Title:
Fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fixed geometry shelter system supported above the ground for receiving at least one person is provided. The fixed geometry shelter system comprises a shelter cover supported above the ground thereby defining a covered ground area. A first shelter opening tilts in a first general direction away from the covered ground area and has a first angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground. A second shelter opening tilts in a second general direction away from the covered ground area and has a second angle less than ninety (90°) degrees.



Inventors:
Coupounas, Demetrios G. C. (Boulder, CO, US)
Application Number:
09/883593
Publication Date:
11/22/2001
Filing Date:
06/18/2001
Assignee:
COUPOUNAS DEMETRIOS G.C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/115, 135/117
International Classes:
E04H15/36; E04H15/32; (IPC1-7): E04H15/54
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HORTON, YVONNE MICHELE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Emery L. Tracy (Boulder, CO, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A shelter assembly for receiving a person, the shelter assembly positioned on the ground, the shelter assembly comprising: a top cover sheet having a first end edge and a second end edge; first support means along the first edge of the cover sheet for supporting the first edge at a first angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground, the first support means forming a first shelter opening; and second support means along the second edge of the cover sheet for supporting the second edge at a second angle relative to the ground, the second support means forming a second shelter opening.

2. The shelter assembly of claim 1 wherein the second angle is less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground.

3. The shelter assembly of claim 1 wherein the first shelter opening is formed in a first substantially curved configuration and the second shelter opening is formed in a second substantially curved configuration.

4. The shelter assembly of claim 1 wherein the first support means is a first sleeve and a first pole insertable within the first sleeve and the second support means is a second sleeve and a second pole insertable within the second sleeve.

5. The shelter assembly of claim 4 and further comprising: a first anchor within the first sleeve for receiving a first end of the first pole and a first grommet for receiving a second end of the first pole; a second anchor within the second sleeve for receiving a first end of the second pole and a second grommet for receiving a second end of the second pole.

6. The shelter assembly of claim 4 wherein each pole has a plurality of connectable pole sections.

7. The shelter assembly of claim 1 and further comprising: a first end sheet secured to the first edge of the top cover sheet; a second end sheet secured to the second edge of the top cover sheet; and a floor sheet secured between the third edge and the fourth edge of the cover sheet.

8. The shelter assembly of claim 7 and further comprising: a first opening mechanism between the first edge of the cover sheet and the first end sheet for allowing at least a portion of the first end sheet to be opened; and a second opening mechanism between the second edge of the cover sheet and the second end sheet allowing at least a portion of the second end sheet to be opened.

9. The shelter assembly of claim 1 and further comprising: a first meshing covering the first shelter opening; and a second meshing covering the second shelter opening.

10. The shelter assembly of claim 1 and further comprising: a second awning mounted over the second shelter opening.

11. A fixed geometry shelter system supported above the ground for receiving at least one person, the fixed geometry shelter system comprising: a shelter cover supported above the ground thereby defining a covered ground area; a first shelter opening tilting in a first general direction away from the covered ground area and having a first angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground; and a second shelter opening having a second angle.

12. The fixed geometry shelter system of claim 11 wherein the second shelter opening tilts in a second general direction away from the covered ground area with the second angle being less than ninety (90°) degrees.

13. The fixed geometry shelter system of claim 11 wherein the first shelter opening has a first height and the second shelter opening has a second height with the second height being less than the first height.

14. The fixed geometry shelter system of claim 11 wherein the first shelter opening has a substantially first curved configuration and the second shelter opening has a substantially second curved configuration.

15. The fixed geometry shelter system of claim 11 and further comprising: a first end sheet secured to the first edge of the top cover sheet; a second end sheet secured to the second edge of the top cover sheet; and a floor sheet secured between the third edge and the fourth edge of the cover sheet.

16. The fixed geometry shelter system of claim 15 and further comprising: a first opening mechanism between the first edge of the cover sheet and the first end sheet for allowing at least a portion of the first end sheet to be opened; and a second opening mechanism between the second edge of the cover sheet and the second end sheet for allowing the second end sheet to be opened.

17. A method of sheltering at least one person, the method comprising: providing a shelter sheet; forming a first opening; forming a second opening substantially opposite the first opening; and tilting the first opening in a general direction away from the second opening.

18. The method of claim 17 and further comprising: sheltering the second opening with an awning.

19. The method of claim 17 and further comprising: covering the first opening; and covering the second opening.

20. The method of claim 17 and further comprising: forming the first opening in a substantially curved configuration with a first height; and forming the second opening in a substantially curved configuration with a second height; wherein the first height is greater than the second height.

Description:

[0001] The present application is a continuation of pending provisional patent application Ser. No. 09/222,616, filed on Aug. 2, 2000, entitled “Fixed Geometry Shelter for Use in Camping and Related Outdoor Activities”.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates generally to a shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities and, more particularly, it relates to an adjustable lightweight shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities which allows a user to adjust the ventilation through the shelter for optimum protection from environmental elements.

[0004] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0005] A variety of lightweight portable shelters, including tents and tarps, have been used for mountaineering, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, bicycling, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities that commonly involve camping in remote areas. In many hiking and camping situations, the amount of weight of the camping gear is of great importance. This is particularly true for backpackers on long term and short-term wilderness treks since even small tents can weigh far more than is desirable.

[0006] Conventional tents usually protect one well from rain, but not moisture collected inside due to inadequate ventilation. Presently available tents provide a trade-off between either good ventilation or rain protection, but not both simultaneously. Moisture inside the tent is typically created by the moisture emitted from the user's body, such as during breathing and sweating. Without proper ventilation, the moisture saturates the tent and the contents inside the tent thereby presenting a potentially dangerous problem for the user in keeping his or her body and equipment warm and dry.

[0007] Accordingly, there exists a need for a fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities which allows maximum ventilation through the shelter while maintaining optimum protection from environmental elements across a wide range of conditions. Additionally, a need exists for a fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities having ventilation openings which can be adjusted depending on the amount of ventilation desired and/or required. Furthermore, there exists a need for a fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities which is lightweight and can be assembled by the user in minimal time.

SUMMARY

[0008] The present invention is a shelter assembly for receiving a person. The shelter assembly is positioned on the ground. The shelter assembly comprises a top cover sheet having a first end edge and a second end edge. First support means are formed along the first edge of the cover sheet for supporting the first edge at a first angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground with the first support means forming a first shelter opening. Second support means are formed along the second edge of the cover sheet for supporting the second edge at a second angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground with the second support means forming a second shelter opening.

[0009] The present invention additionally includes a fixed geometry shelter system supported above the ground for receiving at least one person. The fixed geometry shelter system comprises a shelter cover supported above the ground thereby defining a covered ground area. A first shelter opening tilts in a first general direction away from the covered ground area and has a first angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground. A second shelter opening tilts in a second general direction away from the covered ground area and has a second angle less than ninety (90°) degrees.

[0010] The present invention further includes a method of sheltering at least one person. The method comprises providing a shelter sheet, forming a first opening, forming a second opening substantially opposite the first opening, tilting the first opening in a general direction away from the second opening, and tilting the second opening in a general direction away from the first opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view illustrating a fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view illustrating the fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities of FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 3 is an elevational side view illustrating the fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities of FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 4 is another side elevational view illustrating the fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities of FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention; and

[0015] FIG. 5 is a top plan view illustrating the fixed geometry shelter for use in camping and related outdoor activities of FIG. 1, constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] As illustrated in FIG. 1, the present invention is a fixed geometry shelter, indicated generally at 10, for use in camping and related outdoor activities. Since a wet person loses valuable body heat at a much faster rate than a dry person, maximizing the ventilation to maintain dryness can mean the difference between life and death of the user. The fixed geometry shelter 10 of the present invention is designed to maximize protection from the environmental elements while also maximizing ventilation through the fixed geometry shelter 10 and minimizing weight. Actual use of the fixed geometry shelter 10 to maximize protection from the environmental elements while maximizing ventilation will be discussed in further detail below.

[0017] The fixed geometry shelter 10 of the present invention includes a single shelter sheet 12 having a first side edge 14, a second side edge 16 substantially opposite the first side edge 14, a third side edge 18 between the first side edge 14 and the second side edge 16, and a fourth side edge 20 substantially opposite the third side edge 18. The first side edge 14 has first support means for supporting the first side edge 14 at an angle tilting away from the ground at a first angle less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground and the second side edge 16 has second support means for supporting the second side edge 16 at a second angle. The second angle is preferably angled less than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground, but could be perpendicular to the ground or greater than ninety (90°) degrees relative to the ground.

[0018] Preferably, the first support means is a first sleeve 22 and the second support means is a second sleeve 24 with the first sleeve 22 and the second sleeve 24 each receiving a pole (not shown). The first sleeve 22 and the second sleeve 24 each have a first end (not shown) and a second end (not shown). To provide ease of pitching and assembly of the fixed geometry shelter 10, the first end of both the first sleeve 22 and the second sleeve 24 has an anchor for receiving an end of each of the poles. A grommet (not shown) at the other end of the first sleeve 22 and the second sleeve 24 receives the other end of each of the poles.

[0019] It should be noted that while the first support means and the second support means have been described as being a first sleeve 24 with an anchor and grommet and a second sleeve 24 with an anchor and grommet, it is within the scope of the present invention to have any type of first support means and second support means comprising clips and the like and having two grommets, etc.

[0020] Preferably, each pole includes a plurality of connectable pole sections (not shown) which are pre-bent such that upon connection of the pole section, each pole is formed into a substantially curved shape for increased strength and durability. In an embodiment of the present invention, the fixed geometry shelter 10 includes a first pole (not shown) and a second pole (not shown) with the first pole having a length greater than a length of the second pole. The curved shape of the poles, upon insertion of the first pole into the first sleeve 22 of the first side edge 14 and upon insertion of the second pole into the second sleeve 24 of the second side edge 16, causes the first side edge 14 to assume a corresponding curved shape with a height of approximately forty-two (42″) inches and a width of approximately sixty (60″) inches and the second side edge 24 to assume a corresponding curved shape with a height of approximately twenty (20″) inches and a width of approximately forty-five (45″) inches.

[0021] The fixed geometry shelter 10 further includes a floor sheet 26 connected between the third side edge 18 and the fourth side edge 20 of the shelter sheet 12. A first end sheet 28 is connected between the first side edge 14 of the shelter sheet 12 and the floor sheet 26 and a second end sheet 30 is connected between the second side edge 16 of the shelter sheet 12 and the floor sheet 26. Preferably, the floor sheet 26 is connected to the shelter sheet 12 by stitching or the like. Furthermore, preferably, the first end sheet 28 and the second sheet 30 are connected to the shelter sheet 12 and the floor sheet 26 by stitching or the like. A person skilled in the art will understand that the assembly of the fixed geometry shelter 10 of the present invention can be accomplished in a variety of manners in addition to stitching. For instance, the shelter sheet 12, the floor sheet 26, the first end sheet 28, and the second end sheet 30 can be joined by a heat seal or the like. In order to insure that the fixed geometry shelter 10 is sufficiently waterproof from even severe elements, a silicone sealer can be applied over the joined edges.

[0022] The shelter sheet 12, the first end sheet 28, and the second end sheet 30 are preferably constructed from silicone-impregnated ripstop nylon for lightweight waterproof reliability. The floor sheet 26 is preferably constructed from urethane-coated ripstop nylon for abrasion resistance and optimal floor friction. It is within the scope of the present invention, however, to construct the shelter sheet 12, the floor sheet 26, the first end sheet 28, and the second end sheet 30 from any type of material including, but not limited to, silicon-impregnated nylon, urethane-coated nylon, plastic, fabric, canvas, etc.

[0023] The first end sheet 28 and the second end sheet 30 include an opening mechanism 32 to allow at least a portion of the first end sheet 28 and the second end sheet 30 to be opened thereby allowing ventilation to travel through the fixed geometry shelter 10. In a preferred embodiment, the opening mechanism 32 is a zipper, although other types of opening mechanisms 32 are within the scope of the present invention.

[0024] A meshing 34 can be provided about the opening formed in the first end sheet 28 and the second end sheet 30 to inhibit the entrance of insects and other foreign materials into the fixed geometry shelter 10 while allowing maximum ventilation therethrough. Furthermore, a first awning 36 can be placed over the first end sheet 28 and a second awning 38 can be placed over the second end sheet 30. The first awning 36 and the second awning 38 inhibit direct sunlight and weather elements, such as drizzle, rain, snow, or hail, from entering the fixed geometry shelter 10. In an alternative embodiment, the second end sheet 30 could be constructed from a mesh material with or without an opening mechanism 32 thereby providing maximum ventilation through the fixed geometry shelter 10. Additionally, beneath the first awning 36 and the second awning 38, the top six (6″) inches are entirely mesh to maintain at least some ventilation at all times.

[0025] The fixed geometry shelter 10 of the present invention further includes a plurality of tie-down lines 40 connected to and positioned about the fixed geometry shelter 10 for securing the fixed geometry shelter 10 to the ground, trees, rocks, etc. For instance, two tie-down lines 40 are attached at the first side edge 14 of the shelter sheet 12, with one tie-down line 40 on each side of the first awning 36. An additional tie-down line 40 is attached to the first awning 36 and another tie-down line 40 is attached to the second awning 38.

[0026] The fixed geometry shelter 10 of the present invention can be set-up in a variety of different configurations. The second end sheet 30 is first positioned into the wind and/or weather. The pole sections are then connected together and the poles are inserted into the first sleeve 22 and the second sleeve 24. Next, in a preferred configuration, the tie-down lines 40 are connected to the ground, trees, rocks, etc., in a taut manner. By connecting the tie-down lines 40 in such a manner, the first end of the fixed geometry shelter 10 is angled away from the center of the fixed geometry shelter 10 thereby allowing the opening in the first end sheet 28 to be left open for maximum ventilation, even in rainy weather. A plurality of stakes 42 can be provided to further secure the fixed geometry shelter 10 to the ground.

[0027] The foregoing exemplary descriptions and the illustrative preferred embodiments of the present invention have been explained in the drawings and described in detail, with varying modifications and alternative embodiments being taught. While the invention has been so shown, described and illustrated, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that equivalent changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, and that the scope of the present invention is to be limited only to the claims except as precluded by the prior art. Moreover, the invention as disclosed herein, may be suitably practiced in the absence of the specific elements which are disclosed herein.