Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20020179133 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/867,815
Publication dateDec 5, 2002
Filing dateMay 30, 2001
Priority dateMay 30, 2001
Publication number09867815, 867815, US 2002/0179133 A1, US 2002/179133 A1, US 20020179133 A1, US 20020179133A1, US 2002179133 A1, US 2002179133A1, US-A1-20020179133, US-A1-2002179133, US2002/0179133A1, US2002/179133A1, US20020179133 A1, US20020179133A1, US2002179133 A1, US2002179133A1
InventorsMichael Abbinante
Original AssigneeMichael Abbinante
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Structure for outdoor use
US 20020179133 A1
Abstract
A multi-sided structure for outdoor use comprising a shell having a plurality of panels. The shell further having a plurality of apertures and a means for entering and exiting the shell. The structure further comprising a plurality of support poles attached to an inner surface of the shell. Generally, the poles overlap at an upper portion of the shell to define the overall shape of the structure. Each support pole extends from a first lower portion of the shell, through the upper portion of the shell, and to a second lower portion of the shell. Each aperture is configured to allow a user to view an object located beyond the structure. The structure further comprising means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface to prevent unwanted movement of the structure during operation and use of the structure.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(34)
I claim:
1. A multi-sided structure for outdoor use comprising:
a shell having a plurality of panels, the shell having a plurality of apertures, the shell further having a means for entering and exiting the shell;
a plurality of support poles, the poles attached to an inner surface of the shell, the poles overlapping at an upper portion of the shell to define the structure, and;
means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface to prevent unwanted movement of the structure.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein each pole extends from a first lower portion of the shell, through the upper portion of the shell, and to a second lower portion of the shell.
3. The structure of claim 1 wherein the poles overlap to define a dome-shaped structure.
4. The structure of claim 1 wherein the entering and exiting means is integrated within a panel.
5. The structure of claim 4 wherein the entering and exiting means is a zipper.
6. The structure of claim 4 wherein the entering and exiting means is hook and pile connector system.
7. The structure of claim 4 wherein the entering and exiting means is a plurality of fasteners.
8. The structure of claim 1 wherein the securing means extend s from a lower portion of the shell.
9. The structure of claim 1 wherein the apertures are configured to allow a user to view an object located beyond the structure.
10. A structure for outdoor use comprising:
a shell having a plurality of panels, the shell having a plurality of apertures, each aperture located in a panel, the shell further having a plurality of sheathes, each sheath attached to an inner surface of the shell;
a plurality of support poles, the poles extending through the sheathes and overlapping at an upper portion of the shell to define the structure;
means for entering and exiting the shell; and,
means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface to prevent unwanted movement of the structure.
11. The structure of claim 10 wherein each pole extends from a first lower portion of the shell, through the upper portion of the shell, and to a second lower portion of the shell.
12. The structure of claim 10 wherein the poles overlap to define a dome-shaped structure.
13. The structure of claim 10 wherein the entering and exiting means is integrated within a panel.
14. The structure of claim 13 wherein the entering and exiting means is a zipper.
15. The structure of claim 13 wherein the entering and exiting means is hook and pile connector system.
16. The structure of claim 13 wherein the entering and exiting means is a plurality of fasteners.
17. The structure of claim 10 wherein the securing means extends from a lower portion of the shell.
18. The structure of claim 10 wherein the apertures are configured to allow a user to aim and fire a weapon at an object located beyond the structure.
19. A structure for outdoor use comprising:
a fabric shell having a plurality of panels, the shell having a plurality of apertures, each aperture located in a panel, the shell further having a plurality of panel intersection areas, the intersection areas separating adjacent panels;
a plurality of sheathes, each sheath attached to an inner surface of the shell at the intersection area;
a plurality of support poles, the poles extending through the sheathes and overlapping at an upper portion of the shell to define the structure;
means for entering and exiting the shell; and,
means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface to prevent unwanted movement of the structure.
20. The structure of claim 19 wherein each pole extends from a first lower portion of the shell, through the upper portion of the shell, and to a second lower portion of the shell.
21. The structure of claim 20 wherein the poles overlap to define a dome-shaped structure.
22. The structure of claim 19 wherein the entering and exiting means is integrated within a panel.
23. The structure of claim 19 wherein the entering and exiting means is a zipper.
24. The structure of claim 19 wherein the entering and exiting means is hook and pile connector system.
25. The structure of claim 19 wherein the securing means extends from a lower portion of the shell.
26. The structure of claim 19 wherein the apertures are configured to allow a user to view an object located beyond the structure.
27. A structure for outdoor use comprising:
a fabric shell having a plurality of panels, the shell having a plurality of apertures, each aperture located in a panel,
a first and a second set of sheathes, the first set of sheathes affixed to an inner surface of the shell at a lower portion of the shell, the second set of sheathes affixed to the inner surface at an upper portion of the shell;
a plurality of support poles, the poles extending through both sets of sheathes and overlapping proximate the second set of sheathes to define the structure;
means for entering and exiting the shell; and,
means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface to prevent unwanted movement of the structure.
28. The structure of claim 27 wherein the poles overlap to define a dome-shaped structure.
29. The structure of claim 27 wherein the entering and exiting means is integrated within a panel.
30. The structure of claim 27 wherein the securing means extends from a lower portion of the shell.
31. The structure of claim 27 wherein the apertures are configured to allow a user to view an object located beyond the structure.
32. The structure of claim 27 wherein the apertures are configured to allow a user to aim and fire a weapon at an object located beyond the structure.
33. A structure for outdoor use comprising:
a fabric shell having a plurality of panels, the shell having a plurality of apertures, each aperture located in a panel,
a first and a second set of sheathes, the first set of sheathes affixed to an inner surface of the shell at a lower portion of the shell, the second set of sheathes affixed to the inner surface at an upper portion of the shell;
a first, second, and third support pole, each pole extending through both sets of sheathes, the poles overlapping proximate an upper portion of the shell to define the structure;
means for entering and exiting the shell; and,
means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface to prevent unwanted movement of the structure.
34. The structure of claim 33 wherein the three poles overlap to define a dome-shaped structure with six panels.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    Not Applicable.
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • [0002]
    Not Applicable.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0003]
    This invention relates to a structure for outdoor use. More specifically, this invention relates to a multi-sided structure formed from a novel arrangement of internal supports for use in outdoor activities and sports.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The present invention relates to a portable, multi-sided structure for outdoor activities and sports, where the structure is formed from the novel arrangement of internal supports. The resulting structure is lightweight and permits the user to easily transport the structure to a desired outdoor location for use.
  • [0005]
    Conventional structures for outdoor use, for example tents and hunting blinds, suffer from a number of number of disadvantages that limit their performance and utility. Some conventional designs lack structural support and as a result, are not durable and are unable to withstand harsh weather. More substantial designs having a greater number of support structures are available, but they require a greater amount of time to assemble and can be more difficult to transport and assemble. A number of conventional hunting blinds feature openings for viewing prey outside of the blinds; however, these blinds have significant internal structures, i.e. bulky vertical supports, that hinder the user's activity within the structure and obstruct the user's field of view. In addition, tents and blinds having significant internal structures are heavy and are generally difficult to transport thereby reducing the utility of the structure.
  • [0006]
    Consequently, there is a definite need for a portable, multi-sided structure for outdoor activities that is lightweight and easily transported, and which does not obstruct the user's field of view.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    The invention relates to a multi-sided structure for outdoor use in connection with activities and sports. The structure comprises a plurality of sides or panels, a shell, and a plurality of support poles. The shell is a lightweight, flexible material that forms the outer surface of the structure.
  • [0008]
    The first aspect of the invention, the support poles, are flexible, lightweight objects that overlap near an upper portion of the shell. Each support pole is attached to an inner surface of the shell by a first set of sheathes and a second set of sheathes. Both sets of sheathes are affixed to the inner surface of the shell. To prevent undesired movement of the completed structure, the sheathes are configured such that movement of the support poles is minimized. The number, size and configuration of the sheathes can vary with the configuration and size of the support poles and the structure.
  • [0009]
    According to another aspect of the invention, an intermediate portion of the support poles overlap at the upper portion of the structure to define the shape of the structure. The intermediate portions of the support poles are secured to the inner surface of the shell by the second set of sheathes. The specific order or degree of overlap between the intermediate portions can vary greatly. Once properly inserted and positioned, a single support pole will be secured by two sheathes from the first set of sheathes and two sheathes from the second set of sheathes. The overall shape or configuration of the structure depends upon the number of overlapping support poles.
  • [0010]
    According to a further aspect of the invention, each of the support poles has a first end, and a second end. Thus, each support pole has ends that extend through eyelets or openings located in opposing lower portions of the shell. Once assembled, the structure rests on the ground with the ends and the lower edge of the shell in contact with the ground.
  • [0011]
    According to an additional aspect of the invention, the structure includes a plurality of apertures, each of which are positioned in a panel. The aperture is adapted to permit a user to view and observe an object positioned beyond the structure. A flap can be positioned about or in close proximity to an aperture to cover the aperture. The flap can be used to seal the aperture when the structure is used in inclement weather.
  • [0012]
    According to yet another aspect of the invention, the structure comprises means for entering and exiting the structure. The entering and exiting means is positioned within a panel and allows a user to enter and exit the structure. The structure could include a plurality of entering and exiting means.
  • [0013]
    According to a further aspect of the invention, the structure comprises means for securing the structure to an outdoor surface. The securing means extends from a portion of the lower edge of the shell. The securing means can be a portion of flexible material. In operation, the securing means is positioned within the structure and a heavy object is placed on the securing means to anchor the structure and prevent unwanted movement of the structure.
  • [0014]
    Due to its lightweight components, i.e. the support poles and the fabric shell, the structure is extremely portable. This is a key aspect of the structure because a user can easily transport the structure in a backpack to his/her favorite outdoor location.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a structure according to the invention;
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure of FIG. 1, showing an inner surface of the structure;
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of the structure of FIG. 1, showing a plurality of internal support poles; and
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 4 is a partial plan view of the structure of FIG. 1, showing an alternate embodiment of a plurality of internal support poles.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0019]
    While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 1 shows a multi-sided structure 10 for outdoor use in connection with activities and sports, such as hunting, fishing, or bird watching. The structure 10 comprises a plurality of sides or panels 12, a fabric shell 14, and a plurality of internal support poles 16. Adjacent panels 12 meet or converge at the panel intersection area 17. The number of intersection areas 17 corresponds to the number of panels 12. The shell 14 is a lightweight, flexible material that forms the outer surface 18 of the structure 10.
  • [0021]
    Referring to FIG. 2, the support poles 16 are flexible, lightweight objects that overlap near an upper portion 28 of the shell 14. Each support pole 16 provides structural support for the structure 10 and each pole 16 is attached to an inner surface 20 of the shell 14 at multiple locations. The support poles 16 can be a unitary structure or a multi-part structure. When the support poles 16 are of the latter design, the poles 16 can have a internal elastic retention member (not shown) that permits them to be collapsible. The outer diameter of the support poles 16 can vary from approximately ⅛ to 2 inches, and the thickness of the support poles 16 can vary accordingly.
  • [0022]
    A first set of sheathes 22 and a second set of sheathes 24 are affixed to the inner surface 20 of the shell 14. The first and second set of sheathes 22, 24 comprise a plurality of individual sheathes, or channels. The first and second set of sheathes 22, 24 are adapted to receive a portion of the support poles 16 to secure the support poles 16 to the shell 14. The sets of sheathes 22, 24 can be affixed to the inner surface 20 in a number of locations along the insertion area 17; however, the first set of sheathes 22 is preferably located near a lower edge 26 of the shell 14 and the second set of sheathes is preferably located near the upper portion 28 of the shell 14.
  • [0023]
    To prevent undesired movement of the completed structure 10, the sheathes 22, 24 are configured such that movement of the support poles 16 is minimized. The number, size and configuration of the sheathes can vary with the configuration and size of the support poles 16 and the structure 10. Generally, the sheathes 22, 24 are cylindrical or tubular, however, they can have a number of different shapes. The sheathes 22, 24 can be fabricated from a number of different materials, including but not limited to canvas or nylon. Depending upon the overall size of the structure 10, an additional set of sheathes can be affixed to the inner surface 20 of the shell 14.
  • [0024]
    Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, an intermediate portion 30 of the support poles 16 overlap or imbricate at the upper portion 28 to define the shape of the structure 10. The intermediate portions 30 of the support poles 16 are secured to the inner surface 20 of the shell 14 by the second set of sheathes 24. The specific order or degree of overlap between the intermediate portions 30 can vary; however, the last pole 16 inserted in and secured by the second set of sheathes 24 will have an intermediate portion 30 a positioned above the other intermediate portions 30 of overlapping poles 16. Once properly inserted and positioned, a single support pole 16 will be secured by two distinct sheathes from the first set of sheathes 22 and two distinct sheathes from the second set of sheathes 24. This means that a single support pole 16 can be secured by a total of four (4) separate sheathes. Because the first and second sheathes 22, 24 are preferably located in the panel intersection area 17, each support pole 16 will provide support to multiple panels 12.
  • [0025]
    The number of panels 12 and the shape or configuration of the structure 10 depends upon the number of overlapping support poles 16. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, three (3) support poles 16 overlap at the upper portion 28 to form a structure 10 with six (6) panels 12. Similarly, and as shown in FIG. 4, four (4) overlapping support poles 16 would form a structure 10 with eight panels 12. Accordingly and unlike conventional designs, the number of panels 12 of the structure 10 equals the number of support poles 16 multiplied by two. For structures 10 formed from either six or eight support poles 16, the structure 10 is generally dome-shaped. Although only a six-sided structure 10 is shown, four-, eight-, and ten-sided structures are consistent with the teachings of this invention.
  • [0026]
    In another embodiment, a reinforcing portion 31 can be affixed to the inner surface 20 to increase the rigidity of the upper portion 28. To further increase the rigidity, the second set of sheathes 24 can be affixed to the reinforcing portion 31.
  • [0027]
    Referring to FIG. 2, each panel 12 has a lower portion defined by the lower edge 26 of the shell 14, an upper portion defined by the overlap of two support poles 16 near the upper portion 28 of the shell 14, and two side portions defined by a support pole 16 depending from the upper portion 28 of the shell 14. The dimensions of each panel 12 will vary with the number of support poles 16 and the dimensions of the shell 14.
  • [0028]
    Each of the support poles 16 has a first end 32, a second end 34, and a length, L. As shown in FIG. 2, the first end 32 extends beyond an aperture 36 in a first lower portion 38 of the shell 14, and the second end 34 of the same pole 16 extends beyond an aperture 36 in a second lower portion 40 of the shell 14. Thus, each support pole 16 has ends 32, 34 that extend through apertures 36 located in opposing lower portions 38, 40 of the shell 14. This means that a single support pole 16 engages two lower portions 38, 40, of the shell 14. This precludes the need for distinct support structures for each lower portion of the shell.
  • [0029]
    To restrict movement of the ends 32, 34 and the poles 16, a combination of pins (not shown) and circular rings (not shown) can be employed. Specifically, the ends 32, 34 could include a generally cylindrical pin that is received by a generally circular ring fabricated in the apertures 36. Alternatively, the ends 32, 34 can include a securing clip (not shown) that fixedly engages the circular ring.
  • [0030]
    Once assembled, the structure 10 rests on the ground with the ends 32, 34 and the lower edge 26 of the shell 14 in contact with the ground. In extremely harsh weather conditions, a spike can be driven into the ground to engage either the rings or the lower edges 26 to further secure the structure 10.
  • [0031]
    Referring to FIG. 2, the structure 10 includes a plurality of apertures or openings 42. Each aperture 42 is positioned in a panel 14, preferably at a middle portion of the panel 14. The aperture 42 is adapted to permit a user of the structure 10 to view and observe an object positioned beyond the structure 10. For example, when the structure 10 is used for hunting, the apertures 42 permit the hunter to view a target located outside of the structure 10 and fire a weapon at the target. Accordingly, each aperture 42 is sufficiently configured to permit the discharge of a weapon through the aperture 42. Although each aperture 42 is shown having a generally trapezoidal shape, the apertures 42 can have various configurations including but not limited to square, circular, or rectangular.
  • [0032]
    Each aperture 42 can have a flap 44 which is a segment of material adapted to cover the aperture 42. Preferably, the flap 44 is located in the interior of the structure 10 and can be employed by the user while the user is located within the structure. However, the flap can be located on the exterior of the structure 10. The flap 44 can be used to seal the aperture 42 when the structure is used in inclement weather. For example, when the structure 10 is used for ice fishing, the flaps 44 can be used to seal the apertures 42 to prevent cold air or wind from entering the structure 10.
  • [0033]
    The structure 10 further comprises means 46 for entering and exiting the structure 10. The entering and exiting means 46 is positioned within a panel 12 and allows a user to enter and exit the structure 10. Generally, the entering and exiting means 46 depends from the upper portion 28 of the structure 10 to the lower edge 26 of the structure 10. The structure 10 could include a plurality of entering and exiting means 46; however, a single means 46 is preferred because this optimizes the number of apertures 42. The entering an exiting means 46 can be a zipper, a plurality of fasteners, such as buttons, or a hook and pile connector system.
  • [0034]
    The structure 10 further comprises means 48 for securing the structure 10 to an outdoor surface. The securing means 48 extends from a portion of the lower edge 26 of the shell 14. The securing means 48 can be a portion of flexible material having a generally rectangular or square shape. As shown in FIG. 2, the securing means 48 extends from the lower edge 26 proximate a single panel 12. Alternatively, the securing means 48 can extend from the lower edge 26 of multiple panels 12, or multiple securing means 48 can extend from the lower edge 26 of different panels 12. In operation, the securing means 48 is positioned within the structure 10 and a heavy object can be placed on the securing means 48 to further anchor the structure 10 and prevent unwanted movement of the structure 10.
  • [0035]
    Due to its lightweight components, i e. the support poles 16 and the shell 14, the structure 10 is portable. This is a key aspect of the structure 10 because a user can easily transport the structure 10 in a backpack to his/her favorite outdoor location. Because the support poles 16 are combined with the shell 14 and the sheathes 22, 24 to form an integral structure 10, the structure 10 is extremely sturdy and can be lifted up and repositioned it without disassembly.
  • [0036]
    Because the structure 10 is intended for outdoor use, the material used to form the shell 14 should be durable and able to withstand environmental elements. The shell 14 can be formed from natural materials, including cotton, canvas, and silk, or formed from synthetic materials, including nylon, or polyester. Alternatively, the shell can be formed from a combination of natural and synthetic materials, such as cotton and polyester.
  • [0037]
    While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying Claims.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6892742 *Mar 2, 2003May 17, 2005Ching-Hsuan WangTent
US7201177 *Apr 21, 2005Apr 10, 2007Jennifer Cobb AnticoliPortable baby tent
US7222635 *Apr 24, 2003May 29, 2007North Pole, Ltd.Tent having an outer skirt and tub floor
US8342197 *Jan 20, 2011Jan 1, 2013Evrio, Inc.Blinds and shelters with flexible and dynamic configurations
US8776813Jun 14, 2010Jul 15, 2014Easton Technical Products, Inc.Tent pole connection system and methods
US20040168715 *Mar 2, 2003Sep 2, 2004Ching-Hsuan WangTent
US20040173251 *Apr 24, 2003Sep 9, 2004Robert CantwellWaterproof tent
US20050236026 *Apr 21, 2005Oct 27, 2005Anticoli Jennifer CPortable baby tent
US20060135288 *Dec 8, 2005Jun 22, 2006Mills Randell LGreat-circle geodesic dome
US20070215192 *Mar 17, 2006Sep 20, 2007Hoffman Stacy LCenter hub slide-way portable enclosure system
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/124, 135/136, 135/115
International ClassificationE04H15/40, E04H15/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/40, E04H15/001
European ClassificationE04H15/40, E04H15/00A