With renewable energy playing a big part in camping and in today’s world, more brands are looking back on the traditional non-gas options for campers, and it all stems from one thing - wood burning stoves. They are lightweight, easy to use and if used correctly, they are a lot safer than gas or multi-fuel stoves.
Enter Biolite; they are the leaders when it comes to wood burning stoves, but with twist! They use the heat from the stove to produce electricity!
Here’s the simple science: The heat from the stove is channeled into a thermoelectric generator (TEG) which then changes the heat into electricity, which then goes to two ports: A fan which blows into the stove itself feeds the fire more oxygen giving a strong burn and more charge to the TEG, and a USB port so you can charge up your mobile phones, mp3 players and even tablets! Biolite have mixed old tech with new tech and the results are absolutely brilliant!
We took their camp stove out for a test drive to test out how good the Biolite technology really is - and we can’t lie, it blew our socks off! The first thing that struck us was how lightweight the stove is and also how compact it is! It’s about the size of a litre water bottle which you could strap to the side of your day bag or rucksack. It was easy and quick to set up the stove, the legs make the stove very stable so even if you are having to cook on an uneven ground the stove will stay put quite nicely.
To get the best results when cooking with the Biolite, we used the Light My Fire tinder sticks. We broke them up and placed the tinder in, then using a trusty zippo lighter, we lit the tinder. After about a minute we switched the fan on and working with the fan on the Biolite a flame got going pretty quickly.
We tested out the Biolite kettlepot to see how fast it can boil a litre of water. It took about two and half minutes to boil which was a lot faster than expected. We then hooked up the Grill, heating it up nice and quickly and spreading the heat evenly throughout the grill. Being the bacon fans we are at Simply Hike, we put some bacon rashers on the grill to test how quickly and evenly it would cook. It was half way through cooking when the green light went indicating it was ready to charge, so we hooked up was a solar charger - the main battery was flat so needed a good charge. As soon as we put the USB into the Biolite the blue lights went indicating that the main battery was charging via USB.
We then decided to see what it was like with a mobile phone and it charged it really well, we left it connected to the Biolite for the remainder of time that the stove stayed on and it had charged almost halfway.
Oh and the bacon was cooked perfectly - nice and crisp!
Overall Verdict: For wild campers that really do want to live off the grid, the camp stove will be perfect for you - no gas, lightweight and the fact you can charge essential items like your phone is definitely a plus. This stove is also perfect for the weekend campers