BioLite Campstove amazes at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market
Can you charge your iPhone with a pine cone? If you’re BioLite, the answer is yes! One of the coolest things I saw at the Outdoor Retailer 2012 Summer Market was the BioLite Campstove.
The BioLite is a stove that uses natural stuff you find on the ground like sticks or pinecones instead of gas for fuel. You can cook your dinner with it and boil water. Ok, so what you ask? Can’t we do the same on a campfire? Well yes, but can a campfire charge your MP3 player? Didn’t think so.
Basically, BioLite converts the heat generated from your fire into usable electricity that can recharge phones, lights, and other gadgets that have a USB port. A power module is connected to the stove by a copper probe that regulates the flow of heat into a thermoelectric generator that converts heat to electricity. The module also contains a small microprocessor which manages the flow of power both to the fan and USB port. By regulating the flow of air through fuel, the high-temp steel fuel chamber gassifies wood and promotes clean combustion. Also, internal jets circulate air throughout the fuel chamber to make the fuel burn hotter and more efficient.
Ok, so that’s pretty impressive. But despite the fact that this thing can turn wood into power for your electronics, I want to know how well it cooks. BioLite says the stove will boil 1 liter of water in less than 5 minutes. Not too shabby.
While it’s a bit heavy for backpacking, I can see this as being ideal for car camping or even having on hand for survival situations during emergencies. Of course, many hikers won’t mind the weight, and since it’s about the size of a water bottle, is very packable. After watching the demonstration at Outdoor Retailer, I was seriously impressed and can see how this technology could do a lot of good, especially in the developing world where the company is testing out larger Homestove versions. Muy bien.
While all this may be a bit difficult to imagine, their website has more information that you can see at www.biolitestove.com