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How would an individual in medieval times, the days of castles, knights and horses, be able to make a quick fix smoke bomb, I read out of potassium nitrate and sugar, but I'm pretty darn sure you cannot get that from bananas, he is in the jungle and has options but not a lab to assist,

Is there any recipe he could make in the wilderness to throw on a fire and make an escape using the smoke produced. I need this though, so he can escape a staged distraction in one of my scenes, thanks for any answers.

Think I Have The Solution, Thanks For The Input! From the answers the idea I've come to is, dig a pit, fill it with dry grass or dry plant matter and some branches, coat it in oil//gunpowder from a stolen barrel and throw some wet grass on top, maybe some leaves to separate it, someone said oil would be able to withstand water, and I already know gunpowder cannot so oil seems reasonable. To add to the smoke besides just wet grass, if it was a long trench that would create more area for more smoke, the trench would allow a log to be rolled ontop, creating less air and from what I understand, more smoke while the oil continues to burn rapidly.

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    $\begingroup$ Please give us an example date and location from Earth's history as a point of reference. The Chinese had primitive gunpowder from an early age, but it wasn't available until the mid-to-late medieval period. Or, perhaps more simply, tell us whether or not gunpowder is completely excluded from your question. $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 18 '18 at 5:37
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    $\begingroup$ As requested above: Be more specific about time period, location (climate) and season. Is your individual really in the middle of wilderness, or in a populated area? (ie is there access to produced substances or just what grows?) Is this a relatively dry season or in the middle of a monsoon? $\endgroup$ – Guran Dec 18 '18 at 7:16
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Speaking from experience, the best way is to mix materials that burn well with materials that don't while limiting the amount of air that can get in. One thing that would work is to mix oil, some form of tinder and some wet grass or waterlogged wood shavings. The oil keeps the fire burning and causes the wet material to smoke more, place inside a bottle or coconut with small holes in the bottom and some larger ones on top and boom, smoke out!

Only slight problem is that if you have more oil than wet grass is that you will have a fire after a few minutes.

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Instead of a smoke bomb, you could also make a dust explosion. First the Dust acts as a cover and the explosions follows scaring any pursuers off. The ensuring chaos from the explosion then keeps anyone from chasing after your individual as they all flee for their lives. (I assume he throws it into the air, and it takes some time to reach the open fire).

Your individual would need to spend some time grinding wood or burnable materials into a fine powder and preferrably hold it in a pouch which you can later throw and set on fire. It could be even more spectacular if you could find some Magnesium to add that extra flash.

(You could also extract starch from certain plants, trees or vegetables, make it into a powder and use that if you don't like grinding wood chips all day).

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    $\begingroup$ There's no need to go to such lengths yourself - flour and sawdust should both be available in good quantities in a medieval setting, and both work pretty well for this purpose. Just be sure to keep them somewhere dry until needed, then throw hard at a solid surface near an open flame. Preferably while standing well back. $\endgroup$ – anaximander Dec 18 '18 at 10:33
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From the Wikipedia page on smoke bomb (emphases mine)

Home-made smoke bombs, even preceding Yale's 1848 invention, were and are most commonly used in pranks and street conflicts. They are typically made from materials that burn poorly and contained in vessels with limited air intake that thwart combustion.

You say he is in the jungle, and there is a lot of green woods there. When you burn green wood you get a lot of smoke, without needing a dedicated recipe, because the green wood contains a lot of water that thwart combustion. Even better if it is wet from rain.

smoke from burning green wood

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