PRODUCT REVIEW: Willow’s thoughts on the Off-Grid Energy BioLite Camp Stove
We’ve all heard of solar power, wind power and so on but did you know that there’s a handy little gadget that will literally charge your devices by converting FIRE into useable electicity!?! We road test the BioLite camp stove.
Introducing the BioLite Camp Stove
I had heard of the BioLite camp stoves but never actually seen or used one before. Go Camping and Overlanding at Balcatta allowed me the opportunity to check one out and give it a go when heading out on a camping trip. It was as simple as lighting a fire in the stove to charge the in-built battery and from there you just plug in whatever you’re wanting to charge via the USB port. You can then sit back, make a coffee or cook some snags whilst your gear charges.
Here’s all the technical stuff you may want to know:
- 3W generated power to charge your phone/tablet, lights or other devices
- LED dashboard which provides real-time feedback on power output
- Works with a range of fuel sources, any biomass such as sticks, twigs or pellets
- Built in fan for smokeless fire and improved combustion and efficiency
- “Honeycomb” heat mesh – protection from inner burn chamber
- Great portability – lightweight (less than 1kg) and compact design
- The integrated 2600mAh can store energy for when the stove is not in use.
- Boils 1L of water in 4.5 mins
The Science Behind the BioLite
So how does it actually work? Firstly the core technology behind the BioLite captures waste heat from the fire thanks to a heat probe attached to the orange power pack. The thermoelectric generator then converts heat into electricity. This powers a fan and sends electricity to the USB charging port. Excess power is stored in the internal battery. Air is injected back into the chamber via the fan. This enhances combustion and creates a more efficient burn.
What else do you need to know?
It’s a great concept and pretty good to be able to charge, say a satellite phone whilst somewhere remote, or that speaker you forgot to charge before heading off. All the same, if I was just wanting to boil some water or heat a quick meal I’d still prefer to use a Jetboil as it does the job in minutes but I can see the BioLite camp stove having plenty of practical applications. I reckon it would be particularly good for hikers, or anyone really, wanting to travel light who’s seeking dual-purpose equipment. The unit can also charge your devices without fire by pre-charging before setting off.
You can learn more about this handy gadget direct from BioLite here.
There’s also a whole bunch of other accessories you can use with the BioLite camp stove such as a kettle pot, portable grill and other cookware.
As always if you know of another product that you think we should road test, let us know. You can check out our other product reviews here.