BioLite Campstove

I bought one of these on Amazon a few weeks ago when it was on sale for $80 on Amazon.  It’s supposed to cook your food and charge your electronic devices at the same time.  Finally got to use it and here is my in depth-ish review of this apocalypse device.

The first thing I noticed when opening the box were these firestarter sticks.

They’re a lot like the Duraflame logs you can buy to help you get your chimney started without struggle.  Which means, in this stove’s case,  you have start a fire every time you take this out and want to get a charge.  So if you run out of these sticks or you’re missing your favorite lighter, you’re out of luck.   It does not come with it’s own igniter.

Once you get a fire started, it boils water fairly well.  Took me a little more than 5 minutes to boil water.  However, I had to keep feeding it sticks and twigs the whole time.   That is a lot of sticks.  Which were free and ubiquitous, so I didn’t have to carry and fuel inside my car.  But the feeding and feeding got tedious and became a chore.

As far as charging your phone, I found the speed of charging my phone the same as plugging it into your typical cheap gas station usb cigarette charger.  It works, but don’t expect to fill your battery in the time it takes to cook your food.
The most annoying thing about this product is the ashes that collect at the bottom that has to be dumped somewhere.  This has to be done every 10 or 15 minutes, so if you’re cooking a big stew, you have pause cooking for a minute, dump the ashes, then continue.

For overlanding, I assume you’d have a dedicated stove to cook with and a car charger in your car to keep electronic batteries full.
Therefore, I cannot recommend this product for overlanding.  Maybe for backpacking or camping it, would be good.

Several things they can do to improve the BioLite:

  1. Make a hole where you can feed it while it’s burning.  I hated lifting the pot to feed it sticks.
  2. Make a built-in igniter.
  3. Make a removable ash tray at the bottom and include two, so that users can dump the ashes while it’s burning.

Leave a Reply