The CampStove is a high-tech biofuel burner that performs beautifully, due to the forced introduction of additional air into the combustion chamber. What’s cool about it is that it uses energy from the fire to create electricity to drive the fan that introduces the additional air. This makes the fire burn cleaner with little smoke, once the fire is established.
The technology is cool. It’s not a gee-whiz sort of technology, a nice gimmick to sell product; it’s actually a good use of tech to make a stove that burns cleaner.
The downside of the CampStove is that it is heavy. Compared to the 5-ounce titanium Emberlit, the CampStove weighs in at almost three pounds. It also makes noise, the only biofuel stove to do so. The fan is a soft whir, so I don’t consider it offensive, but if you’re looking for the silent experience, be forewarned.
There have been some negative reviews about this stove, mostly focusing on how the charger isn’t worth toffee, and it would take a week and three cords of dry oak to charge your iPhone. I tested the output of the USB port with a multimeter and the curmudgeons have a point. It’s useful for getting an extra few percent of battery charge in case you want to listen to another 15 minutes of Kanye on your iPod, but that’s about it.
That said, I think they miss the point. The BioLite folks are creating larger stoves for the third world that will dramatically reduce the amount of smoke and soot used in cooking fires, and provide electricity in small amounts, enough to run some LED lamps. Smoke from cooking fires causes more deaths than malaria, so it’s a worthy endeavor.
My advice is to ignore the charging port and consider the benefits of cleaner burning. It does work well, and though I’m not taking it on my next backpacking trip, the CampStove has earned a place in my pack when I’m paddling where biofuels are readily available and I don’t have to carry it over a portage.
The surprise is that the burn time of the BioLite was slower than the Bushcooker, even with the fan assist, but the big advantage is the lack of smoke when you add hot air at the top of the stove to create a secondary burn.
Water baseline temperature of 62 degrees.
Rolling boil at 4:46.
More biofuel campstoves:
Use these stoves to fuel your next paddle-camping adventure with biofuels
Fueled by twigs, grasses, and driftwood, the Kelly Kettle made something out of nothing.
It weighs nothing and works great. You won’t find a lighter, more compact stove.
Handmade in the USA, the Bushcooker is a simple and brilliant biofuel stove.