For the backpacker who believes roughing it should include a reliable cooking stove, the engineers at BioLite have created the lightweight compact CampStove.
The very cool factor of this hot product is that the stove does not require the usual heavy, flammable fuel source, such as gas, kerosene or propane. All you need are little twigs, pine cones, and other biomass found along the trail (a pack of quick-start firelighter strips are included) — and a match or lighter.
The resulting little fire power in the ingeniously designed combustion chamber produces electricity through a little attached thermoelectric generator, which in turn powers a fan that creates airflow and more combustion power. The result is a nice hot flame beneath the cooking surface, plus enough surplus electricity to power an integrated USB port (cable included) for charging your phone or other small electronic device. Now that’s service.
The CampStove is about 8 inches high by 5 inches wide, weighs about 2 pounds, and is sturdily propped up by three fold-out metal feet. Bring along your own little pot or skillet, or buy the CampStove Bundle, which includes a portable grill and a kettle/pot designed to work especially efficiently with the stove, and to nestle with it for transport.
BioLite CampStove is $129.95; CampStove Bundle, $224.85, at www.biolitestove.com.