What is a Gas Mask Bong?

This contraption isn't for beginner stoners.

what is a gas mask bong iStock / Yurich84

Maybe you have seen one on YouTube. Maybe you just heard about it at a party. Maybe you thought it was a joke. But the gas mask bong is a real thing and you might just find it’s one of the best hitting pieces of equipment you have ever tried. Think about it. Combining the airtight technology of the gas mask with the cooling effect of a water bong means you are not only able to inhale more smoke but none of it is going to escape either. The gas mask bong is also just a cool collector’s item to have around the house – think of it as wearable art for cannabis connoisseurs.

So What Exactly is a Gas Mask Bong?

A gas mask bong is just what it sounds like. It’s a real bong attached to the mouthpiece of a real gas mask. The entire contraption is strapped to the head of the user so that their hands are free to fire up the bud. The bong itself can be made out of many different materials, including plastic, glass or even metal but the gas mask is usually made out of rubber. While many people make their own gas mask bongs, you can now order them online from a variety of different retailers. Yes, for real!

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How Do You Use One?

Using a gas masking bong is easy, although it’s also a bit of an adventure. The first thing you want to do is strap it to your head so that the mask is centered well and snug on your face. This may take adjusting the straps, or moving it around until you find its most natural fit. Now you want to fill the bong about a quarter to a thirds way with water, just enough that it completely covers the end of the stem that reaches down from the bowl. 

Make sure the bong is tightly attached to the gas mask – this may mean screwing it on, or it may mean locking it into place by another means depending on the model of the gas mask bong. Next, make sure the bowl is properly and securing attached to the end of the bong. You don’t want that to fall off just when things are getting hot!

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Last but definitely not least, pack up that bowl with some high-quality green bud and fire her up! You want to inhale as much smoke as you can for the optimal effect. If you do not remove the gas mask bong right away, you can also do some recycling by exhaling back into the gas mask and then inhaling it back down into your lungs – its an instant hotbox! Just make sure you are getting some oxygen in there too.

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What are the Advantages to a Gas Mask?

Although it may seem kind of gimmicky, there are actually several very strong advantages to using a gas mask bong to smoke marijuana. The most obvious of course is that it is a great way to conserve some weed and get a better bang for your hit than a traditional bong or joint, as you are able to utilize more smoke with the gas mask than almost any other method of smoking. But another advantage is that you don’t even have to place your mouth on a mouthpiece or side of the bong, so it’s more hygienic. Because the gas mask forms an airtight connection, as soon as you simply inhale the air is funneled up the bong stem and right into your lungs.

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How to Make Your Own

If you are ready for a fun DIY project, you can make your own gas mask bong in as little as an hour or two, although it does require some basic skill with tools. The first thing you want to do is get a decent quality gas mask, like from an army surplus store or online. Look for ones with a filtered vent hole that is roughly the size of the bong pipe that you want to use. If the gas mask has other vent holes you will need to take them out or block them, otherwise, your gas mask bong will not be airtight. For this reason, the type of gas mask with just one central vent hole is your best bet.

Now you will need to anchor the bong pipe to the gas mask in a way that makes a secure seal that not only is going to keep air from escaping but is going to prevent the pipe from coming unattached if you let go. While electrical tape can be used for this, a better method would involve some drilling and the use of seals that can be tightened to a locking position. You can find these types of seals in the plumbing section of a hardware store. Finally, attach your downstem pipe and bowl and cut a small-carb in the side of the downstem. You are now ready to rock and roll!

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Who Invented the Gas Mask Bong?

That’s a good question. And we are afraid that the genius who put a gas mask and a bong together will never really get the credit they deserve. But we can tell you that the gas mask was invented in 1849 by Lewis P. Haslett. It was used in battle to filter out chemicals used in warfare and by the first world war (WWI), it was commonly issued to U.S. Soldiers facing the Germans as the use of poison gas was becoming a standard tactic of the Axis forces.

The bong has a completely different story, born of peaceful activity instead of warfare. Now the water pipe is an ancient invention and has a long history of documented use in China, India and other Asian civilizations. But the modern bong was actually invented right in Washington State by Cameron Tower, a glass artist. After following the Grateful Dead for years and being fully immersed in cannabis culture, Tower decided to study glassblowing and launch a career as a pipe maker. He played around with the classic water pipe styles until he developed the single piece bong with its long upright stem, the same bong design used all over the world today.

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