Nothing is more picturesque than cooking dinner around a campfire—flames licking the underbelly of a cast iron pot and crisping the edges of a gooey marshmallow. But building said campfire doesn't have to be an epic undertaking requiring the expertise of an axe-wielding Hercules.
For the less-skilled fire-starter, there's the BioLite Camp Stove, a 33-ounce portable stove the size of a Nalgene water bottle that runs on twigs, pinecones and wood pellets.
According to the BioLite website, where the campstove sells for $129: "Open wood fires are inefficient, wasting potential energy and creating toxic smoke due to incomplete combustion. Carefully designed stoves that use fans to blow air into the fire can dramatically improve combustion."
But smart design is just the tip of the flame—BioLite also helps keep you connected off the grid. The device converts heat from the fire into usable electricity, so you can recharge phones, lights and other electronic gadgets while you cook. It takes approximately 4.5 minutes to boil 1 liter of water and 20 minutes of charging will provide 60 minutes of talk time on an iPhone 4S.
But BioLite isn't just concerned with the tech-savvy outdoor enthusiast, the company also produces a HomeStove, which is "designed for the 3 billion people worldwide who cook on smoky, open fires, [and] provides LPG-like cooking performance while serving as an affordable source of electricity to charge life-changing devices."