I have a few product sponsors that are kind enough to give me product in return for photos or feed back. One company that I've been working with for the past year is Biolite. When I was planning my trip I wanted to use a camp stove without waste and I was damn excited when I found this amazing company. Here is my review and insight into their pretty killer stove!! Enjoy and thanks for reading!!!
BioLite Stove Review
For the past 7 months I have been living on the road as a Nomad. I live small, smart and as efficient as possible but with style (I’m an artist). About a year ago I started to research companies and products that mimic my lifestyle. When it came to camp stoves I knew I wanted a stove that used clean energy. I couldn’t think of living on the road for a year and using up canisters of fuel. I could have carried a small propane tank but I didn’t want to have to worry about gas leaks or about having a tank in such a small place, plus I didn’t want to make room.
It came to my surprise when I googled and found Biolite. I honestly didn’t think there was such a product on the market but there is and Biolite even creates energy!! Holy cow bells, that’s rad!!! Oh, but it gets even better….after watching all the fun and cool ass videos on their website I did a little more research. I wanted to make sure this company was doing good for others. And they are. Through special programs Biolite is helping to bring clean energy to the world.
Now that I was sold on Biolite I was faced with a tough ass question : What was I gonna bring on the road with me? After much contemplation I choose the CampStove bundle which includes: CampStove, KettlePot and Portable Grill. I knew I wanted the Kettle, no brainer since I’m a tea/coffee drinker. I also thought the Portable Grill would be good since well, I grill quite a bit too.
After spending some time on the road, what do I really use? Well, the KettlePot a ton!! For making morning coffee or afternoon tea but it also comes in handy to heat up packed meals. After heating up those meals I use the left over hot water to wash my dirty dishes. I also use the CampStove almost everyday if not a few times a day.
Since I happen to be one of those ‘I don’t need to read the instructions’ type people I had a bit of a learning curve at first. I did see that metal tongs were suggested. Great advice! In my biolite bag I have tongs, a lighter and a fiber brush. I use the brush to clean out any left over ash in the CampStove. Here's my daily routine and it works great, for me. I first find branches or twig, three sizes: small easy to light, medium and large. I snap them into length that fits inside the stove put don’t poke out the top, about five inches or so. I then create piles by twig size and set them aside. I also collect enough branches for a few days or a week, just incase it rains. Wet branches/twigs don't really light so well, go figure. Life on the road, gotta plan for the unexpected!! I then gather kindling; either pine needles, dried leaves or use fire starters that I’ve found at campsite offices. They sometimes have those great wax/sawdust homemade fire starters (a small size fire starter will last me about a week and costs a $1 for 4ish).
It’s important to have everything ready to rock because once you have your fire going your job is to tend to it. You are now the fire master. So, once you've put bits of firestarter in the stove along with a few thin baby branches. Lite it.
In case you didn’t know the stove has a built in fan or turbine. This helps to get your fire roaring and to produce energy so you can charge your cell phone or other USB devices. There are two settings, low and high. I recommend that you have a nice small fire going before you turn on the fan. I am the queen of smothering fires all because I turned the fan on before I had a small fire going.
Here are my helpful hints to a successful blaze of fire:
-Did you smother the fire: No worries, you might have too many twig or dried leaves/pinecones or put in used toilet paper in your stove, bad idea!! Just pull the extra or unwanted pieces out.
-Fire went out: I’m super ADD and leave my stove constantly. It’s a daily average that I will come back to a put out fire. If the coals are nice and red just add a few small twigs then blow very lightly or use your metal tongs to move things around to allow some oxygen in. If the fire is out out then go back to the beginning and start over.
How’s the Portable Grill add up? Awesome but I ended up leaving it at my mom’s house. Even though it was great for cooking steaks, veggies and for a group, I just didn’t need it since I usually just cook for myself. I would highly recommend it for two or more people!
Okay, I’ve raved about the products, yes, but the company? Well Biolite is about doing good for the world. When I stopped by their office in Brooklyn New York I thought I was at the wrong place since the office entrance was full of bikes. I must be at a bike shop, right?? But no, I think almost all the employees ride to work, rad! The office is open with walls filled with inspiring photos of the outdoors and others seeking adventure. As I walked past a wall of stoves (wall filled with all the stoves Biolite has made, from the first to current) I took a peek into the testing room. It looked like a playground of fire and fun!! Everyone was super friendly and informative. As I left Biolite I was stoked on my decision to take part in such a conscious company who focus’ on making quality products for the modern day adventurer and outdoorswoman.
Thanks Biolite for being apart of this fun crazy adventure!!!
Just released are these brand spankin' new Biolite goodies. A PowerLight Mini, SolarPanel 5+ and CookStove. Check em out!!!