Cloud chasing is for chumps. Juice wasters, to be more exact. Notice that I did not say that cloud chasers ARE chumps. As a vaper myself, I have nothing but the utmost respect for these champions of the puff, purveyors of the plume, magic dragoneers, whatever. They are my brothers; but to be clear, their cloudy endeavors are in an atmosphere separate and equal to mine.
A little catch up for the new or non-vape crowd: We all know e-cigs have burst onto the scene in the last decade and taken off like rockets. Some literally, with cheap unsafe knock-offs already being mass produced in parts unknown. But still a safer alternative to dragging actual burning plant material into out tender lungs. Mama gonna get her nicotine fix, one way or the other. This is not a public service ad.
We all know e-juice. It comes in a plethora of flavors, is preferred for it VG or PG content (vegetable juice and propylene glycol respectively), and is sold all the way from 20 ml to 120 ml bottles. Then there are batteries, with the rest of the accessories falling into minor categories. It comes down to what one of my hotrodder buddies who used to search for barn find cars would say, “If it’s got fuel, air, and fire, I’m gonna make that baby run!
So true too for our e-cigs. It’s an easy, and mostly less expensive way, to continuously pump our life-saving nicotine into our bodies while we live our lives and get down the road. But now, as with all things popular, it has developed factions and fads to beat the band. One of these is cloud chasing. Aside from smokers and non-smokers alike using their jealousy and insecurity alike to attack the fact that vaping makes just as unsightly a cloud as huffing tobacco, cloud chasing has grown into a realm of art and science all its own. It even has its own international competitions to see which uber tattooed, metro-lumberjack beard wearing freak can pump out the biggest rain cloud in the county. Good on’ya mate, as the Aussies say. Have at it.
The bottom line, however, is that this sport is not for the average vaper, nor for those on a budget. Cloud chasing sucks juice faster than a toddler on a day trip to the zoo. It’s intended to, because that’s what the cloud consists of, lot’s of juicy juice run through the top end coils, drippers, Japanese cotton, vents, and tanks; all powered by NASA inspired batteries in bases that look like modular housing on Mars. It’s crazy. But to each his own, I say. Live and let vape.
For the rest of us, I have done the research into quality, low-cost, and enjoyable vaping. Like most of my discoveries, I stumbled upon it in a roundabout, if not backwards, fashion. To explain, I googled why the hell my vapor seemed so weak after upgrading juice and coils. This was after I decided that trucking down to my local vape shop every other day was getting too expensive and too cumbersome to be enjoyable. Even a nicotine addict has his limits. Then I watched all the YouTube videos. Turns out, it wasn’t my vaping device setup that was defective, it was my vaping technique.
After googling all about little or no vapor coming out, difficult dragging, and the like; I learned that I was, and had been doing everything wrong for years: I had been cloud chasing. What had this led to? It had led to juice dripping everywhere, from my nozzle to my air vents. It had led to constant tank breakdown and cleaning. It had led to constant coil replacement. It had led to continual, unsatisfying puffing. And in the end, it had cost me more for my substandard experience.
Here’s the gospel: Don’t chase clouds. If you have little to no vapor, that is actually ok, if you are getting a good drag of nicotine. And this, I found out, comes down to slow drags with your finger on the trigger for seconds. It will overheat, you say. Ah, that is where the higher ohm coils come in. DO NOT use anything below 1 ohm. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. That higher resistance translates to more efficient juice burning, which means less vapor, and more dry nicotine gas into your lungs. Most importantly, most of the nicotine is absorbed by the mucous membranes of your mouth and throat. Just ask a cigar smoker.
So then what happens? All that excess juice moisture goes away. Because what is vapor? It’s a moisture mass in the air. It’s a local micro-weather system waiting to condense and precipitate around you and in your e-cig. It is the raindrops that keep falling on your head, and your buzz. So this means adjusting your dragging technique. Stop trying to draw the vapor into the deepest vaginal chasms of your lungs, down where the creature from the black lagoon is lurking. Put your finger on the button, make a face, and take slow, long puffs from the side of your mouth like Popeye.
Funny as it sounds, this also fixes a problem I long had: Getting that enjoyable nasal exhale between drags. Why is that so enjoyable? Because that mucosa up there is virgin territory and is very sensitive to the nicotine. You don’t eat through your nose, so the lining is very soft, very absorbent, and hasn’t been roughed up by corn dogs and hot coffee all it’s life. It’s main purpose in life is to absorb what you are breathing. So, the Popeye puffing method fits in with this. You can hold your vaper to your face for many seconds, just like you are smoking a pipe. And you know what else? You will burn less juice!
Sure, your clouds will eventually grow back to close where they were when you were a newbie huffing for newfound joy. But it takes practice and time. Do you know what does not take time? The savings to your pocket. Take it from me, try staying on the enjoyment end of vaping, and leave the circus act to the clowns. Cloud chasing is for chumps.