Title:
Rain water collecting accessory for a rain fly or tarp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hammock accessory has a funnel portion tapering down to an internally threaded base, into which the mouth of a container such as a standard soda bottle may be screwed. The accessory and bottle are suspended from the corner of a rain fly by means of a bail within the funnel. When it rains, the funnel catches water pouring from the corner of the fly and fills the bottle, which can be removed and capped for subsequent use.



Inventors:
Hennessy, Thomas F. (Galiano Island, CA)
Application Number:
11/300678
Publication Date:
12/20/2007
Filing Date:
12/14/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
141/331
International Classes:
B65B1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAUST, TIMOTHY LEWIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHOEMAKER AND MATTARE, LTD (CONCORD, NH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rain water and dew collecting device for a rain fly or tarp, said device comprising a body comprising a sleeve-like base and a tapered funnel portion, means, formed inside the base, for engaging the mouth of a beverage container, a bail secured to the funnel portion, said bail providing an attachment means by which the accessory can be hung from a corner of the rain fly or tarp.

2. The invention of claim 1, wherein the engaging means comprises a screw thread adapted to mate with a thread on the mouth of the beverage container.

3. The invention of claim 1, wherein the funnel has a lower opening, and a shoulder surrounding the opening, defining a seating surface for engaging the container mouth.

4. The invention of claim 1, wherein the bail has an apex above the center of gravity of the accessory.

5. The invention of claim 1, wherein the bail is at least partially within the funnel.

6. The invention of claim 5, wherein the bail is entirely within the funnel.

7. The invention of claim 1, molded in a single piece from polymeric plastic.

Description:

This application claims benefit of provisional patent application No. 60/653,134, filed Feb. 16, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an accessory for a hammock rain fly or tarp.

Hammock shelters are particularly desirable sleeping devices in wet environments. In such areas, clean water may be hard to come by. One way of obtaining safe drinking water is to collect rain runoff from clean surfaces. Even when it does not rain, dew may develop on such surfaces in sufficient quantity to collect.

Some hammocks come with a rain fly—a piece of water impervious material which can be stretched over the hammock when it rains. The wings of the fly normally extend at a downward angle from the ridge line of the fly, which may be defined by a taught cord extending between the ends of the hammock, toward the corners of the fly. The fly may be drawn tight by tying cords to its corners, pulling the cords tight and securing them to nearby objects. It has occurred to me that one could collect rain and dew at the corners of the rain fly, if a suitable accessory were provided. One might also apply such a device to tarps in general.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the invention is to provide a rain collecting accessory for a hammock rain fly or tarp.

Another object is to enable the accessory to receive the threaded end of a container, for example, a standard plastic water or soda bottle, so that collected water can be retained.

A further object is to provide an accessory which augments tension on the rain fly when it rains.

These and other objects are attained by an accessory for a hammock rain fly or tarp. The accessory comprises a funnel having a spout at its lower end adapted to receive the threaded end of a container, and a bail within the volume of the funnel, by which the funnel may be suspended from a corner of the rain fly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, from above, of a hammock accessory embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective thereof, from below; and

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the accessory, shown connected to the corner of a rain fly, with a beverage bottle installed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

As shown in FIG. 1, a hammock accessory embodying the invention includes a body 10 which includes a tapered funnel portion 12 and a sleeve-like base 14. The funnel and base have a common longitudinal axis.

The funnel flares upward and outward to a rim 16. The opening 18 at the bottom of the funnel has a diameter smaller that of the inside of the base, so that a shoulder 20 (FIG. 2) results. The bottom of the shoulder forms a seating surface for the mouth when the funnel is screwed onto a bottle.

A screw thread 22 is formed inside the base, for engaging threads on the mouth of a conventional beverage container such as a soda bottle. While a threaded construction is presently preferred, is it possible that alternative means for engaging the container mouth may be possible, for example a simple friction fit, or a resilient insert like a rubber bushing or an O-ring.

So that the funnel, with the bottle attached, can be suspended from a rain fly or tarp, a bail 24 is molded within the funnel. The preferred bail, illustrated, has two arms which extend upward from diametrically opposed points on the funnel near the opening 18. The arms meet at an apex within the volume of the funnel, preferably entirely within it, yet above the center of gravity “CG” (FIG. 3) of the accessory so that the accessory will hang downward even when no bottle is attached.

The accessory should be inexpensive, light, durable, non-corrodible and safe. These goals can be achieved by injection molding it as a single piece from a polymeric plastic like polyethylene. However, this is just a presently preferred material and method of making. Multi-part constructions, or other materials, may eventually prove to be useful or even superior.

In use, the funnel is screwed onto the mouth of an empty soda bottle “B” or other container such as a canteen, and is hung from a lower corner of a hammock's rain fly “F” (FIG. 3) by means of a hook, string or cord, which is attached to, or engages, the apex of the bail. When rain or dew collects on the fly, it runs off the corner of the fly into the funnel and thence into the bottle. The bottle can later be removed and capped, leaving the funnel accessory in place.

An advantage of the invention is that it automatically places increasing tension on the rain fly when it rains. The increasing weight of the bottle as it fills automatically compensates for the slackening which moisture produces in cords and rain fly material, such as nylon fabric.

Since the invention is subject to modifications and variations, it is intended that the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as only illustrative of the invention defined by the following claims.