The BioLite CampStove 2 – Turning Fire Into Electricity Anywhere You Go…. From A Truly Amazing Company!

Do I have one – No… Do I want one – ABSOLUTELY!!

Before we get into the CampStove let’s take a minute to look at BioLite as a company and what they are doing.

BioLite as a company has been around for a little over ten years and they actually have a great story if you take a few minutes to read about them on their website. I would challenge you to take a few minutes out of your day and read – About BioLite, A Mission Ignited, The Road Ahead and the 2018 Impact Report. If you do you will see that they aren’t just a stove, solar or lighting company.. They are a company on fire (no pun intended) to make an impact on half the planet that lives an energy poverty life. Wait.. so this company isn’t solely looking to make products and sell them? No.. they are giving back…. and giving back in a huge way.

Yes.. we will get to the CampStove in a few minutes.. Settle down…

I know that what we do here is bring previews and reviews of products whether they be good or bad products but every once in a while we run across a company that truly stands out and BioLite just happens to be one of those companies.

Let’s take a look at BioLite… All info taken straight from BioLite’s OUR STORY page. I could try and rewrite it and make it my own but why try to change something that says exactly what you want to portray. Hopefully BioLite won’t be too upset that I am using their photos and copy from their page. So here is a sampling of what I asked you to read a few paragraphs up.

Our Story – The BioLite History

BioLite is on a mission to bring Energy Everywhere™ with revolutionary products that transform the way we Cook, Charge and Light our lives off the grid. We are a team of engineers and designers, operators and analysts, story tellers and evangelists, who believe that advanced technologies, built on sustainable business practices, have the power to change the world. Our unique Parallel Innovation business model pairs the needs of families living in energy poverty with the passions of outdoor enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of life outdoors and on the go.

Our founders, Jonathan and Alec, met at Smart Design in New York City where they quickly bonded over their interest in sustainable design. Alec, frustrated that almost all efficient camping stoves required fossil fuels, had the idea of a wood-burning stove able to utilize its own thermal energy to improve combustion. Jonathan, an avid camper, quickly brought his engineering background to the table and the two began the design process. Countless nights, weekends, and prototypes later, the BioLite CampStove was born: a portable biomass stove that leveraged thermoelectrics to create a smokeless fire all while charging personal devices.

There is your sneak peak… Now go to their website and read the rest and I guarantee you will be blown away. Here’s the link to the Our Story page… Yes.. click on it now and read.. https://www.bioliteenergy.com/pages/our-story

And now we stray from the awesomeness of BioLite and what they are doing for the world and take a quick look at the CampStove 2.

First.. I have to say it is one of the coolest looking stoves. Like a fire burning spaceship! So you might ask what the heck is the yellow gadget attached to that stove? That’s the cool part about this stove and makes this thing stand out from any other stove I have seen. Being that I’m not an engineer.. Actually far from it… This is what they say on the website about the CampStove 2.. Turn fire into electricity with BioLite’s award winning stove. Ok.. Here is the fancy part……. Patented combustion technology creates a vortex of smokeless flames for a portable campfire that can cook your meals and charge your gear, all at the same time… Hold up.. cook your food and charge your gear.. Are you saying you can cook a meal and charge a cell phone, battery pack, anything?? Yes my friend that’s exactly what they are saying. Where do I sign up !! This awesome little stove doesn’t run on those gas canisters but rather wood.. Just look around and grab some sticks and twigs and start it up. Truly unbelievable.. And remember what this company is doing for others.

Truly Fantastic Products From A Truly Fantastic Company That Actually Cares About Others… Unique To Say The Least…

Specs

  • Charge phones, lights and more with the 3W generated power
  • Burn sticks, twigs, wood scraps or pellets you can buy on the BioLite website
  • Boil Time for 1L is 4.5 minutes
  • Packs down to the size of a 32 oz water bottle
  • Weight comes in at 2.06 lbs
  • CampStove also comes with the FlexLight shown in one of the images above.
  • Regular Price $129.95.. But currently during the HOLIDAY SALE $103.96 – Amazing Deal !!

If you aren’t sold on the CampStove 2 yet I don’t know what to tell you. An amazing stove that is unlike other stoves on the market from a company that is doing amazing work throughout the world for people that need the help.

Check out BioLite’s website to see all the other amazing products they currently offer. CampStove, FirePit, BaseCamp PizzaDome, Solar Panels, Multiple Lighting Products and much more. Take a few minutes to read about BioLite on their Out Story page and help support what they are doing.

https://www.bioliteenergy.com/

Bravo BioLite.. Bravo!!

Überleben And Their Lightweight Stöker Flatpack Stove And Unwaxed Canvas… Also The Hexå Fire Starter

It’s not often that I give myself credit for much but when starting this review I decided I needed to figure out how to do the umlaut marks over the letters.. And I did.. Now moving on…

Up today is the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove and their Hexå Fire Starters. If you don’t know anything about Überleben you really need to check them out. They are putting out some really cool products and I got my hands on a flatpack stove and a fire starter.. See how I did that.. I didn’t list the two words that require me to find the Ü, ö and the å !!

First up is the Stöker Flatpack Stove.. We all know there are a multitude of backpacking stoves out there and alot of good ones. But there is something about this one that is simple, basic and just really cool. This little gem is made out of high quality HD 304 stainless, breaks down into 7 pieces and lays flat in a canvas bag. All that and weighing in at a light 14.6 oz. and that even includes the canvas pouch! How cool is the packaging this thing comes in!!

I’m going to break away from the stove for a couple of seconds and give you a glance into Überleben and their beliefs. The following comes from their About Us section.. and.. I can tell you without a doubt this is the best About Us section I have ever seen on a company’s website. I’m not sure who at the company wrote this but they definitely deserve a gold star.. Wow.. So here you go.

We believe that less is more. We believe in quality over quantity. We believe in respecting tradition, while continually challenging it. And above all, we believe that fire is absolutely non-negotiable. 

Überleben is German word meaning to survive — and/or, to live. While those words appear the same, they’re somewhat different. Fire is essential to survival. However, “survival” is not the reason we trek into the woods after work on a Wednesday afternoon. We’re doing this because something deep inside us is still whispering, “build fire or die”. Subconsciously, we’re not attempting to escape physical death — but psychological death. We long to live. Not merely survive. We’re chasing the experience, an we exist to share that experience with others. 

This isn’t about Instagram followers. Nobody cares about your feather sticks. This isn’t about them. It’s about you.

Ok.. back to the stove now.. below is some information that they list on their website.

Introducing the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. We didn’t need a stove — we just really wanted one. Made of the highest quality HD 304 stainless, the Stöker weighs in at only 14.6 oz packed flat (including the canvas sleeve). The perfect balance of durability and weight. If you can’t find fuel for this, you’re going to need more than a fire to save you.

  • Fueled entirely by organic matter (twigs, bark, pine needles, etc.), this stick stove / bio stove will keep you going indefinitely. No more fuel canisters. 
  • Simple 5-panel assembly allows for low profile / flat pack stow.
  • HD 304 grade stainless steel is anti-corrosive and extremely strong.
  • Includes unwaxed canvas sleeve (wax or leave breathable, according to your climate / preference).
  • Canvas Sleeve doubles as a tinder bag.
  • Weight: 14.6 oz. (including canvas sleeve)
  • Assembled Dimensions: Height – 6.5”, Width – 5.5”( at base) and 4.5” (at top)

I got the stove in the mail, admired the way it was packaged and then opened it. I can’t say enough about this little stove. It’s just cool and built different than anything else I have seen. It’s hard to describe.. JUST COOL!!

My experience.. Putting the stove together was easy, straight forward and absolutely no need for instructions. If I can’t put together something with a total of 7 pieces there is something wrong with me… So.. I got the stove put together and tested it out. Did I mention it cool?? I think I did.. I loved it. It’s basic and gets the job done and all for $38. Yep.. only $38. It’s a great deal. Yes we can buy a stove that requires fuel and burns a kabillion degrees and you can raise and lower the flame.. blah blah blah.. boring. This stove let’s you do what you were meant to do and that is build a fire. Build a fire and cook your own food. Pick on up.. That’s all I need to say.. Just get one.

***NOTE*** Yes I used the stove and took a multitude of photographs but come one.. How can anyone take photos and compete with the images on the Überleben website.. Well. I can’t and that’s why I used their images and not mine..

Here is the link to the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove – https://www.uberleben.co/products/stoker-flatpack-stove

And if you have a Stöker stove or any wood burning stove what do you need….. Yep.. a way to get a fire started. Yes you can use a BIC lighter but the fire gods may strike you down if you ever use a BIC light or any little silly lighter to start a fire in the Stöker stove.. If you are going to own a Stöker you dang well better get a real fire starter and Überleben just happens to have you covered in this area. Yes.. more cool pictures from their website.

Not only does Überleben have fire starters they have a lot of them in all shapes and sizes. I picked up the 3″ Hexå Fire Starter and it does exactly what it is supposed to do – It Throws Sparks! The Hexå comes in a 3″ & 6″ both with a multi-tool scraper. Once again a cool thing to have with you. Never know when you will need FIRE!!

From the website –

Introducing the Hexå. We’ve been plotting this move for awhile now. We got tired of waiting for someone else to do it. Our proprietary hexagonal ferro profile means 6 flat sides; or more surface contact — and more surface contact means more molten ferrocerium thrown whenever you need it.  

  • Flat profile design, for greater control and greater efficiency. Approx. 8mm of direct striker-contact on each side
  • 1/2″ (12.5mm) thick Sånft-korr ferrocerium rod yields 20,000+ strikes
  • Works at any altitude, in any weather… even wet.
  • Includes full grain leather lanyard for multiple securing options, and 6-function multi-tool scraper.
  • Available in 2 lengths (3″ & 6″)

The 3″ Hexå comes in at $18 and the 6″ at $32. Small price to pay for something that can start you thousands of fire out on your adventures.

Like I said there are a multitude of fire starters on the Überleben website so take a look what they have.

Just know that when you pick up a stove and a fire starter from the Überleben website you are going to be the cool kid on your next backpacking or camping trip!

Check out Überleben and all their awesome gear on their website – https://www.uberleben.co/ or their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/uberleben.co/ or their Instagram page @uberleben.co

Is The SVEA 123 Still A Viable Camp Stove Option?

This little brass stove has been in production since 1955 but in today’s world of backpackers seeking the next holy grail of light weight stoves, is the SVEA 123 really an option anymore? Over the past few weeks I have talked to numerous people (and when I say numerous I mean numerous) that have either owned, used or have been around a SVEA 123 in use and the majority of those people say 100% they are one of the greatest stoves ever produced.

Cult Following – comprised of a group of fans who are highly to a work of culture. The stove does have a pretty incredible and devoted following so maybe it is a good choice. Let’s look at some points brought up with current and previous SVEA 123 stove owners.

(1) Looks – Every single person said it was hands down the coolest looking stove they have ever owned. Who wouldn’t want a retro shiny brass looking stove? (2) Size & Weight – This stove packs down to a small 5” x 4” size and while that’s small it isn’t as small as some new stoves. Fully fueled it comes in at around 15oz. (3) Reliability – IT ALWAYS WORKS! Plain and simple it just works. (4) Wind – It’s wind proof.. (5) Boil Time – This is where the 123 drops off a little. The consensus of those interviewed said the boil time is around 6 minutes which is considerably longer than some of the newer MSR stoves. So is this going to require you carry additional fuel and thus increase your overall pack weight? Maybe… (6) Longevity – Everyone claims to have owned one for 25+ years and they are still to this day described as brilliant, compact, never failed me, incredible, fuel efficient, reliable, stable and easy to use… what else do you need to hear?

Yes these little beauties have a cult following but from those I spoke to, and let me assure you it was a lot of people… the SVEA 123 is still a fantastic backpacking stove. And who wouldn’t want a bright, shiny and cool camp stove?

Check them out on eBay for a true vintage model (open up your checkbook and get ready to shell out some dollars) or you can still buy new models at numerous locations on the web for about $87. Yes they are still a good backpacking stove option……

MSR Family of Stoves – Who Doesn’t Want A Hot Meal?

When being outdoors for an extended amount of time, one can only choke down pre-made packaged bars made with an array of grains, seeds and other things that happen to be overly dry for so long before it’s time for something different.  Sure you can opt for a cold meal but who wants that when for minimal weight in your pack you can have a stove that gets you a hot meal and gets it to you quick.

So, why a camp stove over an open campfire?  The thought of a crackling, warm, open camp fire roaring in the middle of camp seems like an awesome experience.  Campfires are obviously an option but with restrictions on fire height, fire location, how to start the fire and keep it burning (fire starter, kindling, wood and some option to put it out) are all reasons a stove might be a better option.  Camp stoves are typically compact and easy to carry in a backpack and allow you to cook a hot meal incredibly fast.

Oh..  and what about starting a campfire when it’s been raining and everything is wet.  Not the easiest task.

Today is MSR day and I will post about competing stove manufacturers not only in the liquid fuel (alcohol or gas cartridges) space but also solid fuel (wood, charcoal, etc) models as well in the coming days.

I would image most of you have heard of MSR or Mountain Safety Research and probably have some of the gear they have been putting out since Larry Penberthy founded the company in 1969.  As the MSR website states – The fuel behind Larry’s passionate fire was a simple belief that still drives their team today – The Idea that better, safer, more reliable equipment is the key to unlocking greater adventures.

Over the past few weeks I have been looking over manufacturer websites and message boards trying to narrow down the exact new outdoor stove I want to have in my pack going forward.  As you know there are a multitude of options and I will post some of them in the coming days and weeks.  But..  first up is probably one of the industry leaders if not the leader – MSR.

Going to their website one can get overwhelmed with the large number of different stoves they offer and you can narrow them down by cooking style (boil, cook or simmer), group size (1-2 person or 3+ person), fuel type (canister, liquid or multi-fuel) and temperature range (more than 40 degrees, 10-40 degrees or less than 10 degrees)..  I think you get the picture that with all the options you can get a little confused on what you really need.  With that being said..  since I am OCD (which is a gift!) I created a spreadsheet listing each of the stoves and the parameters you can sort by to help me better decide what I want to purchase (Below is a shot of what I put together).

Hopefully the chart above can help someone else out and check out their site for not only stoves but a large number of other outdoor products.

On top of all the stove options MSR has a wide range of accessories from skillets, stock pot, sauce pot, coffee press, hanging kit, igniters, stands, pumps and much more.

I am going with the WindBurner Duo Stove so review coming in the near future.

 

 

https://www.msrgear.com/

In the upcoming days and weeks I will post about other stove brands so check back.

Up Next – The Stöker Flatpack Stove by Überleben