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Good smoke for testing drafts?


Active member
We normally take about 10 with us at a time in a small watertight container. Plus you need to carry a lighter. They have proved excellent for work in Longwood Valley sink. I don’t advise smoke pellets. We only tried these once at another digging site. They produced far too much smoke and exiting in a thick fog was interesting.
Thanks for that information.

There is a method even worse than smoke pellets. I was once involved in burning an old tyre underground when long distance transmission was anticipated. Certainly not environmentally friendly and vast amounts of foul smoke produced that emerged from every tiny crack in the ground locally.


Well-known member
I bought one of these portable smoke machines for film making. Packs into a case about the size of a house brick, and runs off unprotected 18650 batteries.


Active member
Thank you everyone for the mix of useful and entertaining solutions. The best answers seems to be a mix of both.

I am still considering the balloon-in-the-passage idea especially as we get towards paddling pool season


Active member
As an update: the frankincense and myrrh incense worked really well. After leaving some young people digging I set up the incense elsewhere. The dig face itself remained fresh, whereas the stacking space slowly filled with smoke, indicating there are two separate drafts - weird.

Even weirder is that none of the people digging even noticed the smokey atmosphere or that the place smelt like a Turkish brothel - maybe they're used to it.