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Sunbathers and picnickers at beaches, picnic areas and the like are subjected to winds and blowing sands, which can detract from their enjoyment. This invention provides a simple, effective and inexpensive barrier for blocking the wind and blowing sand and debris, so the user can establish an area protected from these annoyances.
The present invention provides a wind and sand barrier comprising an elongated panel of flexible material defined by a top edge, a bottom edge, and first and second side edges. First and second substantially parallel sleeves are provided on the panel positioned respectively at the first and second side edges and are oriented parallel thereto. A plurality of third sleeves are positioned at spaced intervals along the panel between the first and second side edges, also substantially parallel thereto. A plurality of vents are provided in the elongated panel for relieving wind pressure thereon. The panel is supported by a plurality of support stakes receivable in the first, second, and third sleeves. Each of the support stakes comprises an elongated shaft having a first end terminating in a substantially pointed shape and a second end having an enlarged cap for facilitating pushing the stake into the ground with the user's hand.
The present invention further provides a wind and sand barrier comprising an elongated panel of flexible material defined by a top edge, a bottom edge, and first and second side edges. First and second substantially parallel sleeves are provided on the panel positioned respectively at the first and second side edges and oriented substantially parallel thereto. A plurality of third sleeves are positioned at equally spaced intervals along the panel between the first and second side edges, also substantially parallel thereto. A plurality of vents are located in the panel for relieving wind pressure thereon, with each of the vents comprising a slit in the panel defining a flap, the vents being located closer to the top edge than the bottom edge of the panel. A plurality of support stakes are receivable in the first, second, and third sleeves. Each of the support stakes comprises an elongated shaft having a first end terminating in a substantially pointed shape and a second end having an enlarged cap with an arcuate upper surface for facilitating pushing the support stake into the ground with the user's hand.
The drawings, when considered in conjunction with the following description, are presented for the purpose of facilitating an understanding of the invention sought to be protected.
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of one side the wind and sand screen of the present invention, with a portion broken away to illustrate the relationship between components.
FIG. 2 is a view of the opposite side of the wind and sand screen of the present invention.
FIG. 3 shows the support stake utilized in the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a first manner of forming the sleeve for the support stake.
FIG. 5 is a plan view of a second manner of forming the sleeve for the support stake.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a third manner of forming the sleeve for the support stake.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the wind and sand screen of the present invention as set up in an operational configuration.
As shown in the drawings, the wind and sand barrier 1 provided by the present invention comprises an elongated panel 2 and a plurality of support stakes 3. Panel 2 can be formed from a single length of material or of a plurality of discrete portions of material 4 that are attached together by means such as sewing or gluing. The material from which panel 2 is formed can be of natural or synthetic fibers, or a combination thereof. However, it must be of such construction as to essentially be substantially impermeable to wind and sand, and strong enough to be able to withstand the wind velocities that normally can be expected on a beach or similar location. Panel 2 is defined by and top edge 5, a bottom edge 6, and side edges 7 and 8.
A laterally oriented tubular sleeve 9 is provided at each of the side edges 7 and 8, and spaced at intervals along the length of panel 2, to closely accommodate support stakes 3. As shown in FIG. 5, sleeves 9 can be formed by pinching together the material of panel 2 and joining it to form a sleeve at 10 by sewing, gluing, or like method. FIG. 6 shows an alternative method wherein separate pieces of material 11 are attached to panel 2 at points 12 to form sleeves 6. As shown in FIG. 7, if panel 2 is comprised of a plurality of discrete portions 4, the edges of adjacent portions can be overlapped and attached together at points 13 to form sleeve 6.
The operation of the barrier 1 is enhanced by providing in panel 2 a plurality of air vents in the form of semi-circular cut-out flaps 15 defined by arcuate slits 16. Permitting air to pass through panel 2 in this manner effectively relieves the wind pressure on the upwind side to reduce to force against the barrier in instances of high winds and prevent it from easily being blown over, while still protecting the users from blowing wind and sand. Flaps 15 advantageously are located in the upper portion of panel 2, closer to top edge 5 than bottom edge 6, so that wind and sand blowing therethrough has minimal impact on persons reclining behind the barrier.
FIG. 2 shows the reverse side of barrier 1, which can be provided with decorations such as a wave pattern 17.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, each support stake 3 comprises an elongated shaft 18 having a generally enlarged circular button-like cap 19 with an arcuate upper surface 20 at one end and terminates at a substantially pointed free end 21. Circular cap 19 is of such size and shape as to facilitate comfortably pushing the support stake into the ground with the user's hand. Support stakes 3 are of sufficient length to be pressed far enough into the ground to support panel 2 in the face of the expected winds. Shafts 18 and caps 19 can be made of any suitable material, such as metal, wood and plastic. Caps 19 can be formed in one piece with shaft 18 or can be formed separately and attached to shaft 18 by means such as press-fitting, gluing and welding. The relationship between a support stake and the sleeve through which it is inserted is shown in the cutaway portion of FIG. 1.
In a preferred embodiment, panel 2 is about ten feet in length and about sixteen inches in height. The sleeves are about thirty inches apart along the length of panel 2. An advantageous length for the stakes is about twenty-four inches. These dimensions provide excellent protection from wind and sand for persons who are sunbathing or reading, and children playing in the sand. Moreover, a barrier having such dimensions also is light in weight, can be rolled up without removing the stakes from their sleeves, and can be easily be placed in a storage bag, carried and erected. Barrier 1 need not be erected with panel 2 extended in a straight line, but can be arranged in a multitude of other configurations with panel portions 4 being at angles with one another, as shown in FIG. 6, or in a generally arcuate orientation. Also, several barriers 1 can be deployed adjacent one another to provide a greater area of protection. To make the panel more attractive, it can be provided on one or both sides with artwork, such as a wave pattern, as shown in FIG. 2. In addition to shielding users from the wind and sun, the barrier can be arrayed in a closed or semi-closed circle, which arrangement allows it to function as a containment area for small children, pets, or clothing and other gear.
While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered a most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that it is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangement, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements.