Being a prepper for many years, there are very few products that actually surprise me with how well they work. I can spot slick PR and gimmicky marketing a mile away.
When I first started looking into the BioLite CampStove, I saw it as a heavy stove with the added gimmick of a USB charging device. Trying to keep my backpacks as light as I can, I always thought a BioLite stove was just way too heavy.
I always focused on its capabilities as a stove, but didn’t really give its off-grid charging capabilities much of a thought.
But after surfing around Amazon one night at 3am, I decided to give one a try!!
After taking it out of the box and assembling the stove, I quickly became a BioLite convert. Yes, it can function great as a stove for boiling water, or for heating food, but the BioLite CampStove really shines when it comes to generating power.
You now have the ability to create power out of nothing more than some small pieces of wood you can find pretty much anywhere in the world. As a prepper, the BioLite CampStove gives you another means for keeping your small electronics going.
Generators are great, and should be your first line of power, but they can be limiting at time. They require gas, which is almost impossible to find during disasters. They can be loud and too large for people that live in the city.
Another option in lieu of a generator is to go with a solar system. Solar is a fantastic solution as long as you have bright sunshine to power your devices.
BioLite stoves, however, don’t require gas or specific weather in order to do their job.
The BioLite Camp Stove 2’s integrated 2600 mAh battery charges devices with or without a live fire. BioLite’s patented core technology captures waste heat from the fire through a heat probe attached to the orange powerpack. This heat is converted into electricity via a thermoelectric generator.
This powers a fan and sends electricity to a USB charging port. Excess power is stored in the internal battery. The internal fan injects air back into the burn chamber, dramatically improving combustion and creating a cleaner, more efficient burn.
The CampStove will produce a charge rate as high as 5v of electricity. We were able to fully charge an iPhone 7 in a little over an hour. The output is enough to charge any phone or tablet, along with radio gear or battery power banks. All you have to do is keep feeding it sticks and twigs, and you will have an almost endless source of power.
Because of the built-in fan, not only do you get a very hot fire that can boil water and heat up food, but it does it with almost zero smoke. This is a huge advantage over most portable wood burning stoves. It allows you to use it in a large enclosed area if you have to, or keeps your visual signature low if you do not wish to be seen.
We’ve made coffee many mornings while car camping, and made breakfast on the portable grill. The best feature is that you can charge your phone or GPS for the day, while you are making a hot cup of Joe.
The BioLite accessories really make the stove a great add-on to your bug out location. With the portable grill and kettle pot, you have most of the amenities of a full size kitchen. The LED light also comes in handy when you are cooking in the dark.
I still think the BioLite CampStove is on the large and heavy size for a BOB, but its versatility in a bugging in situation is a must have!
I was beyond surprised by the charging performance of the stove, and think that for the price it is hard to beat.
PRO TIP: Make sure that you store a charging cable with the stove. Having everything in one location makes setup much faster