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by Wade Hill
March 18, 2017
Hello again, and welcome to another Hookah Heroes blog post! I get a lot of questions along the lines of "how do I pack this", as well as seeing it asked pretty much everywhere. So today, I'm going to show you all the three main methods to packing a bowl. I'll be explaining a little bit about what kinds of tobacco work well with each specific method, as well as how each kind of pack is achieved.
The fluff pack method is one of the more popular methods, and it's meant to allow for extra airflow to get to the tobacco. You'll want to use this kind of pack for brands like Social Smoke (pictured), Al Fakher, Fumari, and Starbuzz.
To achieve this, you just lightly sprinkle the tobacco into the bowl, making sure not to pack it too tight at all. You want to make sure that there's plenty of airflow getting to all of the tobacco, and don't press it down at all. How high you'll pack it will be dependent on the specific kind of tobacco, but most perform best with a pack just under the rim of the bowl.
Semi dense packing is something that you'll use on brands that require a lot of heat, like Haze, Pure, and Nakhla.
This kind of pack is achieved similarly to the fluff pack, however instead of getting proper airflow, you'll want to pack the tobacco into the bowl much more. You don't want it pressed too tight, but nor do you want it to be super fluffy. It's a happy medium between a fluff pack and a dense pack, hence the name.
The dense pack is one that is pretty much reserved exclusively for Tangiers, and is often referred to as the Tangiers pack because of this.
This kind of pack is accomplished by tightly packing the tobacco into the bowl, leaving practically no room for airflow. Make sure that it's level across the board, and just a hair below the rim of the bowl. Again, the only kind of tobacco that should really be packed like this is Tangiers, as it's literally meant for this kind of pack. Any other kind of tobacco is going to burn easily with this kind of pack.
Overpacking is both a style of pack, as well as a mistake that can be made when packing. The difference is really in the context. For example, if I said "you'll want to do a slight overpack with this tobacco", it means that you should be packing the tobacco slightly over the rim of the bowl. But if I said "that tobacco looks overpacked", it means that you've packed your tobacco too high, and should pack it lower.
The overpack is also known as the "Fletcher Pack", as Fletcher Knoxville of Hookah.TV is notorious for doing insane overpacks with this bowl.
The Underpack is very similar to the Overpack in terminology, as you can do an Underpack style of pack, but your bowl can also be underpacked. The only real kind of tobacco that I would recommend doing an underpack with is Social Smoke though, so generally speaking, it's used to say that your bowl is packed too low.
Hopefully this helps someone figure out how their bowl needs to be packed, or at least what all of these hooligans are saying when they're talking about "semi-dense this" or "overpack that" and so on. If you have any further questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below, and I'll be more than happy to help you out further! As always, thank you so much for reading, and happy smokes!
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