You may remember the original BioLite Stove – a tiny, wood-burning camping stove that automagically turned heat into electricity. It was and is an amazing piece of technology. My only qualm with it was this: when I go camping, I take a family, and often end up cooking for friends. The tiny BioLite Stove, while useful, would not be up to the task – enter the BioLite Basecamp.
The Basecamp is considerably bigger than its predecessor and is able to pump out 5W of electricity via a USB port. That might not sound like much, but it is more than enough to charge a smart phone, iPad or tablet – all while you are cooking on a clean-burning would stove.
As far as the cooking part of the equation goes, the most notable feature is the flame controller, which lets you adjust the flame depending on your requirements: from a direct flame for boiling water, to an indirect flame – for grilling. According to the manufacturers, the grill is big enough to handle eight burgers at once. To me, it looks like it would be possible, but a bit of a squeeze – it looks like it would be more comfortable with five, but that would work. It also looks like it would be a great Korean-style BBQ burner. It is the perfect size to sit around cooking little pieces of meat with chopsticks.
The trade-off with the BioLite Stove, obviously, is that the Basecamp is going to be heavier to carry – which might start to suck on a long hike if you don’t have a system for sharing carrying duties.