Title:
Backrest and backpack apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A backrest and backpack apparatus for hunters including a rectangular base portion having a front side, a rear side and a peripheral edge; a plurality of straps to facilitate attaching the backrest and backpack apparatus to a hunter and to a tree; side portions attached to the rectangular base portion, the side portions having a plurality of pockets formed thereon to allow the hunter to carry items necessary for hunting; and a seat cushion which is removably attached to the apparatus.



Inventors:
Hajari, Khosro B. (Hicksville, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/786294
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
04/10/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/637
International Classes:
A45F4/02; A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Khosro B. Hajari (Wesley Chapel, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A backrest and backpack apparatus comprising: a rectangular base portion having a peripheral edge; at least one side portion connected to at least a portion of each of peripheral edge of the rectangular base, wherein the at least one side portion defines at least one pocket; a plurality of straps connected to at least one of the at least one side portion and the peripheral edge of the rectangular base; and a cushion configured to be removably attached to the peripheral edge.

2. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the rectangular base is formed of a material that will provide a user with cushioning and a covering over the cushioning material.

3. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the peripheral edge of the rectangular base comprises a first and second pair of substantially parallel edges wherein the first pair of substantially parallel edges has a length which is less than a length of the second pair of substantially parallel edges.

4. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the at least one side portion is connected to a portion of the second pair of substantially parallel edges.

5. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the rectangular base has a front side and a rear side and a pocket formed on at least one of the front side and the rear side.

6. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 5 wherein at least one of the front side and the rear side has a surface configured in at least one of an orange color, a camouflage color, and a camouflage pattern.

7. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the rectangular base portion has a thickness in the range of about 0.5 inches to 2.0 inches.

8. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the at least one pocket is subdivided into several smaller compartments.

9. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein at least one pocket further comprises means for closing the pocket.

10. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the cushion is formed of a material that will allow the cushion to act as a flotation device.

11. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the plurality of straps comprises two shoulder straps of sufficient length to permit placement over the shoulders of a hunter.

12. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 11 wherein the plurality of straps further comprises two middle straps configured and dimensioned to connect to the two shoulder straps to allow the hunter to wear the backrest and backpack apparatus on his or her back.

13. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the plurality of straps comprises two waist straps configured and dimensioned to adjustably fit around the waist of the hunter.

14. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 1 further comprising at least one of a clip, hook, ring and loop attached to at least one of the rectangular portion, the plurality of straps and the at least one side portion.

15. A backrest and backpack apparatus comprising: a rectangular base portion having a peripheral edge, the peripheral edge comprising a first and second pair of substantially parallel edges wherein the first pair of substantially parallel edges has a length which is less than a length of the second pair of substantially parallel edges; at least one side portion connected to at least a portion of at least one of the second pair of substantially parallel edges; at least one pocket formed on at least one of the at least one side portion and the rectangular portion; a plurality of straps connected to at least one of the at least one side portion and the peripheral edge of the rectangular base; and a cushion configured to be removably attached to the peripheral edge.

16. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 15 wherein the rectangular base portion has a thickness in the range of about 0.5 inches to 2.0 inches.

17. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 15 wherein the at least one pocket is subdivided into several smaller pockets.

18. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 15 wherein the plurality of straps comprises two shoulder straps of sufficient length to permit placement over the shoulders of a hunter, two middle straps configured and dimensioned to connect to the two shoulder straps to allow the hunter to wear the backrest and backpack apparatus on his or her back, and two waist straps configured and dimensioned to adjustably fit around the waist of the hunter.

19. The backrest and backpack apparatus as recited in claim 15 further comprising at least one of a clip, hook, ring and loop attached to at least one of the rectangular portion, the plurality of straps and the at least one side portion.

20. A backrest and backpack apparatus for hunters comprising: a rectangular base portion having a front side, a rear side and a peripheral edge; two side portions attached to the rectangular base portion, the side portions having a plurality of pockets formed thereon to allow the hunter to carry items necessary for hunting; a plurality of straps connected to the rectangular base portion and the two side portions to facilitate attaching the backrest and backpack apparatus to a hunter and to a tree; and a seat cushion removably attached to the apparatus

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of prior U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/907,497, filed Apr. 4, 2005 which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to apparatus for use by hunters while afield, and, more specifically, to apparatus which provides the hunter with a backrest which may be attached around a tree while incorporating features that eliminate the need for the hunter to carry a separate backpack to carry gear and supplies.

2. Description of the Background Art

The use of a tree skirt is known in the prior art. More specifically, tree skirts heretofore devised and utilized for the purpose of wrapping around a tree trunk are known to consist basically of familiar, expected and obvious structural configurations, notwithstanding the myriad of designs encompassed by the crowded prior art which have been developed for the fulfillment of countless objectives and requirements.

By way of example, the prior art includes U.S. Pat. No. 5,408,782 to McConnell which discloses a tree skirt; U.S. Pat. No. 5,102,265 to Dokmo, O'Brien and Lorenz which discloses an adjustable width split sleeve and method for forming ends thereto; U.S. Pat. No. 4,658,452 to Brockhaus which discloses a sportsman's pad; U.S. Pat. No. 4,488,620 to Gibson which discloses a climbing apparatus; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,474,265 to Shinkle which discloses a tree chair.

Additionally, U.S. Pat. No. 5,782,531 to Shinkle discloses a compact backrest device for hunters which provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of providing a device for wrapping around a tree trunk to give the hunter a back rest and further being padded to provide additional comfort.

Although these designs serve a particular limited purpose for the hunter, sportsmen often carry many supplies while hunting including such items as a rifle, shotgun, bow, ammunition, bug spray, flashlight, game scents and calls, gloves, extra clothing, food, blanket, etc. Further, sportsmen often desire to carry a cushion to use when resting or when sitting on the ground, on a stand or against a tree. Therefore, portable cushions and carrying packs are often used in the field by sportsmen to improve the comfort and convenience of the hunting experience. When desiring to include all of the items needed for a comfortable hunting experience, sportsmen often find themselves burdened by the chore of carrying an assortment of items. Often, sportsmen will carry a large backpack to store the needed equipment. However, these known backpacks are not adapted for convenient use in hunting stands in combination with a cushion device.

Attempts have been made in the prior art to fulfill this need. For example, a combination cushion and carrying assembly is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,190,918. From a review of this patent, it is seen that the carrying assembly is carried by hand and the cushion device is adapted for use in stadium type seats. For hunting, it is desirable to carry the pack on one's back to free up the hands for carrying armaments, game, and other items unable to fit into a pack. Further, combination cushion and packing devices like that in U.S. Pat. No. 4,190,918 have not met the need for a cushion and pack that is versatile enough to be conveniently used in locations such as various types of hunting stands. There exists a need for a device for use by sportsmen that will reduce discomfort from sitting in stands and trees without cushioning and will also reduce the risk of injury to a hunter while trying to access a backpack that is necessarily kept remote from the location of a hunter in a stand or tree.

Furthermore, it is most desirable, if not critical, for a successful hunt, for a hunter to remain silent while sitting in a tree stand or on the ground. The slightest noise is often enough to spook any animals that are being hunted, thereby causing the animals to run away from the hunter. One big concern, in this regard, while sitting in a tree stand or otherwise leaning up against a tree, is that the clothing of the hunter will rub against the bark of the tree and make a noise. Therefore, there is also a need for an apparatus that is configured to wrap around a tree to provide a barrier between the hunter's clothing and the bark of the tree to thereby eliminate any noise therefrom.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus that enables the hunter to carry all of his necessary supplies wherein the apparatus is also configured to connect to and wrap around a tree to eliminate noise and to provide easy access to the supplies while also providing the hunter with cushioning between his back and the tree around which the apparatus is connected. The apparatus will also include a detachable cushion for the hunter to sit on while in a tree stand or on the ground.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved compact backrest and backpack apparatus for hunters including a rectangular base. The sheet has a front side, a rear side and a peripheral edge. The peripheral edge has formed a first short edge, a second short edge and a pair of long edges therebetween. Included is a plurality of straps to facilitate attaching the backrest and backpack apparatus to a hunter and to a tree. Side portions are attached to the rectangular base portion and have a plurality of pockets formed thereon to allow the hunter to carry items necessary for hunting. Lastly, a seat cushion is provided and is removably attached to the apparatus.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved compact backrest device for hunters which is of a durable and reliable construction.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a device for wrapping around a tree trunk to give the hunter a back rest and further being padded to provide additional comfort.

The above is a brief description of some deficiencies in the prior art and advantages of the present invention. Other features, advantages and embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description, drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will become more clearly understood from the following detailed description in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating a backrest and backpack apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear view illustrating a backrest and backpack apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view illustrating a detachable cushion associated with a backrest and backpack apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front view illustrating backrest and backpack apparatus and a detail view of shoulder pads in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side view illustrating a backrest and backpack apparatus at least partially connected to a base of a tree in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a front view illustrating a backrest and backpack apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention and is provided in the context of a patent application and its requirements. Various modifications to the preferred embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art and the generic principles herein may be applied to other embodiments. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiment shown but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features described herein.

With reference now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1 thereof, a new and improved combination backrest and backpack device for hunters embodying the principles and concepts of the present invention and generally designated by the reference numeral 10 will be described.

The present invention, the new and improved combination backrest and backpack apparatus for hunters, is comprised of a plurality of components. Such components in their broadest context include a rectangular base 20, first and second ancillary side portions 30 and 40 having a plurality of pockets 50, straps 60, padding and closure means. Such components are individually configured and correlated with respect to each other so as to attain the desired objective.

More specifically, it will be noted that the combination backrest and backpack apparatus 10 in accordance with the present invention is comprised of a generally rectangular base portion 20. As shown in FIG. 1, the rectangular base 20 has a front side 22, a rear side 24 (not shown) and a peripheral edge 26 therearound. The peripheral edge 26 forms a first short edge 27, a second short edge 28 and a pair of long edges 29 therebetween.

It is contemplated that the front side 20 and the rear side 24 may have a surface configured in an orange color and/or a variety of camouflage colors and/or patterns and/or any combination thereof suitable for hunting. The thickness of the rectangular base portion 20 must be great enough to provide the hunter with cushioning, as will be described in further detail herein. The cushioning shall be rigid enough to provide stability to the apparatus, yet flexible enough to allow the apparatus to be wrapped around a tree, folded or rolled. It is also preferable to keep the rectangular base portion 20 as thin as possible to minimize the overall weight and flexibility of the apparatus. Preferably, the thickness of the rectangular base portion 20 is within the range of about 0.5 inches to 2.0 inches. Additionally, in a preferred embodiment, an outer surface of the rectangular base portion 20 is comprised of a canvas or other fabric material that is resistant to noise as other objects rub come in contact with it. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the outer surface of the rectangular base portion 20 may be treated with a water repellent material or it may have a water repellent covering.

The combination backrest and backpack apparatus 10 of the present invention includes at least one, and preferably two, side portions 30 and 40 attached to a lower portion of the long sides 29 of rectangular portion 20. The two side portions 30 and 40 preferably include a plurality storage compartments or pockets 50. These storage pockets 50 may be integrated into the two side portions 30 and 40 and may be further subdivided into several smaller compartments. The storage compartments 50 may include means for making the compartment a closed compartment so that items stored therein do not fall out while the apparatus is in use be the hunter. Means for closing the compartments include zippers, snaps, buttons, Velcro, or similar means for opening and closing the pockets known to one having ordinary skill in the art. Alternatively, the compartments may be left open to provide the user with unobstructed access to the items stored therein. Additionally, the compartments may be of various dimensions and sizes to accommodate a plurality of different items needed by the hunter. Furthermore, the compartments may be formed of various types of materials. For example, the compartment may be formed of a mesh material for holding a water bottle or other item that may require venting. Other material such as a clear plastic may be utilized, or a material that is similar to that which is used to cover the rectangular portion.

The backrest and backpack apparatus 10 further includes one or more removable cushions 70. As illustrated in FIG. 1, a cushion 70 may be stored in a pocket 72 formed on either of the first side 22 or second side 24 of rectangular base portion 20. Extending outward from pocket 72, a portion of cushion 70 is visible. A pair of female coupling devices 74 extends from and is connected to an edge of cushion 70. As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the cushion 70 may be removably attached to the second short edge 28 of the rectangular base portion 20. As shown, the pair of female coupling devices 74 are coupled with a pair of male coupling devices 76 which extend from and are attached to short edge 28. It is contemplated that the positioning of the male versus female coupling devices is interchangeable and that other means for attaching cushion 70 to rectangular base portion 20 may be utilized. Such means may comprise snaps, buttons, Velcro, or any other means known to one having ordinary skill in the art. It is also contemplated that pocket 72 may be utilized by the hunter as a game pouch. Occasionally, hunters hunt on and around water (e.g., when hunting ducks and other waterfowl). Advantageously, the cushion 70 may also be utilized as a flotation device.

With reference generally to each of FIGS. 1-6, a plurality of straps 60 are illustrated extending from various portions of the backrest and backpack apparatus 10. As will be described below, each of the individual straps serves one or more functions associated with the use of the backrest and backpack apparatus 10.

Beginning at the upper portion of rectangular base portion 20, shoulder straps 61 and 62 extend therefrom. Shoulder straps 61 and 62 are of sufficient length to permit placement over the shoulders of a hunter and connect to one of middle straps 63 and 64. That is, when the hunter desires to wear the backrest and backpack apparatus on his or her back, strap 61 is placed over the shoulder of the hunter and connected to strap 64. Similarly, strap 62 is placed over the shoulder of the hunter and connected to strap 63. This configuration results in the straps being crossed across the chest of the hunter. If the hunter prefers the straps to be in a straight vertical configuration over his chest, straps 63 and 64 may be switched in location. Alternatively, if the hunter desires to attach the backrest and backpack apparatus to a tree, shoulder strap 61 is wrapped around the tree and connected to shoulder strap 62. The hunter will then adjust the length of the straps to tightly secure the apparatus around the tree (see FIG. 5). Although the apparatus 10 is illustrated in FIG. 5 attached to a tree 90 at the base of the tree 90, it is contemplated that the apparatus may be attached at any height on the tree. For example, the hunter may use a tree stand at a particular height off the ground and will attach the backrest and backpack apparatus at a corresponding height along the tree.

Additionally, when the hunter desires to wear the backrest and backpack apparatus on his or her back, straps 65 and 66 are utilized as a belt to secure the apparatus around the waist of the hunter. That is, straps 65 and 66 are wrapped around the waist of the hunter and coupled at the ends thereof. The length of the straps may then be adjusted to provide a secure fit around the waist of the hunter. The tension of the straps may be adjusted to provide the hunter with lumbar support as it is worn on the hunter's back. Alternatively, if the hunter desires to attach the backrest and backpack apparatus to a tree, strap 65 is wrapped around the tree and connected to strap 66. The hunter will then adjust the length of the straps to tightly secure the apparatus around the tree.

It is contemplated that each of the straps illustrated for use with the backrest and backpack apparatus 10 may be fixedly attached or removably attached to the various portions of the apparatus from which they extend. For example, the straps may be connected to the apparatus via a removable loop as shown in Detail A in FIG. 1. Also, the straps may be removably connected by means of snaps, buttons, Velcro, zippers, or the like. Alternatively, the straps may be attached to the apparatus by means of sewing or other means known to one having ordinary skill in the art. Additionally, the straps may be connected to the apparatus within one or more of the pockets 50 so that the strap may be tucked away in the pocket when not in use. This design may be most desirable with regard to the middle straps 63 and 64 when the apparatus is connected to a tree and these straps are not being utilized.

Furthermore, each of the straps may include means for adjusting the length thereof. Each of the straps may also have elastic properties or may be rigid. The straps may be formed of a plurality of materials including leather, canvas or other materials known to one having ordinary skill in the art.

Each of the straps has a free end with a male or female coupling attached thereto. As described above, a male end of one strap is connected to a female end of a corresponding strap depending on the desired goal and use of the apparatus by the hunter. The straps are also advantageously configured to act as or connect with a safety harness while the hunter is in a tree at a height above the ground.

Another advantage of the present invention is that when it is worn on the hunter, it fits like a vest thereby providing an extra layer of clothing to the hunter resulting in warmth and extra cushioning. The extra cushioning is particularly advantageous when carrying a treestand on the hunter's back. Additional warmth may also be achieved by placing heating pads within any of the plurality of pockets associated with the backrest and backpack apparatus.

As best illustrated in FIG. 4 and the detail view illustrated in FIG. 4, the straps may include one or more clips, hooks or loops 100 for use by the hunter when the backrest and backpack apparatus 10 is secured to a tree. That is, when the apparatus is secured to a tree, the hunter may attach items to one or more of the hooks or loops for ready access and to keep these items from hindering his hunting efforts by obstructing his mobility. When the apparatus is being carried on the back of the hunter, a cover 102 is provided to cover the hooks 100. The cover 102 may be securely closed by means of Velcro, for example. Alternatively, the cover 102 may be left open while the hunter is carrying the apparatus to allow the hunter to attach items to the clips, hooks or loops while walking afield. It is also contemplated that additional hooks may be attached to the apparatus for carrying or holding additional items such as a bow. For example, FIG. 6 illustrates such a hook for carrying a bow in Detail C.

A loop or ring 80 is provided at the top portion of the rectangular portion 20 to facilitate hanging the apparatus when not in use or for connecting additional items to the apparatus 10.

Although the present invention has been described in accordance with the embodiments shown, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that there could be variations to the embodiment and these variations would be within the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.