Updated on April 3, 2016
The BioLite Stove: Bringing Advanced Tech to the Backcountry
I was browsing the internet when I came across an amazing new invention on the market, the Biolite Stove. Using an innovative energy efficient design, the creators of the Biolite Camp stove have created a portable, backpacking friendly stove that can cook your meal and charge your electronics at the same time!
Biolite, founded in 2006, is a company dedicated to helping poverty stricken communities around the world by providing them with a safe, efficient alternative to the open fires they currently use for cooking. Their larger product, the BioLite Basecamp is up to 50% more efficent than an open cooking fire, reduces the carbon monoxide emitted from the fire by 91% and produces 94% less smoke, all while generating electicity to charge a phone or light.
Their smaller product, the BioLite campstove has a similar design approach to create an electricity generating, highly efficient camp stove. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the camp stove are utilized to offset the costs to be able to establish a market for and provide the Homestoves to those in need.
The BioLite campstove is constructed from stainless steel, aluminum and plastic and is about as tall as a Nalgene bottle at 8.25″ and is 5″ in diameter. It weights about 33 oz, or 2lb 1 oz, and can handle a pot weighing up to 8 lbs or the equivalent of 1 gallon of fluid.
The camp stove utilizes the thermal energy from the fire which is between 3.5kW to 5.5kW to create electricity. This electricity is used to power a small fan which increases the efficiency of the fire by providing it with extra oxygen. The excess electricity generated by the fire is used to provide 2W to 5W (at 5V) of USB charging power that can be used to charge your smartphone through the provided USB port.
It takes about 4.5 minutes on this stove to boil 1 liter of water. Below is a chart comparing the 1 L of water boiling times for this stove versus other backpacking stoves currently on the market.
The BioLite Campstove uses biomass as fuel and this includes sticks, twigs, straw, pine cones, pellets, and other items typically used to fuel a wood fire. Convienently these fuel sounces are available almost anywhere, thus eliminating the need to carry liquid or gas fuel on your adventures, and reducing overall total pack weight. Also, since the fuel source is so readily available, you don’t ever have to worry about running out of fuel!
After reading through the specs and design of this unit, I’m wondering why I didn’t think of this! It is the perfect evolution of energy efficency and technological advancement with basic human needs. I can’t wait to pick one up and test it out!
Check out BioLite’s Sales Video!