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Biolite Stove
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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 7, 2012
Stoked...

www.biolitestove.com/campstove/camp-overview/features/

Gimmic or a real alternative to something like a whisperlite? anyone have any experience with these puppies??? Seems a little too good to be true.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Nov 7, 2012
Cleo's Needle

When things go bad you can have that stove and I'll keep my MSR.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 7, 2012
Stoked...

The only benefit I can see is the not needing to pack the white gas and the charger.


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By Paul-B
Nov 7, 2012
Flakes of Wrath

I looked at these a while back. Its a very interesting idea, but i was not interested enough to purchase one and test it out. Seems like a neat product for car camping and traveling, but pretty worthless for the back country.


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By Ian Stewart
Nov 7, 2012

The only major benefit I can see is that you'd never run out of fuel (assuming you can find dry twigs), so I can see how it would be good for extended excursions. Other than that, I think the USB charging is a gimmick (at least for me...the last thing I want when I go camping/backpacking is to be 'connected'), and it seems pretty damned big compared to other options.

I also have no idea where they came up with their cost comparison with a traditional fuel stove. They picture something like a whisperlite (less than $100 retail w/ a fuel bottle) and a solar panel (you can get one with a built-in rechargeable battery pack for like, $30) and they say it costs $201 (though $130 would be more reasonable). They also picture a bunch of gas bottles as "fuel canister waste", even though those fuel bottles are reusable. If they wanted to compare to a disposable fuel container system, they'd need to compete with much lower stove costs and much lighter/smaller systems...

There are a few youtube video reviews of the unit if you're interested enough.


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Nov 7, 2012

If you can go without the charger, it is actually pretty easy to make your own twig-fire stove. The internet abounds with directions. The simplest design is a 64-ounce can (e.g., pineapple juice) with some holes drilled into it.

The two real drawbacks for twiggy stoves are:
(1) They are slow, and require constant feeding;
(2) They coat your pots and pans with creosote.

The biggest advantage is that they are light. But unless you are backpacking for a couple weeks, an alcohol stove is going to be the lightest option.


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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
Nov 7, 2012

Great, that's just what we need: a bunch of campers scrambling all over vegetated areas to collect sticks... that's one of the surest ways to thoroughly destroy any camp area.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 7, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

It looks like a new verson of A Kelly kettle

I have been thinking of getting one for when the power goes out for my house emergency kit. I usually just use one of my canister stoves, but it would be nice to not be reliant on buying fuel


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By Tosch Roy
Nov 7, 2012
Selfie

I've got a wood stove called the Bushbuddy and it's probably one of my favorite pieces of gear. With some practice, I've been able to start it without fail in a whole range of conditions (mid winter blizzard, during and after rain, etc). It does take a lot of attention and is slower than a pocket rocket, but the pros are hard to beat.

You don't have to worry about fuel unless you're above the tree line. In that case you bring wood with you. It creates a camp fire feel. People seem to gravitate and gather around it. You can cook on it for an hour and it generates a half a cup of ashes. It's rewarding as hell. Is that enough??

That being said, I still bring a supercat stove with a bit of alcohol for emergencies as the weight of the supercat is negligible. Only the alcohol weighs anything.

@Eric and Lucie: The best wood is usually dead branches at the bottom of trees where it's protected from rain and is off the wet ground. This means that you are effectively pruning and fire-proofing trees. Often times, one or two thumb size branches are enough for a good meal.


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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
Nov 7, 2012

keep-it-real wrote:
@Eric and Lucie: The best wood is usually dead branches at the bottom of trees where it's protected from rain and is off the wet ground. This means that you are effectively pruning and fire-proofing trees. Often times, one or two thumb size branches are enough for a good meal.

That might work in places that get one or two visitors a year, but in popular spots, it won't be long before people start tearing branches off bushes/trees. And even before that happens, the entire area will be trampled to death (particularly critical in desert areas). Just camp in any popular spot in the SW and you'll see what I mean.


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By Adam Floyd
From Las Vegas
Nov 8, 2012
Vegas the Dog

From the videos that I have seen what sets these apart, is that it converts heat from the fire into electricity that powers a small fan to boost combustion, thus boiling water as fast as most conventional camp stoves.


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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Nov 8, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey

Climbed with a guy who demoed it and he raved about the thing


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By John Husky
Nov 11, 2012

I saw this guy named Bear Grylls on the TV, he made a stove like this out of 4 sticks and an old soup can.

For real though, if you are cooking over an open fire, use a bar of Ivory soap like a crayon and coat the outside of the pot first. The soot washes off easily after. Plus the big pot makes a great waterproof hat.


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