Green Camp Stove Charges Your iPhone Too
Do you love to go camping, but hate to carry fuel? Do you love being in the woods, but can’t leave your cell phone at home? BioLite may have just the thing for your green, portable cooking and recharging needs.
Unlike most compact quick-boil camp stoves such as those from Jetboil, the BioLite CampStove does not require that you carry canisters of propane to power them. Instead, the CampStove can burn a variety of biomass such as sticks, twigs, pine cones and wood pellets. Of course, that assumes that you will be camping within range of such tree bits. If so, then you are all set for some quick cooking.
However, the CampStove does more than just make hot coffee or tasty soup. Its thermo-electric generator (TEG) converts some of the heat generated by the stove into electricity. That electricity is then regulated and made available through a USB port on the side of the stove, ready to charge up your iPhone, iPad, smartphone, LED flashlight or other gadgets.
The CampStove generates three to five kilowatts of cooking power and two to four watts of 5-volt electricity, depending upon the size of the fire that you make. According to BioLite, that performance yields one liter of boiling water in less than five minutes and about an hour of talk time on an iPhone 4S in 20 minutes.
The CampStove not only looks good with its techie chrome combustion chamber, honeycomb grating and striking orange TEG module, but it is also designed to be compact. The thermo-electric generator slips right into the burner to reduce the overall size of the unit to approximately the dimensions of a one-liter water bottle.
The last time I went camping with a Jetboil, I had to carry a solar panel to keep my smartphone charged up. If I had had a CampStove, I could have saved the extra weight of the solar panel and camp fuel. Instead, all the pine cones, pine needles and twigs could have taken care of both energy needs.
Considering that a Jetboil costs US $99, the added utility of the CampStove at US $129 is a good deal. It is also worthwhile to have one at home, even if you don’t go camping, in case of a natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake. Since we rely so much on our cell phones, having more than one way to keep them going, especially during times of crisis, is a good thing, indeed.
How do you keep your electronics going when away from home?
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