Biolite Basecamp: generating recharges with scrap wood - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-27-2015, 03:01 PM   #1
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Biolite Basecamp: generating recharges with scrap wood

I've been busy researching solar for battery re-charging, but my son just pointed out this really interesting unit:

BioLite BaseCamp | Wood Burning Stove and Grill

They offer several different systems, some very small for backpackers, this one is larger for groups. But the little charging system runs from small bits of wood, heats quickly to cook or just to charge, and (depending on the unit) will either completely charge a phone in about 20 minutes, or recharge enough power to run a video. I'm thinking this may mean charging a computer (more research needed).

If I were to invest in an item like this, I'd probably go right up to the "basecamp" which offers more power and a lot of room to cook. The burner offers two settings -- wide to cook on grill, or directed (like to boil a pot of water).

This looks like a very sexy little item. What do you all think?
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #2
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Says it produces 5 watts of power, that is not very much.
Amazon.com: Go Power! GP-SF-5 SUNfilm 5 Watt Solar Panel: Automotive

And there are even less expensive units. These are small enough to fit on the dash of a car. For $300 I would think I could do an extremely nice solar including the battery and maybe an inverter even.

Pay the grandkid to ride a bicycle hooked up to a car alternator... Get a lot of work out of him for 3 Benjamin's
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
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I can't figure out the market for this $$$$ item,
Can you really charge a smartphone in 30 minutes with a 1 amp source and get 5 hours of use?
Do backpackers really want to add 18 lbs to the carry weight? Even if distributed, the cast iron part and the battery will be heavy
And what's the battery for anyway
And boiling a litre of water with less than 2 oz of wood?
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:10 PM   #4
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I believe it is actually marketed here at a mark-up to produce units for the third world. I saw one in use at Maker Faire


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Old 07-27-2015, 07:35 PM   #5
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Hmmmm. That sounds like the excuse the Pharmaceutical Companies give for why meds in Canada cost less than in the USofA, so to be able to raise more $$$ to be able to develop meds for the less fortunate?


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And what's the Maker Faire?
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I can't figure out the market for this $$$$ item,
Can you really charge a smartphone in 30 minutes with a 1 amp source and get 5 hours of use?
Do backpackers really want to add 18 lbs to the carry weight? Even if distributed, the cast iron part and the battery will be heavy
And what's the battery for anyway
And boiling a litre of water with less than 2 oz of wood?
Bob, this bigger item is intended for a stationary camp with multiple people. There is a tiny, small unit for backpackers.

Does it seem improbable to boil water with 2 oz of wood?

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Old 07-27-2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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I'll be interested to see someone do the math but I've looked at these units in stores and it doesn't add up. Yes I'm sure it produces electricity but I believe the output would still take sometime - are you actually taking the charge from the included 2200ma battery and slightly recharging it??? Consider how long it takes to charge your device plugged into the wall.. I believe Apple devices are happiest with 2.1 amp chargers

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Old 07-28-2015, 05:54 AM   #8
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I have one. They were first designed to allow camera crews to charge equipment in remote locations. They then went on to develop a smaller one for personal use and marketed in the Westernworld. Mine is the size of a Nalgene bottle and it works to charge my smart phone. I use it kayaking mostly and it just takes sticks the size of your fingers. You really have to keep a roaring fire to get it to charge consistently. I don't use it that much as my MSR stove is more convent. It also blackens my pots which isn't a big problem until you want to store them. Good stove to keep in an emergency kit incase you have to leave your house due to evacuation or numerous other situations.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:06 PM   #9
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Ditto Don Ravinerat, have one and find it very handy. Also kayak, it is small, gets me a quick tea/ coffee and charges the cellphone. It was a mothers day present! Would love the grill/ bbq part for it. Christmas is coming ;-)
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:21 PM   #10
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Roll up solar panel to produce power in any size you care to purchase and as far as a cook fire goes... dig a hole about the diameter or a soup can and a little deeper than the can is tall. Place sticks in it. Set on fire. Heat pot over "chimney fire". Replace dirt and sod when done.

Matches are much less weight than a metal wood burning stove, solar panels would be less weight too. Just saying. Well maybe if I had a cottage... wait no at a cottage I could have a bigger solar panel instead of a bigger wood stove.

I simply can't find a situation where solar and/or wind as source of electric doesn't beat burning wood for it. Hauling something to build a fire in? Maybe fi I was going to burn dung and the managed airflow would help it burn better. Neat idea but... I'm not dropping any money into it.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:13 PM   #11
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Glad to hear it works.. Definitely a niche product but so long as it works for the people who buy it..

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Old 07-28-2015, 04:30 PM   #12
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Seems to be geared to the 'green/tech' crowd. I would think a small folding or scrolling solar panel would produce more electricity, do it cheaper, and do it without carbon emissions as well.

Sometimes simplicity trumps innovation.
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Old 07-28-2015, 05:04 PM   #13
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Just a thought for those who don't like pots blackened over a fire. A small sheet of foil folded up weighs next to nothing. wrap it around the bottom of your pots. I'm sure you've thought of this by now!

And I'm fine with the idea of digging a little soup can sized hole for a fire, except when it has been snowing or raining.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:49 PM   #14
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@RogerDat: I'd love to put flexible solar on my next trailer. I have the tiny Biolite, it is very small and light. After a day of paddling it is easy to find a bits of wood, pinecones etc. Hot water in no time. Not too much to screw a person's carbon footprint. Drive a VW Jetta TDI diesel, so use very little fossil fuel otherwise ;-)
Where can a person buy or order the flexi solar? Have a great evening all!
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