Any outdoorsman knows that access to a hot meal and safe drinking water is important, and personally, I also need to be able to have access to my phone, even when I’m off the grid.
It can be challenging to keep a smartphone charged if you’re planning a trip that lasts more than a few days, and it would be impossible to carry a bulky generator around to power your device.
In this Biolite Campstove review, we’ll talk about how helpful the functionality of this dual-purpose portable stove can be on your trip. Not only does it use natural wood fuel to create functional fires, but the energy generated from the heat can also charge your electronic devices.
What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Camping Stove
Minimalist portable stoves are perfect for backpackers or campers who want to keep their weight down and conserve space in their pack. They will boil water and warm up food in a pot or pan.
This model is a wood burning stove, eliminating the need also to carry a gas container. However, wood burning models can take longer to heat than their gas counterparts.
You’ll want to consider if you qualify as a minimalist camper and if you prefer a gas or wood stove before making your decision.
How Does It Work?
The Campstove is a portable, wood-burning stove that converts energy from your fire into power that can charge your handheld electronic devices. About the size of a 1-liter Nalgene bottle, the stove weighs in at just over 2 pounds and doesn’t require you to carry a fuel source. You’ll simply gather twigs and kindling from wherever you set up camp.
The stove can boil a liter of water in around 4 minutes and 30 seconds if it’s a full burn and will generate about 20 minutes of charge time, or about 60-minutes of talk time on your average phone.
This portable stove isn’t a good fit if you’re someone who wants a little more luxury with your meal experience when camping. It will do the basics, but if you’re hoping for a juicy burger or hot dogs on the grill, this isn’t the model for you.
- Doesn’t require separate fuel tank, powered by whatever you find on at the site
- Provides a charge for gadgets without needing to carry a generator or power source
- Green choice to reduce your carbon footprint
- Lightweight and compact
- It takes two or more times as long to boil water as a gas stove
- If you camp somewhere with wet wood, or without wood, you’ll need to carry wood pellets to fuel the fire
- The fuel box is small and may require frequent refilling
- On the high end of the portable camp stove price range
Features and Benefits
Some camping enthusiasts swear by wood burning stoves. Not only are they more environmentally friendly than their gas counterparts, but they eliminate the need to carry a fuel tank with you. A portable stove that uses renewable resources also has the benefit of never running out of gas, meaning you’ll never be without hot water when you need it.
Internal Starter Battery
Getting your fire started can sometimes be tricky, but the Biolite Campstove is equipped with an internal starter that will give you a spark to get your fire burning quickly. The push button technology is easy to use and helps combat damp conditions or kindling.
Compact and Lightweight
Weighing in at right around two pounds with cylindrical dimensions of 8.25 x 5 x 5 inches, this portable cooker won’t break the bank on pack weight. While it is heavier than some of the ultralight stoves that weigh mere ounces, you won’t need to carry any canisters or additional charging devices for your electronics on your trip.
BioLite Thermoelectric Technology
For the people who swear by this BioLite Campstove, their thermoelectric technology is what makes the difference. The patented process converts the heat from your fire into electricity that both powers a small fan to help stoke the flame and power your electronic devices. The battery will charge every time you light the stove, giving you an opportunity to charge up your phone or LED lights at every meal.
This means you’ll never be without your GPS, or a way to reach out for help if you need it. It also means you’ll always have a flashlight handy, which can be essential for midnight bathroom breaks or repairs to your tent or gear.
Alternatives to Consider
If you’ve decided that a portable wood burning stove is the way to go you might also want to check out these two alternative models. While they have some things in common, there are a few differences of note that might help you choose which is best for you.
Ohuhu Portable Wood Burning Camping Stove
This wood burning model by Ohuhu is made from high-quality stainless steel manufactured to stand up to whatever conditions you find on the trail. It features a three-arm pot support system for maximum stability and a larger cooking platform that you’ll find on the BioLite.
It’s a cylinder shape, and it weighs in at just 14.2 ounces. The Ohuhu is a collapsible model, so after use, it collapses down to a 5.3 x 5.3 x 3-inch base for transport.
It doesn’t offer any of the technology perks that you’ll fin with the BioLite, but also is just a fraction of the price at than $20 from most retailers.
Solo Stove Lite
The Solo Stove Lite is another minimalist wood burning camping stove that uses available biomass as fuel. Unlike the BioLite, it features a double-wall internal design that produces less smoke and allows your fuel to burn more completely which creates maximum efficiency.
Also made of stainless steel, the Solo Stove Lite measures in at 4.25 in diameter and 5.7 inches tall assembled and weighs 9 ounces.
Outside of also not having any of the technological bells and whistles, the other main difference in this portable stove is the boil time. You’re looking at between 8 to 10 minutes to bring 34 ounces of water to a boil which is significantly longer than what the BioLite can produce.
At around half the cost of the BioLite model, the Solo Stove Lite is another strong prospect to consider.
There are no shortage of portable wood burning camping stoves on the market, but if you’re someone who also likes to keep your electronic gadgets charged, the BioLite Campstove is a model that does a good job of multitasking.
Its lightweight design makes it backpacker friendly, and the conversion technology that uses the heat from your fire to power a charger is an awesome perk for when you just need to check your email.