Title:
Camouflage cover apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable camouflage apparatus, comprising a frame and covering, where the frame is supported on a person's shoulders. The apparatus is secured preferably using straps that go under the armpits, and secure at both ends to the frame, so that the straps pull the frame against the tops of the shoulders. Pads may be used on the frame to cushion the shoulders, and to assist in moving the apparatus during typical shoulder movement associated with aiming a rifle or bow. Shoulder stabilizers may be used, which press against the front chest and back of the person supporting the frame. These stabilizers may be adjustable as to shape, angle or rotation. Use of this apparatus allows the wearer to turn their head, while wearing the apparatus, without causing movement of the frame or covering.



Inventors:
Ludwick, John P. (Wichita, KS, US)
Application Number:
12/002111
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/14/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/121
International Classes:
E04H15/44; E04H15/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John Ludwick (512 South Richmond, Wichita, KS, 67213, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame; where the frame comprises: a. two vertical support frame means, each having a base bar, with each end of the base bar connected to a vertical member, where the vertical members are attached to cross supports, where said vertical support frames are separated from each other by the cross supports; b. a means to secure the frame to a person when in use.

2. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; where the rotatable means comprises base bars that are rotatably connected to the vertical members, using L-shaped members that are connected to each of the ends of the base bar, and to one of the ends of the vertical members.

3. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; vertical members comprise both vertical members rotatably attached to the base bars, and an extension attached to the top end of the vertical member, where said extension top end is rotatably attached to a cross support.

4. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; where side support members are connected at each end to a vertical members, which rigidly hold the vertical members apart from each other.

5. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; where the means to secure the frame to a person when in use comprises a strap, that is connected to the frame, where said straps encircle the wearer's arms and pull the frame against the top of the shoulders of the person when in use.

6. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; where the base bar defines a pad on the underside of the base bar, as a cushion between the base bar and the shoulder of a person when in use.

7. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; in which the means to secure the frame to a person when in use comprises shoulder stabilizer members.

8. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; in which the means to secure the frame to a person when in use comprises a pad on the bottom side of the base bar, a strap means, and shoulder stabilizer members.

9. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; in which the rotatable attachment means comprises T-shaped members.

10. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 1; in which the rotatable attachment means comprises L-shaped members.

11. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame; as recited in claim 1, where the frame is constructed out of pvc tubing.

12. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame; where the frame comprises two vertical support means, attached to each other by two cross supports, and where the vertical support means are rotatable in relation to the cross support, so as to allow the framework to collapse for storage purposes.

13. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, and where said frame is collapsible, comprising: a. two vertical support frame means, each having a base bar, with each end of the base bar rotatably connected to a vertical member, where the vertical members are rotatably attached to cross supports, where said vertical support frames are separated from each other by the cross supports; b. a means to secure the frame to a person when in use, comprising a pair of straps, where each strap is attached at one end to a respective base bar, and the other end to a bottom part of the frame, where said straps are able to pass through the arm pit areas of the wearer, and where said straps provide a downward force on the frame and base bars, so as to press the base bars onto the person's shoulders, and where shoulder stabilizer members are defined in relation to the base bars, so as to descend downward, where one shoulder stabilizer member impacts against the person's front upper chest and shoulder area, with the other shoulder stabilizer member impacting against the person's upper back and shoulder area.

14. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 13, where the base bar defines a pad on the underside of the base bar, as a cushion between the base bar and the shoulder of a person when in use.

15. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 13; in which the rotatable attachment means comprises T-shaped members.

16. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 13; in which the rotatable attachment means comprises L-shaped members.

17. A camouflage cover, having a frame that allows a desired cover to be fitted over the frame, as recited in claim 13; where the frame is constructed out of pvc tubing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Portable hunting blinds allow greater mobility or persons involved in this sport. There have been several attempts to create a portable blind that will shield a person's head, while still allowing the person to scan the visible area before them, and complete necessary tasks involved with the hunting process.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,609,905 (Fuhrman) illustrates a hunter blind that includes a shoulder strap whereby the framework can be supported on the shoulders of the user, and the blind material draped over the frame, and is a material of such type that permits the hunter reasonable visibility. One drawback to this invention is that it is not intended to cover only the head area, and in fact would probably not be usable if the entire front portion of this hunter's blind in this patent were open.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,146,622 (Blutstein) discloses a head covering without any supportive framework, and therefore moves with the turning of the head, while U.S. Pat. No. 4,164,089 (George) allows the user to carry the blind while wearing it. This blind is more useful in a stationary setting, and although it allows a user to move their head without moving the rest of the blind, it still requires complete disassembly of two portions in order to discharge the weapon. The present invention eliminates unwanted visible movement.

Another example of the prior art in this area is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,025,507 (Kirby). Although the prior art sometimes provides for a general covering of the head area, there is often a problem in that the coverings do not limit movement of any material on the head when the head itself is being rotated to scan for targets.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the camouflage cover, showing the outline of the cover, so that the framework and straps are visible.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the framework of the camouflage cover, showing the respective movement and positions of the camouflage cover as it collapses.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the shoulder stabilizer and padding that is present on a base bar.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the base bar, showing a shoulder stabilizer and respective pad.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the, showing a rotating shoulder stabilizer member, that are present on either end of the pad.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the rotational movement available with the rotating shoulder stabilizer.

FIG. 7 is a frontal view of a person wearing the camouflage cover apparatus.

FIG. 8 is a side view of a person wearing the camouflage cover apparatus.

FIG. 9 is a top view of a person wearing the camouflage cover apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention comprises a camouflage cover, that is draped over a supporting frame. The supporting frame is collapsible for storage, having various fittings that allow the various members that comprise the supporting frame to rotate within the fittings. The supporting frame is intended to rest on top of a person's shoulders, and an appropriate pad is provided to accomplish this, where the pad provides a cushion between the base bar of the frame, and the person's shoulder. Straps are also provided, which encircle the person's underarm area, and cause the frame to press down against the top of the shoulder area.

While the straps provide a limitation against vertical movement, a pair of shoulder stabilizers descend downward from the base bar, where one shoulder stabilizer will press against the upper shoulder and chest area of the person wearing the camouflage cover, while the second shoulder stabilizer will press against the upper shoulder and back area of the person wearing the camouflage cover. The shoulder stabilizers will therefore restrict horizontal movement of the apparatus while it is being worn. This will allow the user to move about, and even lean over without having the camouflage cover fall off.

To increase the ability to store a camouflage cover when not in use, as well as to provide for greater mobility and adjustment, the shoulder stabilizers may be able to rotate from a downward position to any position along a 180 degree arc about the base bar. The shoulder stabilizer may be a simple flat bar that has a curvature of approximately 90°, so that one end of the flat bar may be press in between the pad and base bar, so that the rotational movement of the shoulder stabilizer is defined by the available space between the pad and base bar. The shoulder stabilizer may also be independently rotational, in relation to the pad, where a rotating shoulder stabilizer comprises an extension bar that defines an opening on one end, through which the base bar is pushed through. Frictional means may allow the rotating shoulder stabilizer to be positioned as desired.

One of the benefits of using a pad on the base bars of the frame is that when a person raises their gun or bow up to aim, the shoulders naturally hunch up, causing the pads to assist in rolling the framework backward slightly off the shoulders, to increase the available view.

Accordingly, this invention allows the user to cover their head so as to prevent visibility of their head from the sides or rear direction. It is possible, to also use a camouflage cover that has a significant mesh pattern that allows the user to see through it.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a collapsible frame, that allows ease in transportation, as well as storage, and where the framework is collapsible as desired.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a framework that utilizes total support on the top areas of the shoulder of the wearer, and where the framework is able to be adequately supported and maintained in position on the shoulder area so as to eliminate any movement that would typically be caused by turning the user's head. Therefore, there is a greater mobility and ability to scan more of the surrounding area,

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, the camouflage cover apparatus 10 is shown, in which a supporting frame 11 allows a cover material 24 to be draped over the frame 11. The cover material 24 maybe any material that is typically used in the art to camouflage the wearer from being recognized or ascertained as to location by other persons or animals. The cover material 24 may also comprise material which has been constructed so as to allow a person to see through it to some extent, where the material is close to the person attempting to see through the material. This would comprise a material that has a weave with spaces between the threads that comprise the material makeup, similar to a mesh design, or any other material commonly known and used in the art.

The frame 11 is comprised of a pair of vertical support means, which are connected together by cross supports 12 and 13. The various members are attached together using fittings. If fittings are not used, the frame 11 may be a fully rigid structure. Preferably, the frame 11 may be collapsed for storage.

Two base bars 20 and 21 comprise the bottom most portion of the frame 11. Two vertical support means, the first vertical support means comprises a base bar 20 that is inserted into L-shaped fittings 22 on both ends of each of the base bar 20. The L-shaped fittings 22 have a second opening. Vertical members 19 are inserted into the L-shaped fittings 22, so that they project upward from the base bar 20. The vertical members 19 are spaced apart by the base bar 20, forming a U-shape.

In order to increase the overall support capabilities of the frame 11, a side support 14 may be used, to increase the rigidity of the vertical members 19 in relation to the base bar 20. In this instance, the top of the vertical members 19 are inserted into a T-shaped fitting 23, and where a side support 14 is positioned so that both of its ends are inserted into their respective openings of the T-shaped members 23. Additional vertical member extensions 18 may be inserted into the remaining opening of the T-shaped member 23, and project upward from the T-shaped members 23 so as to increase the overall vertical height of the frame 11. There are many methods to accomplish the position of the side support 14. The T-shaped members 23 may slide along the length of an elongated vertical member 19, eliminating the need for a second vertical extension 18. Further, the cross support 14 may be attached in any way commonly known and understood in the art to the vertical member 19, either along its length, or at its uppermost end.

Whether vertical extensions 18 are used, or whether a single vertical member 19 is used, the top or highest terminating end of said member 19 or extension 18, are attached to cross supports 12. Therefore, the vertical support means should be understood to include any support framework that extends upward from the base bar 20 to the cross supports 12.

Cross supports 12 and 13 are rotatably attached to the top of the vertical support means, and attached to the top portion of a second vertical support means.

The second vertical support means is comprised of a similar base bar 21, which is parallel to base bar 20. Base bar 21 is inserted into L-shaped members 22 on both ends, with vertical members 16 attached in similar fashion as vertical members 19, to the L-shaped members 22. The second vertical support means may also utilize its own side support 15, where the side support 15 is attached in similar fashion to the vertical members 16 as described above for vertical members 19. As is shown in FIG. 1, support 15 is fitted into a T-shaped member 23 having opposing openings, that are perpendicular to the length of the side member 15. As necessary, vertical extensions 18 may be used, where said vertical extensions 18 comprise either an extended portion of the vertical number 16, or a separate member that is attached individually to the T-shaped members 23.

The topmost ends of the vertical extensions 18 on the second vertical support means framework are attached to L-shaped members 22, with the first vertical support means framework and second vertical support means framework separated by the cross supports 12 and 13. Cross supports 12 and 13 are perpendicular to the members 19, 18 and 14 and bar 20 of the first vertical support framework means, and are also perpendicular to members 16, 18, 15 and bar 21 of the second vertical support means. During use, cross supports 12 and 13 will remain parallel to each other, while the two separate vertical support framework means will also remain parallel to each other.

It should be understood that the use of T-shaped members 23 and L-shaped members 22 are intended to convey one possible means of attaching the various members, bars and supports to each other. Typically, this frame 11 would be constructed of lightweight PVC pipe, using the typical L-shaped members 22 and T-shaped members 23 that are commonly used with PVC pipe. The scope of this invention is intended to include any means commonly known and understood in the art by attaching one end of rigid tubing, bar, or other elongated member to one another, so that the attached portions will rotate with respect to each other. Therefore, it should be understood that the L-shaped members 22 and T-shaped members 23 comprise rotating connection means, and should not be limited in their scope to the physical characteristics shown and described, but rather to the operation of the portions of the frame 11 in conjunction with each other.

The frame 11, when being worn, exhibits a cubic type frame that surrounds a person's head 36, as is shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. This frame 11 may prove to be difficult to transport and store, as a result of the volume it occupies, and a means to collapse the frame 11 is desired and provided.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the frame 11 is shown from a top view, as it would appear when being worn. Also shown in FIG. 9, is the view of the frame 11, in relation to the wearer's head 36. The available viewing area from the side is shown in FIG. 8, with the open area in the front shown and depicted in FIG. 7. To collapse the frame 11, the cross supports 12 and 13 must rotate in relation to the vertical support means they are attached to. Where L-shaped members 22 are being used, L-shaped members 22 allow rotation around the top portion of the vertical extension members 18, with the rotation of the cross supports 12 and 13 taking place so that the cross supports 12 and 13 remain parallel to each other. As the cross supports 12 and 13 rotate, each of the vertical support means described above will move in relation to each other, also maintaining a parallel orientation to each other. With regard to FIG. 2, the L-shaped members 22 that physically move during the collapsing process, are shown as L-shaped member 22′ and L-shaped member 22″. These were previously shown in FIG. 1 as simply L-shaped member 22. For purposes of showing the collapsing movement in FIG. 2, they have been numbered with prime indicators. It should be understood that this frame 11 may be collapsed in any direction. The paths of movement 41 and 42 may apply to any of the L-shaped members, and this is but one of four possible collapsing movements, all which identically match the other movements, depending how the frame 11 is oriented according to a top view.

As FIG. 2 shows, the path of travel 41 for the L-shaped member 22′ is shown, and the path of travel 42 for the L-shaped member 22″ is shown, with the resulting configuration of the side support 14′, cross supports 12′ and 13′ indicated by dashed lines. For purposes of explanation, L-shaped members 22 that do have undergone directional movement are indicated by 22′ and 22″. Cross supports 12 and 13 that have undergone directional/rotational movement are indicated as 12′ and 13′. Side support 14 that is undergone directional movement is indicated as 14′. The physical cover 24 is indicated in both FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, with all portions of the invention unobstructed by the presence of the cover 24 in the figures. The cover 24 may be attached to the frame 11 using any means commonly known and understood in the art. For example, the cover 24 may be sewn around the frame members, it may be snapped around the frame members, or attached using velcro, or other attachment means. The cover 24 may also be of the same design and coloration as the rest of the camouflage worn by the person, to increase continuity of the entire camouflage configuration.

The means to secure the frame 11 to the wearer or person using this invention is accomplished by causing the base bars 20 and 21 to rest on top of a person's shoulders. Optimally, a pad 25 is placed around the bar 20 and 21, to provide a cushion between said bars 20 and 21 and the person's shoulder. As FIGS. 3-5 depict, the pad 25 used is a tubular pad through which the bar 20 or 21 is passed through the central opening. It should be understood that the pad 25 is not restricted in any manner to that depicted in the figures, but should be understood as simply a cushion means between the bottom side of the bars 20 and 21 and what would be the person's shoulder when wearing the camouflage cover 10. These pads 25 are not required, but do provide additional comfort and support during use. One of the benefits of using a pad 25 on the base bars 20 and 21 of the frame 11 is that when a person raises their gun or bow up to aim, the shoulders naturally hunch up, causing the pads 25 to assist in rolling the frame 11 backward slightly off the shoulders, to increase the available view.

As is shown in FIG. 1, a flexible strap 27 is shown, which is fixed to the rear portion of the bar 20 and 21 respectively on one end, and the other and passes through an adjustable loop 38 which allows manipulation of the strap 27 as to overall length. The strap 27 may be flexible or elastic, and may or may not be adjustable, according to the particular desires of the wearer. Preferably, the strap 27 is able to be adjusted, or is flexible, so that when it encircles the wearer's arms, passing through the armpit area, the strap 27 will exert sufficient force on the frame 11 so that it will be pulled downward against the top side of a person's shoulder. FIG. 1 indicates the adjustable loop 38, which would preferably be on the front side of the frame 11, so as to allow access to the adjustable areas of the strap 27. Strap 27 assists in preventing vertical movement of the frame 11 during use. Due to friction, between the shoulder and pad 25, the force of the strap 27 may also assist in preventing horizontal movement.

Horizontal movement, in relation to the person's shoulder, is best prevented by using shoulder stabilizer members that descend downward from the frame bars 20 and 21, having sufficient space between them so as to allow a person to place the pad 25 on their shoulder top area, with one shoulder stabilizer member on the front chest area, in the second shoulder stabilizer member on the back area. Referring now specifically to FIG. 3, FIG. 7, 8 and 9, the shoulder stabilizer members 26 are shown as rigid members that have a defined curvature which allows them to be substantially perpendicular to the bar 20 which they are associated with. Shoulder stabilizer members 26 may comprise two separate pieces, or a single length of rigid material that has its end area bent to approximately 90 degree angles from the central portion of the frame member 26. The shoulder stabilizer members 26 may be permanently attached to the bars 20 or 21 which they are associated with. Said shoulder stabilizer members 26 may also the adjustable and rotate about the bars 20 and 21 to which they are associated with. The shoulder stabilizer members 26 may also be flexible in nature, so as to conform to a person's body shape, as shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, which will allow them to better grip both sides of the person when worn. The shoulder stabilizers 26 may be constructed out of any type of flexible material, including heavy gauge wire, metal sheet strips, etc.

Referring now also to FIG. 4, the shoulder stabilizer member 26 is shown as a downwardly descending member, in which a portion of it is placed in an insert cavity 29, which comprises the space between the pad 25 and bar 20. Rotation of the shoulder stabilizer member 26 is available by simply moving shoulder stabilizer member 26 around said bar 20 within the insert cavity 29 area.

Referring now also to FIG. 5 and 6, a rotating shoulder stabilizer member 30 is shown, comprising a bar portion 31, where said bar portion 31 descends downward perpendicularly from the bar 20 to which it is associated with. This orientation is also shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. The rotating shoulder stabilizer member 30 also comprises an eyelet area 32, which defines an opening through which the bar 20 may be placed. As FIG. 6 shows, rotating shoulder stabilizer member 30 is able to be pivoted around the bar 20 to any position desired. The movement is therefore not associated with a pad 25, and may be fixed as to location using friction or any other type of means to clamp the rotating shoulder stabilizer member 30 to the bar 20. It should also be understood that the discussion of the shoulder support members 26 and rotating shoulder support frame member 30 are associated with bar 20 in the same manner as they would be with bar 21. This rotational feature allows for various adjustments, and more effective reduction in overall size for storage or transportation purposes.

The shoulder support members 26 or 30 will each be presented to the person, so that the shoulder is able to be gripped by each said a respective shoulder stabilizer members 26 or 30. In either situation, the shoulder stabilizer members 26 or 30, will be placed so that one of them impacts on the top shoulder and front upper chest area of the person, the other impacting the upper shoulder and upper back of the person wearing the camouflage cover 10.

The actual cover 24 will typically be constructed so that it allows an open flap or opening on the front side of the camouflage cover apparatus 10. Certain materials also allow a person to see through them, when they are presented close to their eyes with regard overall distance. Since the camouflage cover apparatus 10 is supported entirely by the person's shoulders and upper body, the person wearing this apparatus 10 will be able to turn their head without affecting position of the frame from causing movement of the frame 11. This will prevent any other observers, human or animal, from being aware of any head movements, when shrouded by the cover 24, since the actual cover 24 will not move during typical rotation of the head.

From the foregoing statements, summary and description in accordance with the present invention, it is understood that the same are not limited thereto, but are susceptible to various changes and modifications as known to those skilled in the art and we therefore do not wish to be limited to the details shown and described herein, but intend to cover all such changes and modifications which would be encompassed by the scope of the appended claims.