An innovative, lightweight and affordable new camp stove is soon to hit the market for you to take into the backcountry this season. A high efficiency wood camp stove, the BioLite harnesses the fire’s own waste heat to drive the stove’s fueling process. The result is a stove that cuts wood consumption in half, reduces smoke emissions by 95% and most importantly for the environment, nearly eliminates black carbon.
With the BioLite camp stove, you no longer have to bring fuel or alcohol with you in order to make your backcountry meals. The camp stove has the ability to burn almost any solid fuel such as leaves, pine cones, rice husks, twigs, pellets or other underbrush you collect throughout the day.
All solids turn to gas before they burn and in an open fire, that gas burns in a thin layer around the solid wood. If you can separate this gas (called woodgas) from the solids, it can be more completely mixed with oxygen, resulting in cleaner, hotter combustion.
The BioLite camp stove includes a small fan which separates the woodgas from the solids and adds oxygen to fuel the combustion process. The fan is self powered by the stove, meaning you need no batteries or electricity. Using a Thermoelectric Generator, the stove captures waste heat from the fires and converts it directly to electricity. So as long as your fire is hot, it keeps on generating its own power.
The camp stove kindles within 2 minutes and boils 1 liter of water in 4 minutes. Weighing 1lb 10 oz, it is not exactly your ultralight camp stove option but not bad considering you don’t have to carry any fuel. The stove packs up small for easy transport. BioLite will also have a compact model wood camp stove that is 35% smaller than the original and will weigh in at only 15 oz. The compact camp stove could be a viable option for thru hikers, again considering the no fuel factor.
The BioLite stove concept, invented by Alec Dummond and Jonathan Ceder, was originally designed to target third world countries where open fire cooking is still the norm. The goal was to eliminate the dangerous smoke and toxins that enter the home through cooking and kills 1.6 million people per year. By also reducing black carbon and deforestation due to wood fuel consumption, the BioLite stove will also help combat global warming.
The BioLite camp stove should be available to order soon. Check the website for updates.