Friday, June 13, 2014

Techno-Geek Nerdvana Camping or Survival

Some time in the next 51 hours (from NOW), go over to Kickstarter and check out the BioLite BaseCamp Stove.  As of right now, they have $901,000+ out of a goal of $45,000.  Plus a couple of stretch goals after that one.
BioLite is best known for their Camp Stove - a small stove that burns wood cleanly and uses a thermoelectric generator to produce enough power at 5V to charge USB charged devices.  Some campers eschew technology of any kind and are completely opposed to it.  For my 2 cents worth, a tablet like a Kindle or iPad packs a heck of a lot of useful features to take with you.  Likewise an Android or  iPhone.  Virtually all of these include GPS mappers, and other useful information, or just a book to read when the day is done.  Obviously, it depends on where you're going.  If there's no data service, anything that needs to get data over the air to function is just dead weight. 

The BaseCamp, as the name implies, is big enough to cook for several people (no dimensions, but they say it will cook "8 burgers", whatever that means).  Which means it would be just as useful here in hurricane country or in parts of the country subject to rough winter storms when the power goes out. It produces 5V at 1Amp, which should be enough to put a respectable charge into your devices, even if you don't run the fire a long time.  The value in an extended power outage or grid down event should be obvious.  

Kickstarter means they aren't available now.  They expect to ship in October.  I thought some of you would think this is pretty cool.


  1. I think they have enough money to go into production!

  2. I wonder if they thought far enough ahead to EMP shield the electronics.

  3. DrJim, at the moment they're at $935k. I wonder if they'll make a Meg?

    I look around on Kickstarter every couple of weeks (although I've only supported two or three). Occasionally you see stories like this where they aim for some modest amount and get 25x what they're looking for. It indicates a product that's going to be very successful.

    Part of me wonders why they don't go through more conventional financing, but doing a bank loan or IPO wouldn't get them the buzz they get from something like this.

    Alien - my gut feel is it's too small to have enough capture area to matter. Besides, they probably have to put metal around the electronics to shield it from the heat of the fire.

  4. I'd expect some sort of heat shielding, which would almost certainly be a combination of metal and probably ceramic, between the E parts and the stove shell. The side away from it, I dunno. Their smaller unit - the camp stove - needs the E parts to work because it drives a fan to make combustion work better. According to their video, the Base Camp does the same thing. How well it would work without the fan, I dunno. Might be fine, might work poorly. I sent their email addy a couple questions on it, we'll see what comes back.

    I expect, given their desire to use it extensively in the third world, the bits are probably fairly robust, but it may be a bit too electronically fragile to consider as a true TEOTWAWKI tool. Then again, making a Faraday cage is pretty low tech.