BioLite CampStove

Review & Photos by Melanie McKay

The BioLite CampStove is the perfect camp accessory, especially when camping in places where you have to hike in your gear, or where little wood is available.

First off, it’s extremely light and compact. All parts of the stove stack together so you are only carrying it as one piece, which is about the size of a large Nalgene water bottle.  It’s lightweight and easy to attach to a backpack to carry in.

Photo (C) 2015 Melanie McKay
Photo (C) 2015 Melanie McKay

We often camp where there is not much wood available. On Vancouver Island, you can receive a hefty fine for removing dead wood from the surrounding rainforest, as the wood contributes to the cycle of the natural ecosystem.  Often when we go camping, we struggle to have enough wood for fires. The BioLite uses such a small amount of wood to create a cooking fire that it has really been a savior. Small sticks, or a piece or two of regular fire wood chopped into small pieces can do the trick.

Photo (C) 2015 Melanie McKay
Photo (C) 2015 Melanie McKay

The BioLite also comes with some small pieces of fire starter, which helps you get going. The attached power generator  works as a fan to blow oxygen into the bottom of the stove canister, keeping it burning with even small amounts of wood.

Photo (C) 2015 Melanie McKay
Photo (C) 2015 Melanie McKay

Once the fire reaches a certain temperature, the generator on the side (which is the fan) starts to collect power like a battery. After a short amount of time, a small light on the side will change from orange to green, letting you know that you are now able to plug in and charge some devices (like an iPhone!) using the USB charge port.  Even though we are often out of service when camping, I love using my phone as a camera, so being able to charge it has been a huge bonus. It’s a slow charge, but a charge none the less.

You are only able to cook with accessories designed specifically for the BioLite CampStove. Currently, I have the Kettle Pot.  It’s designed to fit properly on top of the BioLite CampStove. We often use it to boil foods that are too difficult to cook over a fire, even if we have one going. Foods like potatoes or carrots. The BioLite also fits conveniently in the camp pot, so there is still no extra space taken by having it.

Overall, I definitely recommend the BioLite CampStove. It’s an extremely clever and convenient little device! I don’t go camping without it now.

Melanie McKay is a freelance photographer living in Victoria on Vancouver Island, B.C. Be sure to check out more of her photography on her website, Instagram, and print store.

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