BioLite’s CampStove

BACKPACK BUDDY

The brainwave of Alec Drummond and Jonathan Cedar, BioLite’s CampStove can make camping easy. This device uses biomass to generate smokeless fire so it can cook meals, boil water in minutes and generate two watts of electricity, enough to charge a smartphone. It also recycles leftover heat to create longer lasting fire. Website: www.biolitestove.com

BioLite’s CampStove Photo Gallery



Bugis Street was a small connecting road in the middle of Singapore city, between the larger thoroughfares of North Bridge Road and Victoria Street. Late in the evening, after eleven o’clock, wooden tables were set up and gas lanterns lit and the place started to come alive. Beer-sellers arrived, supplying big bottles of Anchor and Tiger, iced down in metal bins. The food merchants flashed up their charcoal fires and laid out spiced duck, soy-sauce-soaked chickens and bright shellfish, all ready for cooking, preparing the huge iron rice woks for nasi goreng. Wandering merchants hawked their wares in trays slung from their necks: cigarettes, cigarette-lighters, postcards, tacky souvenir flags, badly-made plaster statuettes of dragons and ancient figures from China’s past. Durian is a foul-smelling melon-sized fruit that cannot be abided by most Europeans. It has an all-pervading sickly-sweet, rotting smell, like sour vomit, that seems to be attuned to the gag reflex. I was often told that it actually tasted quite nice, although I could never bring myself to put a piece near my face. They were other fruit hawkers selling melon, lychees and juices, all howling their own tunes, but the rambutan and durian men were kings. We arrived at about 11. 30 p.m., and the place was starting to fill. There were several people from the Vexilla and we took a table next to the third mate and second engineer and two Germans they had fallen in with. They were all bright-eyed and red-faced and noisy: we fitted together well. We ordered ice-cold Anchor beer for John and I; Barry had switched to rum and coke. The noise started to swell: loud conversations punctuated by shouting, laughing, cursing. All the table were taken by Europeans: British squaddies form Selarang barracks, British servicemen from the Changi and Seletar R.A.F. camps, Australian soldiers from the Anzac detachment, Merchant Navy seaman – mostly British, Dutch and Germans, and a few Americans on R& R from Vietnam. All men. Mostly young men; mostly young men who wore uniform for their jobs, dressed now in slacks and short-sleeved shirts and light shoes. Occasionally an adventurous tourist would come through, but not often. At midnight the show began. The first of the most incredible-looking Eurasian women came sashaying between the tables. Dressed to kill, made up to extreme, big hair in every colour. We were agog. One passed our table and bent down to kiss John on the top of his head, then running her fingers over Barry’s short stubbled crown before moving on. Another picked up my bottle of Anchor, took a short swig, winked at me and walked off.

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