A dugout pipe is one of the most popular and one of the least-understood things in any herbal enthusiast’s toolkit. They’re practical and portable, stylish and handy, inexpensive and even hip. But there are a few things to know before investing in this popular method of consumption.
First, there’s the term: Not only does a dugout pipe have nothing to do with baseball, the word dugout doesn’t even apply to the pipe itself. A dugout pipe refers to the whole rig which includes a variety of components which are contained in (and include) the dugout itself, a multi-chambered container. A dugout pipe usually opens at one end and holds a cigarette-style one-hitter pipe, a cleaning or scraping tool, and a bigger chamber to hold a supply of dry herbs, all in one handy kit. Let's take a closer look at these components, and then at the dugout pipe as a whole.
The heart and soul of the dugout pipe is the cigarette one-hitter. From any reasonable distance, and even up close, a one-hitter is a convincing ceramic or metallic cigarette decoy. In places where imbibing is still frowned upon, the cigarette one-hitter gives enthusiasts a chance to enjoy their favorite dried herbs in public while appearing to do nothing more than having a casual cigarette. The dugout includes a perfect cubby to store and protect the one-hitter, and most have springs which push it out toward the user so they don’t have to fish it out or, much worse, turn the dugout over to tip the one-hitter out … along with all that dried herb.
Because the cigarette one-hitter is no thicker than an average cigarette, it won’t hold much-dried herb (one hit at a time usually, hence the name) and it gets clogged quickly. The scraping tool is perfect for cleaning out resin, ash, char, excess wax or oil if you’re using those in your cigarette one-hitter, though they’re not necessarily recommended. The scraper is usually long and straight with a shallow and narrow shovel-type tip. It fits perfectly in the dugout.
The dugout pipe has a lot of unique advantages, including its social invisibility, portability, compact design, and ease of use. But the more anyone knows about how to use it, the easier and more efficient that’s going to be.
Slide open the top end of the dugout and pull out the cigarette one-hitter (remembering to keep the dugout right side up). Dig the cherry end of the one-hitter (not the filter end) into the chamber holding the dried herbs. And it doesn’t take much effort to fill the one-hitter either (remember the name). Just an easy push into the dried herbs and a little twist will fill the tip. The dried herbs should be tightly compacted enough to remain in place no matter how dry the herbs are!
Raise the filter end of the cigarette one-hitter to your mouth, light the cherry end, and inhale. Take it all at once. More than likely, there’ll only be one hit in there. You can push more in, but if you overload it, that will block the airflow and make a less satisfying experience. It may also waste your dry herbs. You’ll have to reload more often than a conventional pipe, but the dugout is small enough to fit in an adult’s hand, so that can be done quickly, easily, and discretely.
Dugout pipe enthusiasts use their cigarette one-hitters so often that they need to be cleaned. Blowing into the pipe or tapping the metal pipe against a hard surface are quick and easy ways to clear the one-hitter of ash. But that won’t clear out char, resin, or excess oil or wax. For that, you need the scraping tool that comes with a dugout pipe. Most users become accustomed to the scraper for ash as well as the harder -to clear blockages. Regular cleaning prevents buildup that can reduce the effectiveness of the cigarette one-hitter and of the dugout pipe overall. Soaking the cigarette one-hitter in a variety of cleaning solvents will help clean the pipe and keep it clean.
As dugout pipes became more popular, their designs became more varied. While the basic structure of a dugout remains consistent (tube chamber to hold the one-hitter, a smaller slot for the scraping tool, and the largest chamber for the dried herbs) the look and style have changed. While first made principally of wood (the dugout itself, that is), they are now commonly available in metal or ceramic styles. Mini dugouts usually forego the scraper and have a smaller pipe and storage chamber for dried herbs. But they are small and that makes them easier to carry conveniently and discretely.
Popular dugout pipe designs include rectangular with hard edges or soft, cylindrical, water-proof models with glass and plastic. They’re often black or metallic. Acrylic models can feature marbled, two-tone designs. Some styles even include a compartment for a cigarette lighter, designed to snuggly hold the ever-popular Bic!
While the different designs of a dugout pipe all have basically the same function, the material they’re made out of can have important effects on how and where the dugout is used best.
This is the original dugout material. It’s lightweight, durable, and has an earthiness a lot of herbal enthusiasts can relate to. Wood isn’t a conductor of much heat, so these dugouts are always easy to handle even on the hottest summer days. But the wood dugouts aren’t watertight, so they’re best used in dry places. There’s also the chance of a little decomposition, but a few tiny bits of wood with one’s dried herbs isn’t much to consider. Their lids are usually pinned to the main body of the dugout and rotate open, so they can’t be lost!
The sleekest and sexiest dugout pipes are often metal. They’re smaller, usually with sharp lines and a bright shine, like something James Bond might carry. They rectangular models are rarely watertight, and they do conduct heat, so they’re rarely the first choice for an outdoor summer concert festival. But anybody using one at a party is sure to impress friends both old and new. Aluminum is a popular metal for dugouts, which are often shaped like cylinders instead of the rectangular design more common with wooden dugouts. The cylinder dugouts are often watertight as well, an added advantage for campers and water sports fans.
Plastic dugouts are durable and stylish, often ergonomically shaped with slopes and rounded edges. These dugouts often include ends/lids which detach, like the metal cylinders but unlike the wooden dugouts. Many of these designs include glass tubes which line the dried herbs compartment and are essentially waterproof. And like metal dugouts, they’re more durable than wood.
The popularity of the dugout pipe has resulted in a widespread availability. Local shops are likely to carry a small array, but any number of leading online retailers, like Vape Vet Store, may offer a stunning spectrum of sizes and styles. Because they’re small and light, dugout pipes are inexpensive to ship. And they’re durable and require no assembly. So a dugout has advantages in shipping that glass pipes and bongs just can’t offer.
Whatever design you choose, whatever material works best for your lifestyle, there are advantages which are unique to the dugout pipe. No other pipe can be used out in the open the way a cigarette one-hitter can be. A dugout pipe also provides a handy, all-in-one aspect that no pipe or bong can (sometimes even including the lighter). Everything you need is right there in your pocket or purse and then in the palm of your hand. And as a carrying case for dried herbs, the dugout is unrivaled. They don’t leak, won’t tear or open mistakenly, and are often waterproof! The dugout is flexible too, as convenient and useful for a party of one as it is for a party of virtually any amount of people. And for a party of one the dugout pipe is perfect; just the desired amount of dried herb with virtually no waste.
Each has its place. While you can pass the dugout pipe, a glass pipe will hold more dried herbs and doesn’t have to be refilled as often. Of course, not all glass pipes are created equal. Some have bowls that are only marginally bigger than the cherry end of a cigarette one-hitter, which can hold as many as three hits at a time. But a big-bowl glass pipe has advantages all its own. It won’t conduct heat the way a metal cigarette one-hitter will. And for a good many people, the glass pipe is a piece of artwork. They’re often collected and given as gifts. Stylish and modern as the dugout pipe is, it’s much more practical than artistic.
Again, each has its strong points. With the rise of electronic cigarettes and flavored vape pens, portable vaporizers are less conspicuous than they used to be. And in some places, they seem to be everywhere. They’re clean and easy to share too, and usually, don’t have to be cleaned. But dry herb vaporizers are bigger and boxier than the vape pens which resemble the less-restricted e-cigarettes. So for virtual invisibility, the dugout pipe still reigns supreme.
Different styles of consumption offer different advantages and drawbacks, and each has a time and place where they shine. For the versatile and easy-to-use dugout pipe, those times and places are fast becoming more frequent and easy to find. There’s little more to say than, “Plaaaaaay ball!”