BioLite CampStove - Tiny House Blog

BioLite CampStove

biolite campstove

Our power was out all day yesterday and into the night because of a power pole going down. It got me thinking of having a backup source for cooking and power. Though  a little off topic I think this little stove is worth a look.

I enjoy backpacking, although I admit I haven’t been doing it as often these days. When backpacking there is nothing like a hot drink in the morning and evening or a hot meal at the end of the day. A good backpacking stove is a must if you wish to enjoy this.

biolite campstove

I have been frustrated with the high cost of fuel for these types of stoves, the hassle of hauling it in and out, and so when I saw this little stove it caught my attention for several reasons.

  1. Lightweight. The BioLite CampStove is designed as a lightweight backpackers stove but does not require you to haul in fuel. You can gather it where ever you are.
  2. Charge your phone or LED lights. This you won’t find on most backpacking stoves. If you need to be contacted and need a charged phone or camera you can do it with the charger built into this little stove.
  3. Have a backup system. Where we live the power tends to go out fairly frequently and you can be without power to cook, etc. This little stove could work as a backup system during an emergency or when the power is out. You could still enjoy a hot meal, charge your phone, LED lights, etc.

While you would not want to use this in your tiny home, how about out on your porch? This little stove will soon be available and while it is not cheap at $129 it is very comparable to other stoves of its size. I personally am seriously thinking of purchasing one for myself. If you are interested you can reserve yours at the BioLite website.

BioLite is also developing a larger stove to be used in 3rd World countries for family cooking. Be sure and check out the HomeStove on their site.

Below is video demonstration of the BioLite CampStove.

biolite campstove

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Stacy Mora - April 25, 2012 Reply

It’s cool. But, the noise is so awful. I’d never use!

alice h - April 25, 2012 Reply

It does seem quite noisy in the video. Wonder how noisy the home version is? It might be a handy item for the emergency/disaster kit though. Also makes me wonder if there might be a nice tidy electrical generator you could set up on a woodstove to charge lights. I suppose if a person was handy with gadgets they could make one but that stuff baffles me.

alice h - April 25, 2012 Reply has some components a person could use.

Dave - April 25, 2012 Reply

“High price of fuel”? I guess that I am a little perplexed by this. A gallon of Coleman white gas is $12 and will last me a month of camping and cooking 2 meals a day with my MSR Whisperlite International. And you can even run it on unleaded gas.

I would be more worried about the implications of using a fossil fuel with a conventional stove. This is nice because it does not use fossil fuels.

Shawn - April 25, 2012 Reply

It’s important to note that you generally wouldn’t use it for hours at a time, but it’d definitely work in a bind. I’m sure the noise would minimal in comparison to the light or phone or whatever you’d need the electricity for. It’s a great idea.

kenny - April 25, 2012 Reply

Buy a propane range. A 80 gal tank lasts us 2 years and the wife cooks 2-3 meals a day on it. If you lose power a lot why would you rely on an electric stove?

Jon - April 25, 2012 Reply

I would love to see a version about 2 or 3 times as big as the home stove, I’m a home brewer and about every 2 brews I kick a 10 gal tank of propane with my current turkey fryer, gets expensive.

EvilUrgency - April 25, 2012 Reply

I saw this on maybe a month ago and reserved mine then. Can’t wait to get it.

I would also like to point out that the stove used in the video above is not the final production model at least based on the images I’ve seen. So maybe the production model will be quieter.

I don’t plan on using mine (when I get it) to charge my phone as it would take hours but it will be nice to have the option if needed.

Seth - April 25, 2012 Reply

This stove has been in the works for quite sometime. I’ll be interested to see when it finally gets out in stores. It’s been a work-in progress for 3+ years.

Steve - April 25, 2012 Reply

I’m totally getting one. Love it.

Seth - April 25, 2012 Reply

After a little research, see the most recent comment at the bottom. Glad I’ve been on the wait list for 6+ months.

Abel Zimmerman Zyl - April 25, 2012 Reply

I suppose, given the response people are having, that i should mention alcohol cook stoves. There are dreadfully simple, totally silent versions… Usable indoors. They are usually used in boats.

I used one for quite awhile. One gallon of denatured alcohol would last me three to four months. Pretty safe, clean, quiet, and not a fossil fuel.

Anyway, i like this idea as well. Curious to see where this technology goes… Heaters? Hot water?


    Abel Zimmerman Zyl - April 25, 2012 Reply

    Okay. Watched the video again. These are really nice evolutions of the thermocouple. I must say simply: wow. It could turn out to be really reliable technology.

    Athena - April 28, 2012 Reply

    Ex-USN sailor says: “YewBetcha!

Josh - April 25, 2012 Reply

Interesting concept, but it doesn’t seem like a viable alternative to a real backpacking stove. I agree with Dave, I don’t see fuel as a limiting factor for a backpacking stove, and my MSR Dragonfly, with a fuel bottle, takes up less space than this thing. And if you think Coleman white gas is expensive, it’ll run on unleaded gasoline or diesel (or JP8 jet fuel; I can guarantee that works). Plus, it can go from tiny candle flame to full rocket engine with a turn of the valve. If you’re looking for a stove to have on hand in case the power goes, it seems like there would be better options than this though. Power most frequently goes out during the winter, right? Who keeps a steady supply of twigs and leaves in their home for just such an occasion? I’ve used my backpacking stove when the power has been out, but I would say that an even better alternative would be one of those 30 or 40 dollar Coleman stoves that use 1 lb propane bottles and fold up to the size of a briefcase. I should probably get one of those – if I’m just camping and not carrying it in on foot, and not concerned with the weight or space, I’d rather have one of those than the backpacking stove. Two burners, it’s nice and quiet – that seems like a good power-outage backup to me!

The “charge your cell phone” thing seems really gimmicky to me. If I’m looking for an emergency cell phone charger, I don’t think I’d look for it in a stove.

    Josh - April 25, 2012 Reply

    Looking online, I guess I’m off on the price of those stoves by quite a bit! More expensive than I thought, but I still think that’s a good emergency backup for when the power’s out.

Brother Tiberius - April 26, 2012 Reply

I remember building something like this when I was in the Boy Scouts. Now I have to dig out my old school green Fieldbook and see if I can find that plan. It used 2 coffee cans I think, with holes punched in the bottom of one. Twigs and stuff were the fuel source. It was a bit sooty, compared to something like a MSR, but it did the trick.

I’d concede that fuel could be an issue; but honestly, if it works well, it could be a great addition to a prepper’s kit, or to have on hand in case of a prolonged gas and power outage.

Or maybe I’ll build one out of the plans in the Fieldbook? 🙂

Michael - April 30, 2012 Reply

Every home, tiny or not, should have one of these ingenious stoves in its emergency preparedness kit!

I reserved mine.


P.S. I think we are going to attempt to do an outdoor “cook-top” stove base using the HomeStove unit on our next tiny home project (if we can get a unit). It’d be an outdoor kitchen unit … could be cool.

Alex - April 30, 2012 Reply

This is really awesome. Thanks for sharing Kent! I’m thinking about getting one.

Liz - May 19, 2012 Reply

Hi All, We’re thrilled to announce that the BioLite CampStove is now available for sale at the newly redesigned Pre-orders start shipping June 1 and new orders will be processed on a first-come first-served basis. Thank you for making our first product launch such a success. We can’t wait to share a summer of CampStove adventures together. -The BioLite Team

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