Author Topic: BioLite Stove  (Read 3236 times)

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Offline Huli

BioLite Stove
« on: September 06, 2012, 08:38:40 pm »
I am thinking of replacing my MSR with a BioLite stove.  I have seen many opinions and a few factual reviews, but not from the bicycle touring community (usually back packers).  So, has anyone used it biolitestove.com, and what do you think?

My initial thoughts...
1. kinda big/heavy
2. Smaller/lighter than MSR with fuel
3. Safer than liquid fuel
4. Can recharge bicycle light batteries (gooooood)
5. what if it breaks?
6. Same cost as new MSR.

Offline Eastman

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 07:28:00 am »
I have a friend currently on tour and this is her first trip with the Biolite stove.  Here is a direct quote from her email I received today: " The new stove works great."  I'll get more details when she finishes in a couple of weeks and post them here.

Offline bogiesan

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 08:30:25 am »
A fascinating device demonstrating the best entrepreneurial passions. Makes the ol Sierra Zzip stove look primitive but it's still a remarkable, and remarkably cheap, efficient cooker.
For many cycling tourists, weight can trump all other perceived and real benefits of a cooking system so you will put your heart into this decision. Hope the company succeeds.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 09:27:22 am »
A really neat idea. Plan on adding a windscreen/pot holder, and do not expect too much from the charger. The iPad 2 takes 24 Watt-hours, the new iPad takes 42. That's 12 hours plus for a full charge on an iPad 2, or 21 hours plus for the new iPad.

But what a great conversation piece! Let us know what you think if you try one.

Fred

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 09:34:22 am »
The only downside I can see is that it's often difficult to find any kind of firewood or kindling near established, popular campsites.  Even the people who bring generators, satellite dishes and TVs in their 32' RVs to a national park want to have a campfire every night, and a fair few don't want to pay for firewood from the camp store (too expensive!).  As a result, many of these are stripped clean of brush and downed limbs.  (The Biolite looks like it'd have trouble handling the large firewood that is being sold...)

Offline Huli

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 08:39:53 pm »
Very good information!!

I was thinking about the established campsite issue. Solution to that would be to grab a couple bundles of twigs a minutes out.

Weight is defiantly a major concern, I am going to fill up my MSR bottles and weigh them.  The bioLite not needing to camp in fuel was a big point to me, need to see if that is worth it in weight.

Eastman - Let me know what your friend comes up with!!!

Offline staehpj1

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 11:02:51 am »
The only downside I can see is that it's often difficult to find any kind of firewood or kindling near established, popular campsites.
It may not be as bad as you think.  I saw a guy using a home made stove kind of like the zip stove and he was able to cook dinner with not much more than a pocket of twigs.  You can usually find at least that at most camp sites and if you had to you could pick up some along the road before you get to camp.

The charging idea is pretty cool, but I suspect it is minimal enough to not be worth the weight and bother of keeping a fire going long enough to really charge anything.

Personally I kind of like the idea of solid fuel, but would just as soon have a lighter stove with no charger.  I am so used to my pop can stoves that I am unlikely to change any time soon.  It would be nice to not have to find place to buy alcohol and then to carry it.  Then there is the issue of sooty pots with a wood burner...

Offline bogiesan

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 03:27:46 pm »
A really neat idea. Plan on adding a windscreen/pot holder, and do not expect too much from the charger. The iPad 2 takes 24 Watt-hours, the new iPad takes 42. That's 12 hours plus for a full charge on an iPad 2, or 21 hours plus for the new iPad.
But what a great conversation piece! Let us know what you think if you try one.
Fred

That's for a completely empty iPad battery. I think this thing is intended for nothing more than mere trickles; you're just topping off your smaller devices like a headlamp or maybe a less than super smart phone. IIRC, even cooking for four or six people only meant the gas or alcohol stove was running for 30 minutes or so.
but...
Anyone hauling an iPad isn't concerned with how many 2x4s they'll burn to keep it charged. .

The family version of the stove deals with some serious BTU-to-mW conversion, though.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Huli

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 05:52:14 pm »
That's for a completely empty iPad battery. I think this thing is intended for nothing more than mere trickles; you're just topping off your smaller devices like a headlamp or maybe a less than super smart phone. IIRC, even cooking for four or six people only meant the gas or alcohol stove was running for 30 minutes or so.
but...
Anyone hauling an iPad isn't concerned with how many 2x4s they'll burn to keep it charged. .

The family version of the stove deals with some serious BTU-to-mW conversion, though.

I was thinking of being able to charge my head light/tail light, ya think that will be enough power for the few AA's?

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 07:50:32 pm »
It's straightforward arithmetic. Look at the milliAmpere-hour rating of the batteries. Multiply by 1.2 Volts to get their energy capacity in milli-Watt hours. Divide by 1000 to see it as Watt-hours. Guessing at 80% charging efficiency, divide by 0.80.

An example of two 1250-mAh AA batteries: 

    (1250 x 2) / (1000 x 0.80) = 3.125 Watt-hours capacity.

The stove at maximum continuous output delivers 2 Watts. 3.125 Wh/2 W = 1.5625 hours

This is a good ball-park figure, perhaps too optimistic on the charging efficiency and you ability to keep it going at max.

Fred

Offline Huli

Re: BioLite Stove
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 10:14:39 pm »
It's straightforward arithmetic. Look at the milliAmpere-hour rating of the batteries. Multiply by 1.2 Volts to get their energy capacity in milli-Watt hours. Divide by 1000 to see it as Watt-hours. Guessing at 80% charging efficiency, divide by 0.80.

An example of two 1250-mAh AA batteries: 

    (1250 x 2) / (1000 x 0.80) = 3.125 Watt-hours capacity.

The stove at maximum continuous output delivers 2 Watts. 3.125 Wh/2 W = 1.5625 hours

This is a good ball-park figure, perhaps too optimistic on the charging efficiency and you ability to keep it going at max.

Fred

So with a few handfulls of twigs and a couple hours I can ensure my safety lights will have power!  I like that idea.  Now to find a scale and see how much fuel weighs the same as the stove for comparison.