This camping gadget has won awards, and its claims are pretty extraordinary. Effectively a combined heat and power wood burning stove, this product will let you cook and produce electricity off grid.
How does it work?
The BioLite runs on twigs, pine cones, and any other dry vegetation you may find on a trail, although you can also use wood pellets. You can use it as a normal stove to cook on, but it also has a USB port and generator attached where you can charge phones, plug in lamps or any other small electrical devices.
How did it work for me?
Let me start by saying that this is not a budget gadget. It looks really cool out of the box, and I’m sure those keen campers will be itching to get hold of something like this, but it doesn’t come cheap at around £150. But how well will it work?
I tried it in the back garden, collecting some dry twigs and few pine cones that were knocking around. Despite being a little tricky to light, once it got going it got very hot, and it wasn’t a problem to boil some water on.
It also threw off a fair bit of heat, and I can imagine that would be useful out on a trip. But the real thing that sets this product apart is the power generator, and it really does work. It charges a phone or powers a lamp pretty well, so with this gadget you never need to be stranded with a dead phone.
It weighs in at about a kilo, and it does seem a little bulky, but then most camping stoves are. If you are a frequent camper, or just love these sorts of gadgets it really is a cool addition to your gear. Is it the most cost effective way to charge your phone on your camping trip? Probably not, but it really is much cooler than carrying a battery pack with a charger around with you.