Charging gadgets while out in the wilderness has always been a challenge. Some companies have specialized in solar chargers, there are gigantic battery packs you can buy, and of course some devices have replaceable batteries so you can carry several. The BioLite CampStove is however something quite new.
At its core the CampStove is a camping stove. Instead of running on gas, however, it uses things like pine cones and wood pellets as the fuel. The heat from the fire not only heats whatever you’re cooking, but is also converted into electricity by the add-on that hides inside the stove when not in use. That electricity is split between charging the battery of a fan that helps the fire along, and electrical output via USB. The stove also eliminates most of the smoke you get from an open fire, making it more similar to a gas powered stove than you’d think. As for power output, 2W at 5V is the normal output. That means that a device will charge slightly slower than from a computer USB port, but compared to solar power, that’s not half bad.
I think this idea is brilliant. It’s compact, doesn’t require gas, and can charge your gadgets. What else do you need? At $130 it’s not that expensive either, at least not considering what you get.[BioLite]