When I first heard about the BioLite CampStove, I thought this was going to be my one and only stove for all of my trips. I quickly learned there were several downfalls with this wonderful stove that would limit its trips.
The key feature of the BioLite CampStove is the ability to produce electricity by using thermoelectric technology. The power generated by burning fuel is used for a fan that pushes air through the fire, increasing the heat and efficiency. Any remaining power is used to recharge the internal battery and any attached USB devices.
The main disadvantages of this stove are, the weight, the necessity of carrying a separate pot, and finding dry wood. The total pack weight for the stove is just over 2lbs. However, you will want to account for the additional weight of any other cooking equipment you require. Because you are using wood, you will find yourself continuously feeding the stove in order to boil water. In this case, make sure to keep a close eye on the wood supply. It burns extremely quick when on the highest setting and may cause minutes of frustration trying to get the flame back. My recommendations is to gather dry wood in the evening and stash it underneath your tent or in a dry bag to ensure you have dry wood for breakfast in the morning. If there is heavy rain, I suggest eating a cold meal.
With the several disadvantages to the BioLite CampStove, there are just as many advantages. The BioLite has the ability to recharge most USB devices, replacing the need for batteries and solar panels.
The hidden advantage of the stove is the ability to have a campfire in places where campfires are not allowed. Be aware that you may get stopped, as I have received many visits by several Park Rangers investigating camp fire concerns. As you can imagine, when you’re at a campground and you’re the only one with a fire and recharging your devices in the middle of the night, you become the focus of attention.
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the stove. I no longer use it on backpacking trips, due to its pack weight. I reserved the BioLite stove for trips with my canoe, where weight is not an issue. If you already have a camp stove, I recommend getting the LEVIN Solstar for your charging needs. (Levin Solstar Solar Battery Bank Review)
Product: BioLite CampStove
Description: Portable wood stove and usb charger
Trail Weight: 32 oz
Output: USB – 2W @5V, Peak: 4W @5V
Boil time: 4-5 minutes (16 ounces)
Product test length: 17 months
Extra Features: Addon grill attachment, Two settings high and low, Internal battery, Internal fan,