US 3923217 A
A take down back pack frame convertible into a tent framework is disclosed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 1111 3,923,217
Dean, II et al. 1 1 Dec. 2, 1975 1 1 TAKE DOWN BACK PACK 3,219,243 11/1965 Muck 224/25 A ,2,7 19 :"zz' ..35  Inventors: Leslie B. Dean, 11, 1412 N. 59th 51., 2: 3: v 5 43 5 Lincoln Nebr- 68505; Lance 3,648,907 3/1972 Romney 224/25 A Dean. 2852 pp n l. 3,757,360 9/1973 Wescott 224/8 Tucson, Ariz. 85705 221 Filed: Dec. 6, 1973 Przmary ExammerRobert J. Spar l l PP 422,195 Assistant Examiner-Kenneth Noland Attorney, Agent, or FirmCahill, Sutton & Thomas  US. Cl 224/9; 135/1 R; 224/25 A  Int. .Cl. A45F 3/08  Field of Search 224/25 A, 8 R, 8 A, 9,
224/10, 42.01, 31; 135/1 R; 211/2; 5/128, [571 ABSTRACT A take down back pack frame convertible into a tent  References Cited framework is disclosed.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,374,994 4/1921 Faik 224/9 3 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 1 of3 3,923,217
US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,923,217
US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 3 of3 3,923,217
TAKE DOWN BACK PACK The present invention relates to back pack frames, and, more particularly, to back pack frames having detachable members convertible into the framework for a shelter.
Knapsacks and back packs have been used for centuries by hikers and others traveling on foot as the vehicles for carrying goods, clothing and other transportable articles. Because the load carrying capability of a person is quite limited, it has been recognized that certain benefits could be achieved if the knapsack or back pack were capable of more utility than just as the vehicle for conveying the transportable articles.
US. Pat. No. 206,066, illustrates a knapsack for transporting articles and includes detachable structural elements which are convertible into a tent frame and tent covering. US. Pat. No. 460,896, discloses a standard army issue tent half adapted to enclose and serve as the covering for the framework of a knapsack. US. Pat. No. 385,657, teaches a knapsack convertible into a shelter. US. Pat. Nos. 794,351, 1,464,875, and 3,619,827, teach various collapsible shelters which are transportable in their collapsed form. US. Pat. Nos. 39,150 and 46,195, show collapsible tents which, in their collapsed form, may be transported as knapsacks.
Recently knapsacks and back packs have been generally replaced by back pack frames. These frames, usually formed by two vertical members connected by several cross members, are supported by a pair of shoulder straps. They have become popular because they permit selective weight distribution of the load upon the persons back and are therefore comfortable and nonfatiguing. Further, a pouch may be suspended from the frame without a great deal of care in proper arrangement as to the articles within the pouch as the frame structure, not the pouch bear against the persons back. In addition, larger articles, such as sleeping bags, shelter covers and the like, may be directly attached to one or another parts of the back frame with ease. Again, these larger articles need not be specifically arranged to prevent them from digging into the persons back and may be arranged to afford the most comfortable weight distribution. I
The payload transportable by a person is relatively limited compared to his weight when similar ratios are made with respect to pack animals. It is therefore necessary to maximize the weight of the transported articles, or useful payload, to that of the structure necessary to render the payload portable. In order to optimize the payload it is necessary to eliminate all superfluous weight and each and every transported item must be carefully analyzed as to whether it is capable of serving more than one useful function. For this reason, presently available back pack frames are made of aluminum or other similar relatively rigid but light weight materials. To date, however, the back pack frames have served only one utilitarian function of supporting the payload upon a persons back.
It is therefore a primary objectof the present invention to provide a multi purpose back pack frame.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a back pack frame convertible into the structure for supporting a shelter.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a back pack frame incorporating the necessary elements to erect a framework for a shelter.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a plurality of keyed components which may be assembled as a back pack frame or as the framework for a shelter.
A yet further object of the present invention is to provide keyed components of a back pack frame which components may be mated with those of a similar back pack frame to provide the framework for a shelter.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.
The present invention may be described with greater specificity and clarity with reference to the following figures, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates the present invention mounted upon a hiker.
FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of the present invention.
FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3, as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 illustrates the components of the present invention assembled into the framework of a shelter.
FIG. 5 illustrates a modification of the present invention. I
FIG. 6 illustrates a locking mechanism useable in conjunction with the present invention shown. in FIG.
FIG. 7 illustrates the keying mechanism incorporated within the components shown in FIG. 5.
FIG. 8 illustrates the components illustrated in FIG. 5 assembled into the framework for a shelter.
FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate a modification of the keying system shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.
FIG. 11 illustrates the use of the keying mechanism shown in FIG. 10 in assembling the framework for a shelter.
Referring to FIG. 1 there is shown a back pack frame 1 constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention positioned adjacent the back of a hiker 2. The back pack frame 1 is suspended from and supported by the hikers shoulders by shoulder straps 30 and 31. The payload 3 attached to or otherwise secured to back pack frame 1 is shown in phantom lines.
The back pack frame 1 is formed by a pair of vertical members 10 and 11 connected to one another in spaced apart relationship by horizontal members 12, 13 and 14 For the sake of comfort and for reasons which will be discussed below, the horizontal members 12, 13 and 14, are curved or arcuate. By maintaining the horizontal members curved where the curve is away from hiker 2, these members will not contact the hikers back nor create discomfort from any resulting concentrations of pressure. However, it has been found that in some configurations of the present invention, one or more of the horiz ntal members may be straight without having it contact the hikers back in an uncomfortable manner. Where one of the horizontal members, such as the upper member, is straight a better and more comfortable weight distribution may be achieved.
Strips of webbing 21 and 22 extend about vertical members 10 and 11 to draw them toward one another. Bias means, such as tensioners 27 and 28, are used to maintain the webbing in tension. The webbing 21 and 22 contacts the back of hiker 2 and supports the vertical and horizontal members in a non-contacting relationship with the hikers back.
The various interconnections between the components of the back pack frame 1 are shown more specifically in FIGS. 2 and 3. Both the vertical and horizontal members of back pack frame 1 are formed of relatively rigid high strength light weight tubing, such as aluminum tubing. Horizontal member 12 is secured to and aligned with vertical member by means of a pin or tent stake extending through a pair of diametrically opposed apertures 45 in the vertical member and into one end of horizontal member 12. The interior of each end of each of the horizontal member includes an insert 41, which may be made of wood. A cavity 42 extends through insert 41 to receive a body of tent stake 15 and position tent stake within the horizontal member. Preferably, the size of cavity 42 is such as to cause a friction fit with the tent stake to prevent the latter from inadvertently sliding out.
For reasons which will be more fully discussed below, the upper parts 8 and 9 of vertical members 10 and 11 are bent toward the hiker. This arrangement, among other things, permits a more comfortable weight distribution and weight orientation of payload 3 than if the vertical members 10 and 1 1 were straight pieces of tubmg.
The pairs of diametrically opposed apertures, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 within vertical members 10 and 11 are oriented normal to a plane defined by the extremities of the vertical members and the bend point. As the horizontal members 12, 13 and 14 extend from the vertical members 10 and 11 at an angle with respect to the axis of the respective pair of apertures, the cavity 42 within insert 41 must be non-axially aligned with the horizontal member to receive the tent stake without binding.
Because the horizontal members are secured to the vertical members by a slip fit, any lateral forces exerted upon the back pack frame 1 would tend to sever the parts from one another. To prevent such unwanted severence, webbing 21 and 22 extends about the vertical members 10 and 11. The ends of each piece of webbing are attached to one another by means of hooks 23 and 24 interconnected by a tensioner 27. Similarly, hooks 25 and 26 interconnected by tensioner 28 retain webbing 22. By appropriate adjustment of tensioners 27 and 28, the tautness of the webbing adjacent the hikers back may be adjusted to vary the closeness of the back pack frame to the hikers back. Additionally, the degree of tautness of webbing 21 and 22 will be determinative of the degree of conformity of the webbing to the hikers back.
The upper horizontal members 12 and 13 are interconnected by a T-bar 35. The T-bar includes a peg 38 mating within a centrally disposed hole 40 in horizontal member 12. A further peg 39 mates with a centrally disposed hole 41 in horizontal member 13. A vertical passageway 36 extends through one of the arms of T-bar 35 and a similar vertical passageway 37 extends through the other arm. The T-bar 35 is maintained adjacent to and locked with horizontal members 12 and 13 by hook 24 extending across the base of the T-bar and exerting of force thereon toward the horizontal members.
One end of shoulder strap is secured to back pack frame 1 by a tent stake 32 extending through hole 51 and into passageway 36 of T-bar 35. The other end of shoulder strap 30 is secured to vertical member 10 by inserting tent stake 17 through hole 53. Similarly, one
end of shoulder strap 31 is secured to back pack frame 1 by tent stake 33 extending through hole 51 and into passageway 37 of T-bar 35. The other end of shoulder strap 31 is engaged by tent stake 18 extending through hole 54. It may be appreciated that the force exerted upon the tent stakes by the ends of each of the shoulder straps is essentially normal to the axis of the respective tent stakes. Thereby, the shoulder straps will not tend to withdraw the respective tent stakes. It may also be appreciated that T-bar 35, by means of pegs 38 and 39 mating with the upper and middle cross member, prevents the upper cross member 12 from rotating in response to the moment about the axis of tent stakes 15 and 20 created by the force exerted by the upper ends of shoulder straps 30 and 31. The continuing mating of pegs 38 and 39 with their respective apertures is insured by the force exerted by hook 24 upon the T-bar toward respective horizontal members 12 and 13.
As illustrated in FIG. 1, back pack frame 1 is used to transport a payload 3 by a hiker 2. Where the hiker expects to remain outdoors overnight, he will usually want to sleep within or beneath some type of a shelter and be protected from the elements. In cold climates, where low temperatures and/or snow are prevalent, a shelter of some type is almost mandatory.
To optimize the utilitarian benefits of payload 3, it should contain only those articles which are disposable enroute after their usefulness is terminated or they should be articles which have or are adapted to more than one limited function. Thereby, the volume and weight of the payload can be minimized without deprivation of useful, though non-critically essential items.
The back pack frame 1 of the present invention serves not only as the structure to which the payload 3 is attached but, because of its take down capability, as the framework for a shelter. Thereby, the back pack frame 1 eliminates the need for the hiker to transport a separate framework for his shelter, this, in turn, enables him to increase his useful payload by an amount equivalent to the weight and volume of the separate shelter framework previously required.
Referring now to FIG. 4, there is illustrated a shelter structure 60, which structure is formable from the components of back pack frame 1. When the hiker reaches his destination and wishes to erect a shelter, he can quickly disassemble the back pack frame 1 into its various components by withdrawing all of the tent stakes.
To erect the shelter structure, the upper end 8 and 9 of the two vertical members 10 and 11, respectively, are joined to one another by means of an elbow coupling 61. The elbow coupling may include receptacles at either end thereof for receiving ends of the vertical members or, it may include studs or pins mating with the vertical members. As may be noted from FIG. 4, the angled or bent upper ends 8 and 9 of vertical members 10 and 11 will tend to increase the width of the arch 56 formed by the connected vertical members in proximity to the apex of the arch without requiring an excessive spread of the vertical members.
The horizontal members l2, l3 and 14, each being c urved by an equal amount, are joined to one another to form a rounded arch 57 as shown. The interconnecting member between each of the horizontal members may be a pin mating with a portion of the wood insert 41 in each of the horizontal members. In the alternative, a short curved sleeve may be used to couple the horizontal members to one another.
Arches 56 and 57 are maintained upright and positioned with respect to one another by a three part guy line 62. The guy line 62 includes a first guy line 63 connected to elbow coupling 61 through an eyelet 66 and a fixed point on the ground, such as tent stake 33. A second guy line 64 is secured to elbow coupling 61 at another eyelet 67 and extends to and interconnects with the middle part of arch 57. A third guy line 65 is connected to the middle part of arch 57 and extends to another fixed point in the ground, such as tent stake 32. To increase the utilization factor of back pack frame 1, the shoulder straps 30 and 31 may be substituted for guy lines 63 and 65 and thereby eliminate the need for these separate guy lines.
The covering for the shelter structure 60 may be in the nature of a piece of light canvas or similar material which can be draped upon the shelter structure. The canvas is retained in place along one longitudinal side by tent stakes 15, 16 and 17 and along the other longitudinal side by tent stakes 18, 19 and 20. It is to be understood that the canvas may include triangular shaped end pieces to extend to and be supported by guy lines 63 and 65 to increase the internal volume of the shelter structure.
From the above description, it will be apparent that the major components of back pack frame 1 have been utilized to form the supporting structure 60 for a shelter. The elements incorporated within shelter structure 60 which do not form an integral part of back pack frame 1, such as elbow 61 and the pins interconnecting horizontal members 12, 13 and 14, may be easily and readily carried within the payload 3.
FIG. 5 illustrates the essential elements of a modified back pack frame 70. A pair of vertical members 71 and 72, having curved upper ends 78 and 79, are connected to one another by two pairs of horizontal members 73, 74 and 75, 76. One end or horizontal member 73 includes a quick release fastener 80 for engagement with vertical member 71. The other end of horizontal member 73 includes a female fitting 81 for receiving one end of horizontal member 74. Horizontal member 75 is identical with horizontal member 73. One end of horizontal member 74 includes another quick release fastener 81 engaging vertical member 72. The quick release fastener 81 is similar to quick release fastener 80. The other end of horizontal member 74 mates with female fitting 81. Horizontal member 76 is identical to horizontal member 74.
The configuration of quick release fasteners 80 and 81 will be described with reference to horizontal member 73, as illustrated in FIG. 6. The end segments of the respective horizontal members 73, 74, 75 and 76 are flattened. Each flattened segment is curved to form a partial loop 90 with a diameter approximately equivalent to the diameter of vertical members 71 and 72. A hole or slot 91 is formed in proximity to the end of loop 90 to receive a key 92. Key 92 includes a prong 91 extending into slot 91 for pivotal engagement therewith. The other end of prong 92 includes a thumb operated lever 94. An anchor ring 95 extends from key 92 in proximity to prong 93. A wire loop 96 engages anchor ring 95 and is pivotally secured to horizontal member 73 through a hole 97 therein.
The relative geometric relationship between hole 97, wire loop 96, key 92 and slot 91 is such that when lever 95 is positioned toward curved member 90, wire loop 96 will travel over center and exert a force upon key 92 to bias it toward loop 90. In this manner, loop 90 will frictionally engage and tend to compress the encircled vertical member 71 and retain horizontal member 73 in position. Release of horizontal member 73 may be easily effected by forcing lever 92 in a counterclockwise direction causing wire loop 96 to travel over center and open loop 90. Thus, each of the horizontal members 73, 74, 75 and 76 are easily attachable to and detachable from their respective vertical members 71 and 72.
The male fitting at one end of each of horizontal members 74 and 76 is shown with more specificity in FIG. 7 with reference to horizontal member 74. The end 85 of the horizontal member may be swaged or otherwise compressed to alter its cross-sectional configuration from that of a circle to that of a square.
The internal configuration of female fitting 81 at the end of each of horizontal members 73 and is suitably configured to mate with the square cross-sectional area of the end of each of horizontal members 74 and 76.
Loop of quick release fastener 80, shown in FIG. 6 and 7, is apertured with a square aperture 98. The dimensions of aperture 98 are equivalent to the external dimensions of ends 85 of horizontal members 74 and 76. Thereby, end 85 may be received by and mated with aperture 98 of quick release fastener 80.
Back pack frame 70 may include additional auxiliary vertical members 82 and 83. These members may be attached by conventional nut and bolt means, by lengths of cord or similar devices. One end of each of vertical members 82, 83 includes a female fitting 87, 88, respectively.
The vertical members 71 and 72 may be quickly and easily released from the attached horizontal members by releasing each of the quick release fasteners 80 and 81. The remaining joined horizontal members are released from one another by withdrawing the ends 85 from within female fittings 81. These components of back pack frame 70 are reassembled to form a shelter structure 100 shown in FIG. 8 in the following manner.
The extremity of upper end 70 of vertical member 71 is inserted within female fitting 81 of horizontal member 73. Similarly, the extremity of upper end 78 of vertical member 72 is mated with female fitting 81 of horizontal member 75. The vertical members 82 and 83, after disconnection from the respective horizontal members 73, 74, 75 and 76, are mated with horizontal members 74 and 76, respectively. That is, the end 85 of horizontal member 74 is inserted within female fitting 87 and the end 85 of horizontal member 76 is mated with female fitting 88.
The quick release fasteners 80 of horizontal members 73 and 75 are-secured adjacent one another by a cord or similar fastening device to form one arch 101 of shelter structure 100. The other arch 102 of the shelter structure is formed by tieing the quick release fasteners 81 of horizontal members 74 and 76 with the length of cord. In the alternative, a length of tubing may be inserted within and clamped by each of the sets of quick release fittings 80 and 81. The two arches may be interconnected by a guy line as shown in FIG. 4 and further positionally stabilize by guy lines extending from the apex of the respective arches to the ground.
Where weight and space is extremely critical, the
shelter structure 100 may be reduced in size to lessen the amount of material necessary to cover the structure. For the reduced size shelter structure, arch 101 is retained as shown in FIG. 8 or vertical members 71 and 72 are interconnected by means of an elbow coupling similar to that described with respect to FIG. 4. The second arch 102 can be minimized in height and width by interconnecting two or more of the horizontal members as shown with respect to FIG. 7. The resulting arch will be substantially of lesser perimeter than that of arch 102 incorporating upright members 82 and 83. However, the reduction in size of the second arch will not deleteriously affect the sheltering capability of the resulting shelter, but simply reduces the space surrounding the occupant. Also, where a reduced size arch is employed, vertical members 87 and 88 may be deleted to effect a weight savings.
Further modifications of the interconnections between the vertical and horizontal members of back pack frame 1 are illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10. Each end 111 of each horizontal member 110 is flattened. The flattened end 111 is split into three segments 112, I13 and 114 where the central segment is of greater length than that of the adjacent segments.
The vertical member 109 includes, at each point of interconnection with a horizontal member, first and second apertures 115 and 116. Aperture 115 is essentially rectangular in configuration and of a size sufficient to snugly receive the flattened end 111. Aperture 116 is essentially crosssectional in configuration and of sufficient size to receive the protruding part of segment 113.
When the horizontal member 110 is interconnected with the vertical member 109, aperture 115 constrains the horizontal member from vertical or lateral movement. Aperture 116, mating with segment 113, constrains the horizontal member 1 from lateral or vertical pivotal movement. In addition, the ends of segments 112 and 114 abut the interior surface of vertical member 109 and prevent further movement of horizontal member 110 toward vertical member 109.
The upper end of vertical member 109 includes a pair of opposed curved splayed ends 118 and 119 extending upwardly from either side of slot 120. The upper end of vertical member 109 is matable with the flattened end 111 of one of the horizontal members 110 in the following manner. The flattened end 111 is inserted intermediate the two curved splayed ends 118, l 19 until the latter engage the unflattened tubing of the horizontal member. Simultaneously, segment 113 is inserted within vertical member 109 to position segments 112 and 113 on either side thereof. The spaces intermediate the central segment and outer segments mates with each of slots 120. When the vertical and horizontal members 109 and 110 are in full engagement, the sides of slot 120 rest upon either surface of flattened end 111 and the inner edges of segments 112 and 114 are adjacent the external surface of vertical member 109. Thereby, a rigid interconnection is obtained, which interconnection inhibits lateral or pivotal movement between the members.
The interconnections between the horizontal and vertical members, as shown and described with respect to FIGS. 9 and 10, permit the formation of an arch 121 for a shelter structure, as shown in FIG. 9. Herein, each of the vertical members 109 are connected to one another by a single one of the horizontal members 110. A second arch for a shelter may be formed by a single one of the remaining horizontal members; or, a second set of vertical members, which may be of reduced length as shown in FIG. 5, may be interconnected with a remaining one of the horizontal members. The two arches may be spaced and braced by means of guy wires as described with respect to FIG. 4.
It is to be understood that the shelter covering may take anyone of several forms. In example, it may be of a single standard size rectangular dimension and simply draped over one or more of the arches formed by the components of the back pack frame. Or, the cover may be tailor made to engage each of the arches with one or more straps and include sufficient strength at the apex of the shelter to avoid the necessity of a central guy line. With such a tailored shelter cover, it would be feasible to include pockets or other means to engage the upper end of vertical members 10 and 11 and thereby avoid the necessity for elbow coupling 61, as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, the complete structure, including the end guy lines shown in FIG. 4 could be formed from the components of back pack frame 1.
Where two or more hikers use a back pack frame constructed in accordance with the present invention, a shelter framework of sufficient size to house all of the bikers can be constructed. In such a case, a plurality of the horizontal members are positioned at the apex of each of the arches to extend their width. Further, both arches can be formed of the vertical members with or without intermediate horizontal members to increase the overall height of the framework. Thereby, the usually necessary large and bulky multi-occupant tent can be deleted from the payload. Other items such as food and clothing can be carried instead of the tent to extend the length of the trip without additional burden upon the hikers.
While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in an illustrative embodiment, there will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions, the elements, materials, and components, used in the practice of the invention which are particularly adapted for specific environments and operating requirements without departing from those principles.
1. A take down back pack frame for supporting a payload including a plurality of components assembleable into a shelter structure, said frame comprising:
a. a plurality of vertical members adapted to form a first arch of the shelter structure;
b. a plurality of horizontal members adapted to form a second arch of the shelter structure;
0. means for selectively attaching and detaching said horizontal members to said vertical members to assemble and disassemble said frame, said attaching and detaching means comprising:
1. an aperture extending through each of said vertical members at the point of attachment between said vertical and horizontal members;
2. a tent stake inserted through each of said apertures;
3. an insert disposed within each end of each of said horizontal members for receiving said tent stake, said insert including a passageway for frictionally engaging said tent stake; and
4. means for biasing said vertical members toward one another;
d. a pair of detachable shoulder straps for mounting said frame upon a hiker, said shoulder straps being adapted to guy said first and' second arches,
b. means for securing one end of each of said shoulder straps to an arm of said T-bar.
3. The frame as set forth in claim 2 wherein each said arm of said T-bar includes a passageway and said securing means comprises a tent stake mating with said passageway and engaging one end of one of said shoulder straps.