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I was looking for a loan on Kiva and found this loan in Lesotho (Africa) The product people are borrowing money for is the ACE 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove which sounds fantastic. It is designed for use in very rural areas, it is a high efficiency stove that burns any biomass (wood, dung, corncobs, etc) produces low to no smoke. AND it includes a solar charger, light and USB port for charging your phone. It weighs 4.6 Kg (10 pounds) so it would not be a great backpacking choice.

But it sounds like a great addition to a bike/canoe adventure. It has been out for a couple of years. I looked around for user reviews and didn't find anything. It is principally designed for rural home use, and I am considering hauling it around in my canoe behind my bicycle. So a couple of related questions. I don't have any question about it's efficiency, the claims made and the supporting documentation seem reasonable.

  1. Is there anything comparable to this by other manufactures?
  2. What kind of durability is it reasonable to expect?

As single summary question, is this a product I can expect to holdup to the hazards of bike trails and rivers?

Given considerations, it weights a lot and it is not water proof. I can accept these limitations

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    I think I've seen a rocket-stove+charger combination designed for outdoor use in Western countries. There are certainly fan-assisted wood (twig/chip) backpacking stoves, and IIRC the manufacturer of one attached a Peltier and some electronics. – Chris H Mar 5 '16 at 19:09
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    Since you ask for similar systems out there: I have received one of these bioliteenergy.com/products/biolite-campstove for christmas a few years back. I must say I haven't used it much, because I am so used to my liquid fuel system and I often go into areas where you are not allowed to burn any biomass, so I can't give you a review. I normally carry a battery pack that can give my iPhone 6 charges. Together with my stove and fuel the weight is about the same, at least for up to 10 day trips. – DudeOnRock Mar 5 '16 at 19:13
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    @DudeOnRock thanks for the info on the biolite, It seemed pretty exciting at first until I started reading the 1 star reviews on Amazon. The 'Thermoelectric Generator' seems poorly made, the battery on yours has probably been dead for a while, and the warranty is 12 months. Another clue is the are reviews on the company site, but no bad ones. – James Jenkins Mar 6 '16 at 1:16
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I used a "rocket stove" on a long wilderness survival trip. That stove was also heavy and very efficient in burning "found wood." It made good sense for a fixed camp. In my opinion it would be far too bulky and heavy for either biking or canoeing and certainly backpacking.

On that trip, and others, I used solar chargers for electronics. I think solar chargers make a lot more sense than biomass chargers for most backpacking/canoeing/biking situations.

The Biolite campstove, at 2 lbs, would probably be closer to what you are looking for. It also has a charging device and burns "found fuel."

  • Yes, but read reviews on the Biolite. Many folks have problems with it failing and not getting any response from customer service. – RoboKaren Jun 8 '16 at 13:03

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