We’ve all been there, ready to smoke, realizing the rolling papers are gone or left at home. And it never fails to happen far from civilization or after the stores are closed. Luckily, for those on vacation, staying in a hotel room, on a camping trip, hiking, or just plain in need of something to smoke tobacco or herbs with, there are so many ways to make your own smoking pipe or similar device!
Rolling paper substitutes and alternatives can be made from common household items, odds and ends you can find at a hotel, or even cheap produce. You may be surprised what awesome pipes and smoking devices you can make quickly and easily when you’re stuck without papers. The issue with these "devices" and pipes is that they should only be used in a pinch and should NOT be used on a daily basis. Nevertheless, if you're in apinch, read on to find out how to craft great paper alternatives:
Toilet Paper Roll
If you forget or lose your rolling papers, toilet paper can save your camping trip in more than one way! Toilet paper roll pipes are super easy to use for smoking, and don’t make a mess or need much to make. Here’s how to make a toilet paper roll pipe:
You will need an empty roll of toilet paper, something sharp, a small piece of tin foil, scotch/clear tape, and a pen or pencil if it’s handy. The toilet paper roll should be cardboard (remove all of the T.P. from the roll). First, tape one end of the roll so that air can’t get through. Then, using scissors or a knife, cut a square or circle hole about an inch in diameter on one side of the toilet paper roll. To make a carb, make another hole to the left or the right of the first hole (about 1/2 inches away) using a pencil or pen (or anything sharp), and make sure your finger can cover it. Next, cut a piece of foil that is big enough to cover the first hole you cut out. This will be the ‘bowl’ for your tobacco. Poke small holes all around the foil piece with something sharp like a toothpick or knife so that air and smoke from the tobacco can travel through it when you’re smoking. Once assembled, throw the tobacco on top of the foil, and light up for an easy fix on the road!
Read the Bible? Neither do we.
We’ve heard that receipt paper and phone book paper don’t work well as rolling paper substitutes. Receipts are coated with a light plastic and the ink is heavy, while text and texture of phone book paper isn’t ideal either. Surprisingly, the potentially controversial use of Bible paper comes highly recommended to roll tobacco with. It is thin and many smokers say that it rolls just like rolling papers. It is recommended to use pages without ink found in the front or back.
In just a minute or two, you can make an apple pipe that many smokers prefer because it is so smooth. You need: one apple, a knife and/or sharp small object, and a hollowed out pen or hard plastic piece resembling a straw, but something that won’t burn. First, cut out the core and stem of an apple, and cut the top portion into a circular shape to make the bowl (enough room to fit your tobacco or herbs). Then use a pen, stick, or pencil and stick it straight through the side of the apple, so that it intersects with the bowl that you cut out at the top of the apple before.
To make the carb, cut the apple with a pencil or stick on one side. Basically, carve one tunnel through the apple that goes from the side of the apple and connects with the bowl where the tobacco sits, and a smaller tunnel or hole to use as a carb. Take out any excess apple from the pen/utensil. For a filter, shave a little piece off of the apple and place it at the bottom of the bowl. If you used a hollowed out pen, you can stick it into the ‘tunnel’ you carved, and use that to smoke– just place tobacco over the top of the apple and light it! You will be surprised how smooth this is compared to many other methods – including rolling papers – and some smokers actually prefer this method! If you don’t have an apple handy, you can also use a potato – just follow the same steps as you would with an apple, but no core or stem to remove.
Using tin foil for a substitute pipe is such a convenient method – assuming you have some on hand! Wrap a piece of aluminum around a pencil or something around that size (straw, pen, screwdriver, etc.), and make it into a cone or cylinder shape. Make sure to leave extra tin foil at the end of the rolled portion so you have room to gently bend and lightly twist the foil cylinder/cone upwards to make a bowl. Be sure there is a small air path so air and smoke can pass through. Nothing else is required but filling the bowl and lighting it up! Tin foil pipes are easy, quick, throwaway pipes for when you need something in a hurry.
If you’re craving rolling papers for your tobacco, but are out and find a cigarette, another simple way to get the taste of your own tobacco and herb products is to empty out the cigarette by twisting the contents around until they leave the paper. Once you have the empty cigarette paper, fill it with your tobacco of choice. Definitely tear the filter off carefully, but seal it by twisting a bit, so you don’t swallow the contents, and you’ll also get the full taste and effects of what you put into it.
Using an empty soda can is an easy way to make a quick rolling paper substitute. After the can is empty, simply dent the area to put tobacco on and poke small holes in the dent. You smoke out of the top of the can (where you would drink the soda from). The soda can is a harsher hit, and also gets hot very quickly, but if it’s all you’ve got it works fine
There are a lot of ways to put tobacco in a pipe and smoke it! It's best to have rolling papers handy, but sometimes it's just not an option. All of the alternative options and substitutes for papers above are tried and true, though some are definitely better than others! Have fun trying them out, and let us know what you’ve used when you ran out of papers.