A preconcentrator system and apparatus suited to human portable use wherein sample potentially containing a target chemical substance is drawn into a chamber and through a pervious screen. The screen is adapted to capture target chemicals and then, upon heating, to release those chemicals into the chamber. Chemicals captured and then released in this fashion are then carried to a portable chemical detection device such as a portable ion mobility spectrometer. In the preferred embodiment, the means for drawing sample into the chamber comprises a reversible fan which, when operated in reverse direction, creates a backpressure that facilitates evolution of captured target chemicals into the chamber when the screen is heated. The screen can be positioned directly in front of the detector prior to heating to improve detection capability.