Wood Power


The BioLite CampStove ($129.95; biolitestove.com) seemed like an impossible paradox at first: a wood-burning stove (outdated) that charges your electronics (futuristic), but after a fall season of car-camping trips, our testers were sold. One Joe’s Valley tester was able to brown a pound of ground beef and vegetables in just a few minutes on a 40°F night. But because it’s real fire and not a regulated gas stove, boil times for one liter of water depended largely on the outside temperature, ranging from 6.5 to 14 minutes.It’s easy to get roaring, too: With two handfuls of pencil-sized wood and some matches, fire it up and steadily drop a few more sticks in as needed as you cook. The selling point for this stove, however, is the thermoelectric generator that converts the fire’s heat and to electricity. This juice powers a small fan, which ensures a regular flow of oxygen to the flame with a high and a low setting, and—the real kicker—charges USB-powered devices. After about 35 minutes of charge time, our tester’s iPhone gained 13 percent, enough to get that much-needed beta from Mountain Project. It nests down to the size of a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle and weighs just over two pounds. —Julie Ellison