I’ve been doing big days more and more lately, but lunch was never a priority. The older I get the more I enjoy the comfortable things; like a warm bowl of noodles after standing in freezing cold water for hours. If you’ve ever chased Steelhead you’re part of a select group of humans that find enjoyment in torture. I drive three hours one way to stand in frigid water for hours on end, drifting flies through every riffle and pocket and somehow there’s no place I’d rather be. This last trip was no exception, but this time I had some new gear to try out stream side. Biolite was kind enough to send me their new Campstove 2.
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the stove was its size. I usually stick to small gear bags or hip packs to keep things simple, with a “if I don’t have it, I don’t need it” mentality. So with packing light in mind I wasn’t sure how it would fit in, but to my surprise all the pieces packed together like a nesting doll to about the size of a Nalgene; perfect for the bottom of my pack. Don’t get me wrong it’s still heavy, a jet boil is a half the weight. But that’s not the point with this piece. It’s multifunctional and environmentally friendly; two things I can get behind. What makes the Campstove unique is the fact that fuel is basically unlimited and always free in the form of twigs. Also if you’re planing on spending multiple days in the backcountry it generates power while you cook. Keep your phone, camera batteries charged with up to 3W of clean power.
Once I understood not to start it like a traditional fire it was off to the races. Feeding it was key, but once you have a good flame going your waters boiling and phones charging in no time. With a bowl of noodles and a warm belly I don’t think I’ve ever been happier stream side.