Charge Your Smartphone In The Great Outdoors With…Fire?

By July 17, 2012

The makers of the BioLite HomeStove have introduced a portable camping stove this week that will allow adventurers to charge their electronic devices in the great outdoors. Like its HomeStove counterpart, BioLite’s CampStove can convert heat energy from a contained fire into energy for any USB connectable device.

Considerably more powerful than the tea candle charger we covered previously, the eight pound portable stove features an enclosed fuel chamber coupled with a thermoelectric generator that sends power to USB devices and its internal flame-stoking fan. Depending on the strength of the fire, USB connected devices will receive between two and four watts of power at five volts. According to BioLite, charging an iPhone 4S for only 20 minutes can provide up to 60 minutes of talking time.

In addition to providing heat and power for mobile devices, the CampStove is powerful enough to function as a traditional stove, capable of cooking smaller meals and boiling one liter of water in less than five minutes. Instead of using cooking gas, the stove burns foliage and other natural resources that can be found readily find in the outdoors, like twigs, leaves, pinecones, and more.

BioLite aims to make its selection of energy creating stoves a viable charging solution for the developing world. The company created its larger HomeStove for the 3 billion people worldwide who cook on hazardous open fires. The HomeStove not only creates a USB charging outlet for areas without access to electricity, but also reduces the harmful smoke emissions of an open cooking fire by up to 94 percent. On average, BioLite predicts that the HomeStove saves an average family in India $72 each year with its more efficient device charging and fuel burning technology.

One outdoor tester of the CampStove wrote that the device was a pleasant companion during a cold Winter’s evening on a frozen lake in Maine. “We heated our hands with the CampStove and watched the sunset behind it,” they wrote. “Near the cabin, we chopped up wood with a hatchet and then toasted marshmallows, made toast, and charged up a cellphone. It made our cabin smell nice and cozy, and there wasn’t any smoke.”

It sounds like the perfect device to keep the jams going on a weekend camping trip, or to make sure you always have some juice left for any potential emergency situations, not to mention its extremely useful cooking and heating utilities. To find out more about the device, or secure one of your own on preorder, head over to the BioLite website.

Corey Cummings

Corey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he received degrees in English and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Chicago and enjoys alternately obsessing over video games that aren't out yet and crazy gadgets he can't afford.