution here – if you’re a first-time smoker of a Chillum pipe, try wrapping a wet, porous cloth around the bottom end of the pipe. This will cool the Chillum pipe which can get too hot to handle once the stuff is lit. It doesn’t dilute the smoking experience much and is a far sight better than getting your fingers burnt.

 holding a chillum properly

Step 3 – Light her up!

Here’s where we get into the etiquette part of the experience. Since a Chillum is held in both hands, it is quite difficult to light one up by your lonesome. Which is why Chillums are always meant to be shared, not to mention the strong hit you get from the pipe is quite enough for a small circle of friends. So, hold the Chillum as mentioned and have a friend light it up for you.

 2 men smoking a chillum with cloth

Step 4 – Puff, Puff, PUFF

Inhaling Chillum smoke is an art unto itself. One has to be careful since the hit is very strong and can overwhelm the novice smoker the first few times around. The best method is to draw 2-3 short puffs to really get the product smoking and then inhale deeply to enjoy the hit. Once you’ve had your fill, pass the Chillum to the next person over. Traditionally, the Chillum is passed to the person on your right (keeping with the Indian tradition of right hand vs left hand).

 man puffing on chillum

Remember to clean out your Chillum after use – just pass a piece of cloth in the pipe between the two ends which will clean up any ash or herb residue. Clean your Chillum stone as well. Chillums promise the most potent hit out of all smoking pipes and accessories, not to mention the simplicity with which they deliver the experience. Now that you know how to use one, go check out some cool Chillums on OutOnTrip!