Stove Burns Wood, Charges USB-Powered Gadgets on Side

A camp stove that heats your food and charges your mobile devices long after sundown? You heard right, the BioLite CampStove does just that. Heat generated from the stove is converted into electricity, allowing you to plug in via USB and charge your gadgets.

The creators of BioLight became interested in a “sustainable stove” that lessens emissions and eliminates a camper’s need for petroleum-based fuels as well as batteries. It claims its namesake BioLite stoves “make cooking on wood as clean, safe and easy as modern fuels while generating electricity to charge phones, lights and other electronics off-grid.”

Wood Burning USB Camp Stove.jpg

Charger unit on side converts heat to electricity, and a USB plug delivers the juice

This is at least the second version of the flame-for-electricity stove concept from the company. TechCrunch and other publications covered the first generation stove. The images here are a new version, which has several upgrades and a new form factor.

Personally, I am excited for this solution. Having enough time and sunlight to charge my devices on paddling or backpacking trips has always been iffy. As a result, I’ve been a bit reluctant to lean too heavily on solar chargers. But a stove with this sort of compatibility would let me decide when and where I charge my electronics, most likely at night in camp while dinner is simmering and we’re hanging out under the stars.

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Posted by Dan - 01/31/2012 12:31 PM

This thing looks really really cool! If it actually works I think it would be pretty darn revolutionary. And a suggested retail of $130 isn’t bad – might be able to score one of these for under $100… not bad at all. I look forward to a full review down the road.

Dan@ BladeReviews

Posted by Rod - 02/01/2012 12:04 AM

I would like to know if it could attach to a bigger camp stove

Posted by Don - 02/01/2012 06:57 AM

I would think something like this would be wonderful to people in third world countries. they often have limited or no electricity. They often rely on cell phones for emergencies and communication or solar panels for power. this could be a back up or even an alternative to a solar panel.

Posted by Editor - 02/01/2012 09:50 AM

Don, the company’s roots are in developing-world applications of this tech.

Posted by KB - 02/01/2012 12:36 PM

I have a similar stove, a Sierra Zip Stove. It’s much more compact, but then again, it doesn’t charge my gadgets. I recommend this style of stove. Once it heats up, the fan turns the fire into a furnace and cooks/boils things much faster than I ever anticipate! I carry a little coal BBQ chunk in a ziplock in case I can’t find dry wood/pine cones to start the fire (once she’s going, add wet wood – it’ll burn). As much as I’d like to pretend I don’t need a charger while back packing, I do bring my phone out there for the tracking apps and such… busted.

Posted by mac - 02/02/2012 04:47 PM

This stove is similar to the Zip, but as I understand it, it uses TEG technology to avoid the need for the battery….plus it outputs more energy than the fan needs and allows you to use that. Pretty clever, and seemingly well executed.

Posted by Anthony - - 02/08/2012 08:12 AM

I love the concept, hope it takes off. Their full-sized developing-world model is brilliant.

I imagine there would be two issues with this model.

It would get filthy with all the ash.
You’d have to burn sticks for two hours per gadget.

Looking forward to the in-the-field GearJunkie review!

Posted by Jehnavi - 04/20/2012 04:08 AM

Perhaps the easiest fix would be to add a bit of text on the insert gadget popup that links to that external gadgets doc. Thanks again

Posted by Mike Dwyer - 04/21/2012 11:02 AM

I just ordered one and can’t wait for it to arrive and do trial runs out camping …. brilliant concept and company philosophy… will post a review once I get it :)

Posted by Steven - 06/16/2012 02:08 AM

I was wondering what is the lifespan of this device… Meaning how many hours of operation can this device withstand.

Posted by BioLite Stove - 06/22/2012 10:42 AM

Hi Gear Junkie Viewers!

Thank you all for your support! CampStove is now available for purchase and is shipping in mid-July. Check our website LinkText for more information.


Posted by Carter - 07/20/2012 02:16 PM

I own one and have used it a few times. The BioLite camp stove is everything it says it is. I have charged a smartphone, a flashlight, and a headlight. For cooking, it is great. The fire is smoke-free (provided you don’t jam as much as you can the burn chamber). The integrated three-tab pan holder works well, and I was able to boil water quickly in my teapot. The three folding legs make the stove sturdy. There is very little fuel material left after cooking, because of the air-injected/assisted burning. For fuel, I have used hickory and oak twigs, pine cones, hickory nut shells, & pine needles. I highly recommend this stove.

Posted by David from Solar Phone Charger - 10/16/2012 12:36 AM

How to Light Pilot Lights on Gas Log Stoves?

Posted by sheila McNutt - 11/17/2012 08:19 AM

Where do I buy one??

Posted by Keith Rayeski - 12/12/2012 11:24 PM

At two pounds….I’d consider it for a bug out kit but to hump that packing…!

Posted by Dave - 12/22/2012 09:32 AM

Wow. This looks amazing! I want one. Naturally I think other companies will follow and they will improve/vary even more in the next couple of years. Exciting time for camping gadgetry. I really just want to buy one for free electricity/frugal lifestyle but I am wondering if it is built for daily use over a period of time. Still looks like a really awesome gadget.

Posted by S2 - 01/10/2013 08:17 PM

I asked for and got one for Christmas and am very pleased with it in the 1 real-world trial (and numerous backyard tests). It heated 2 cups of water in just around 4 minutes, not including 1 minute needed to start a little twig fire going. I ran it for about 2 hours continuously and got a lot better at not over-feeding it, which caused smoke-outs. My next goal is to get better at finding larger twigs that will burn longer so I don’t have to take the pot off the stove to feed the fire so much.

I demoed it to some outdoor enthusiasts and one said “I gotta get me one!”

Posted by Jim Pond - 03/13/2013 04:46 PM

Hate to ask but – why do you need to charge your cell phone while on a hike? Turn it off at the trail head, turn it on when the hike is over and it’ll be charged.

Posted by kylebg - 04/25/2013 05:35 PM

I have had this stove for almost a year now and used it multiple times. I’ve come to realize its biggest benifit is its unlimited fuel supply with the added benifit of charging devices. For an overnight trip, maybe not the first choice but for multi day or groups were lots of cooking may be required it could be a plus. Also it is more effective in the winter over canister stoves since they lose some efficency in the colder temps.

A side note when I used it on a winter trip this year my friend and I decided to bring fresh meat and veggies as a treat and cooked them shikabob style, very nice!

Posted by rockerchic - 05/01/2013 06:05 PM

This might be useful for backpacking, and the weight may not be an issue. Other stoves may be lighter, however their fuel, often liquid, makes up a ton of weight, and is not sustainable. And being able to charge your phone eliminates the need for an extra recharging device. An iphone is great on trips for taking pictures, having an LED light, an emergency signal, taking a picture of your map in case you lose it, listening to music under the stars, etc. It can be a great emergency item to have on hand. I even keep a couple survival books on it, just in case things go bad out there.

Posted by Randall Knapp - 08/22/2013 03:01 AM

The one problem with this stove is that it is not pressurized fuel so when there is a burn ban except for pressurized fuels which happens a lot you are screwed if this is all you have.

Posted by Fred - 04/13/2014 11:04 AM

I used mine twice a day on a two week trip and swear by it! I bought the kettle for it which doubles for trasport protection, and loved being able to boiling water while still adding fuel…I have since bought the add on grill but have yet to try it!

Posted by Sebastien - 04/13/2014 11:42 AM

I ordered my last week and cant wait to get my hands on it! I will go camping next weekend and I will post a review
Sebastien @ EDC Knives & Folding Knives

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