A backpacker’s stove which recharges your mobile phone as it cooks dinner has been named winner of the UK’s most prestigious outdoor gear award, by the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild. It was announced on Saturday (October 13), at the OWPG’s annual awards dinner held at the Dodo Restaurant at the Durrell Wildlife Trust on Jersey in the Channel Islands. At the same time, the Guild’s Golden Eagle Award for services to the outdoors went to Dr Adam Watson (news story here), and the Guild presented its annual awards for excellence to members’ work in writing and photography (more here) .
The BioLite CampStove is fuelled by nothing more than easily sourced twigs or pinecones, so there’s no need for the weight-conscious backpacker to carry or burn fossil fuels such as petrol or canister gas. The stove also converts some of the heat generated to electricity, with which it recharges small electronic gadgets such as smartphones, GPS units, cameras or torches, via a common USB cable. It will be available exclusively in the UK from Cotswold Outdoor from December 2012.
The OWPG’s Derryck Draper award recognises innovation in outdoor products or services during the previous year and is named in honour of OWPG founder member and past chairman Derryck Draper, who died in December, 2004. It is judged by a panel of gear experts drawn from within the OWPG’s own membership.
The stove was designed by BioLite founders Jonathan Cedar and Alex Drummond. The BioLite HomeStove, a larger version incorporating similar technology, is used in the developing world to provide families with heat and electricity. It uses 50% less fuel than an open fire and produces 91% less carbon monoxide and 94% less smoke.
Mr Cedar, BioLite’s chief executive officer, said: “We are thrilled to receive the Derryck Draper Award and honoured that the OWPG considers us an innovative contributor to the outdoors community.
“It has been a long journey bringing the BioLite CampStove to launch and we are grateful for the recognition from those who are engaged with the outdoors on a daily basis.’
The award, which took the form of a painting of Lether Tor on Dartmoor, by OWPG member and landscape artist David Bellamy, was accepted by Tristen Naylor, on behalf of BioLite. He said: “The company is very pleased to receive this prestigious award and proud that its work has been recognised by such an important body in the UK outdoor community.”
Previous winners of the award have included Neoshell Fabric by Polartec (2011), the Laser Photon tent by Terra Nova (2010) and the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir mattress by Cascade Designs (2009).