View Full Version : End of Biolite - total fail

Wise Old Owl
03-09-2014, 23:56
I have been on the fence for months almost two years about Biolite... I have bought parts - discovered the tech, and weighed the equipment. We have had many posts in the past about Biolite and good questions about "I hump it on the AT." So many have had hopes... but at it's current weight it was impractical, then the constant feeding of wood...So many places on the AT will not let you have a wood fire due to simpletons setting fire in the woods and burning down campsites on the AT in the past. (DWG)

So here we are... Biolite is dead for the AT.... Its an honest opinion there are so many other options that are lighter weight and better for you.

Question.... Would you sit there for hours and charge your phone with a 33 ounce stove and feed it with lots of twig and then dump and start again?

When I saw this video - and the size of the electronics... I understood the ramification... this is the nail in the Biolite coffin. I wasn't willing to buy this, test it, and return it for several reasons.

You are more than welcome to purchase - hump the weight etc.. but now you have a "I told you so...."

Please do not waste your time and money on Biolite for the AT. I honestly believe this is an honest & fair thread and post against the product.


03-10-2014, 07:33
This comes up in most threads about this stove. It's a neat idea, but it requires babysitting for long periods because it uses small sticks that burn quickly.

Charging while hiking is very rarely worth the weight anyhow. It's better to conserve power on the trail and charge in town, and if that's not enough, carry extra batteries. Anyone planning well ahead for a long hike should buy their devices with the hike in mind. For example, cell phones without removable batteries are going to be a pita on the trail. If you have a removable battery you can swap the internal batteries with much less weight than using an external battery pack.

Same goes for cameras. If charging is such a hassle and you don't want to carry chargers, then look for cameras that use AA's and just buy lithium AA's when you're buying food for an instant recharge. There's even a cell phone that uses a single AA (http://spareone.com/).

03-10-2014, 08:48
just so everyone knows, bio lite was designed for 3rd world struggling families as a stove for organizations that help folks in those communities that have little access to energy for simple lamps ect . it was cross promoted for camping reasons to help fund the other side of it.

that said, it is too heavy, for a long distance hiker, and most importantly , bulky . I think it's cool, I love wood stoves and feeding twigs and all that is no biggie, it's fun, but still if it could be harnessed into something smaller I'd be very interested.
I was never interested in the rechargeable function

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03-10-2014, 10:18
Now I'm sure I need to buy one.

03-10-2014, 15:03
Thanks WOO, great find of the video. I can see potential with the cup charger or pot charger, at a campsite with a fire ring. Though for an AT hike where one could get access to power at least once a week a charging cell may be more practical.

03-10-2014, 15:08
For hiking it's too much, but I can 100% see using it for kayak/canoe camping, where weight isn't as much of an issue.

03-10-2014, 15:08
I really like the pot charger as an option for the same purposes the Biolite was originally intended. I didn't go digging far enough to locate a price for it though. But the ability to make 40 watts while cooking dinner, even to charge a small wet cell battery, would be a huge improvement for families in environments where electricity is not widely available, expensive or even dangerous to acquire. Of course, the solution would have to be only a few American dollars to be even remotely affordable to many families throughout the world in that situation.

And I agree with everyone else in the thread. It's really not that hard to keep a charge in between towns. Granted if you don't want to stop in towns for any reason it's harder but consider a separate battery. It weighs less and is a lot less muss/fuss. My two cents.

Wise Old Owl
03-10-2014, 23:51
Yes I like the pot charger - I thought about making one... then I discovered that my Motorola Aptiva will throttle down the charge if it gets too hot. it's top charge is somewhere around 850ma. SO its time to replace it.