A plan months in the making, the BioLite Team headed out West for an awesome 10 day trip. We met makers, hackers, hikers, filmmakers, designers, writers, and even a robot or two. Here are some of our favorite moments from the trip:
(Want less words and more pictures? Check out BioLite's Instagram account for a photo-review of our trip)
BioLite co-founders Alec and Jonathan set up camp at the 2013 Maker Faire Bay Area and had a blast over the two day event, talking to both loyal BioLite users (it's always a great moment to meet you in person!) and people who had never heard of us before. Our spot was located right under a Eucalyptus tree, so we had an endless supply of fuel as the nuts fell from the tree, quite literally into our hand (and sometimes on our heads). We charged phones, lights, and even a remote control helicopter (gotta love makers). We even got interviewed on Twit.tv - you can see the interview here.
The booth was packed the whole time but we found some moments to wander the grounds. Surpisingly, one of our favorite booths came from Delta (the faucet guys) who were showcasing a showerhead. We know what you're thinking, A showerhead? Really? That's what you talk about from Maker Faire? Yes! We're a team of engineers here and we're big fans of seeing smart engineering applied to everyday activities. The Delta showerhead uses a design tweak to modify the delivery of water to make it feel like more water even though it is using less water than the standard 2.5 gallons per minute. The craziest part? It's been on the market already for seven years! You can read more about how it works and the benefits of bigger water droplets here.
San Francisco Treat
After Maker Faire, we trekked over to San Francisco for a day. We met with a series of journalists, and were really excited to reconnect with the team over at WIRED; their fateful post about BioLite back in 2010 helped launch us onto thousands of people's radars and create a loyal base of suppoters a full two years before we launched the CampStove. Afterward, we met up with the team at Alite, an awesome group of designers dedicated to making the outdoors fun and approachable for all. They've opened up their workshop to the public on Fridays and Saturdays with the Alite Outpost, a sort of pop-up shop within their workshop. There's lots of great stuff on display, and they even offer weekend rental kits so you can load yourself up on gear for a few days without having to hold onto it forever. A few of those lucky kits even include a BioLite CampStove or two.
BioLite Meets Boulder
Boulder is a hotbed of outdoor activity. Even during a workweek you see tons of people out on the trails, hiking, running, and biking. Inspired by our fellow outdoorsmen, we hiked up Green Mountain and were stoked to see pinecones everywhere (pinecones = awesome-smelling fuel for the CampStove).
Afterwards we hosted a rooftop party for the outoor community to come see our CampStove in action, learn more about our HomeStove work abroad, and get a special sneak peek at at a new BioLite product coming in Fall of 2013 (want to be the first to hear about it? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, that's where we make all our announcements). We got to meet a lot of great folks, including Polar explorer Eric Larsen.
Mountains and Moving Images in Telluride
BioLite's co-founder and CEO, Jonathan Cedar, was invited to speak at a symposium on Climate Change at the 35th annual Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride. In his five minute talk, we heard audible gasps as people learned for the first time that over 4 million people die annually from the smoke of indoor cooking fires- for the record, that's more than AIDS and Malaria combined.
Post-symposium, we greeted attendees outside with a stocked s'more bar and fired up CampStoves ready to roll (tip: keep chocolate out of direct sunlight). People also had a chance to check out the HomeStove up close and learn more about our upcoming programs in 2013 - more to come on that in our special edition HomeStove newsletter, arriving this June.
Aside from our own presentations, we got to check out a series of powerful documentary films taking us everywhere from a ship full of scientists in Greenland to a 130 sq ft house in Colorado. For those that couldn't make it to Telluride, you can check out some of the shorts online from the festival here.
All in all it was a packed week full of fiery CampStoves, friendly supporters, and killer mountain views. We can't wait to do it again.
Where do you think we should head next? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org