Your Burning Questions Answered: A CampStove 2 FAQ Special

Since the launch of the CampStove 2, we’ve been reading your questions and comments and compiling them into a list.

We put BioLiters Ben and Erica to the test to see if they (with the help of some input from BioLite Beta Testers) could answer your ten most burning questions in under three minutes – let’s see how they did:

Looking for more?

Check out our annotated appendix below for additional helpful info as well as some honorable mentions that didn’t make it into the video:

1. What are the differences between CampStove 2 and CampStove 1?

First, CampStove 2 generates 50% more power than CampStove 1 thanks to updated thermoelectrics.

Second, with its 2600mAh on-board battery you can cook now and charge later

Third, the updated LED dashboard tells you exactly what your stove is doing at all times. Whether that is the strength of the fire on the left, the current fan setting in the middle or the available power on the right.

Beyond the video: it’s also important to note what has stayed the same - the weight! We were able to add a ton of new functionality but keep the weight at 2 pounds thanks to upgraded materials and internal design.

2. Are the power packs between CampStove 2 and CampStove 1 interchangeable?

Nope. We updated the thermoelectrics on the CampStove 2 and as a result CampStove 2’s heat probe is larger and fits exclusively with the CampStove 2 fuel chamber which also has a slightly modified airflow design.

3. How do you start a fire in the CampStove 2?

Fill your burn chamber ¾ of the way with fuel (this can be small dry sticks or pellets – don’t overstuff or you’ll block the air jets that help combust the smoke).

Use a small piece of firestarter (included with all CampStove 2s) and light with a match or lighter and place inside your chamber (we recommend bbq lighters if you’re in windy conditions, you can light directly inside the chamber).

Beyond the video: don’t have firestarter? Take a tip from our Beta Testers at Fresh Off The Grid and start with a little bit of crumpled paper at the bottom of your stove and place some sticks around it. Classic firestarting technique.

4. How often do you need to refuel?

It depends on what type of fuel you are using. If you’re using BioLite Fuel Pellets, fill up the Fuel Chamber three quarters of the way and the CampStove should run for 30-40 minutes without needing to refuel.

If you are using sticks, as your fire catches, begin to add sticks that are larger in diameter for a stronger, sustained fire. Avoid using only small twigs or brush, as they will burn quickly requiring frequent refueling.

Beyond the video: Fan speed also affects your refueling - if you’ve got your fan all the way on HIGH, you’re burning fuel faster cranking at full blast. If you’re looking to refuel less often, put your fan on the lowest setting.

5. How do you stop the fire?

Standard: Let the fire burn itself down and out. The CampStove 2 will automatically shut itself down when sufficiently cooled to ash.

Fast: Crank your fan to the highest setting to burn through your remaining fuel.

Super-fast: Find a fire ring or ash pan and carefully dump out your coals – and always have water to snuff out the coals completely. You’ll still need a few minutes to allow the burn chamber to cool with the fan on.

6. Does CampStove 2 work with original BioLite accessories?

Yes! We designed the CampStove 2’s fuel chamber to work with the KettlePot, Portable Grill and CoffeePress so you can use existing accessories to cook a delicious backcountry meal.

Beyond the video: Looking to see the CampStove 2 in action with BioLite accessories: Check out our recent cooking videos from our Beta Testers at Fresh Off The Grid!

7. How long does it take to charge up the internal battery?

Once you have a strong fire going it takes about 2-3 hours to charge up the CampStove 2’s internal battery.

Beyond the video: Use the new LED dashboard to your advantage! The orange LEDs represent fire strength, so make sure it’s all the way lit if you’re looking to charge up your internal battery as quickly as possible. If you’re in windy conditions, concentrate your flame by covering with the KettlePot (and make your self a cup of tea). 

8. What can I charge?

The CampStove 2 can charge most small USB powered devices such as phones, GoPros, Fitbits, GPS, Tablets, and other BioLite devices like a PowerLight Mini.

9. Can I use CampStove 2 at festivals, parks or during burn bans?

We’ve found that it really depends on the location you’re visiting or event you’re attending. Beta testers Toni & Ruben took their CampStove to 36 national parks in 2016 and based off of their experience Toni says, “It’s best to check in with local park rangers or the local fire department before using it or collecting fuel.”

Beyond the video: If you’re specifically looking to use it for festival camping, most festivals have regulations listed on their site about the equipment you can bring – check it out in advance!

10. Why wood stoves over gas stoves?

It really depends on your situation and the experience you’re looking to have. As Ben mentioned in the video above if he’s on a backpacking trip longer than 2 days he prefers to bring along the CampStove 2 because he saves on weight in his pack because he doesn’t have to bring along fuel canisters. After speaking with a few experts in the field and our community of ambassadors, it turns out that most folks have a place for both wood and gas stoves on their trips (bottom line: it’s actually not an either/or situation, there’s room for both in your gear closet).

As Amy Jurries of Gear Institute says, “For me it depends on both length and location of the trip. If I am going on a backpacking trip for a few weeks, that requires tons of gas, so bringing a bio burning stove — even if a little heavier — makes sense. But if I am going on an ultralight weekend to someplace like Desolation Wilderness where they don't allow any type of fire, or winter camping where biomass might not be as readily available, then gas makes the most sense."

“When I'm trying to go super fast and light, or I know I'm going to a very rainy environment, I take my gas stove,” says BioLite Ambassador Christin Healey. “When I have a little more time, when I'm traveling with friends, and know there there will be ample wood to burn, I definitely bring the CampStove. It's also great to know that I'll be able to charge up my devices while I'm making coffee or dinner. There's just something about a fire that screams "camping", and making that food over crackling wood just feels right.”

Beyond the video: added bonus for using the CampStove 2? no reliance on fossil fuels.

We’ve received a lot of questions since the launch and couldn’t add them all to our video. Here are a few honorable mentions:

Didn’t CampStove 1 have a battery in it?

Yes, but it only had one job, to kickstart the fan system. It didn't store energy to charge other devices. The CampStove 2 has a 2600mAh integrated battery so can be used to charge up your gear even when you’re not burning.

How long does the battery inside CampStove 2 last?

Our Power Packs contain batteries that are designed for years of use when maintained properly. When used regularly, the fire will charge the lithium ion battery for thousands of cycles of use.

Can you charge the integrated battery at home?

If you want to get a head start on your power supply before heading off grid, charge the CampStove 2’s battery up via the micro-USB port on the bottom of the Power Pack.

Thank You Corner: To Our BioLite Beta Testers!

Our Beta Testers have taken the CampStove 2 along with them on off grid adventures from Colorado to Peru to California to Ecuador. Huge shout out to Christin, Abigail, Toni & Ruben, Mike, Nash & Kim, Bruce, Megan & Michael, Kathleen & Greg, Joe, Xander, Nicole & Savanah and Erin & Mehedi for putting CampStove 2 to use and sharing your feedback.

Still have a question? Reach out to us on twitter or send us a message.

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