Title:
Wearable firestarter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wearable firestarter has a sparking material including a wearable portion and a friction element including a wearable portion. The friction element's wearable portion is releasably connected to the sparking material's wearable portion. The wearable portions may be rings or a bracelet sized to closely encompass a wearer's appendage. A portion of the wearable portions may be made of magnesium. The sparking material may be made of ferrocerium. The friction element may be made of file steel. The wearable portions may form grippable surfaces that extend away from the sparking material and the friction element.



Inventors:
Woodward, Joel (Reno, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/231132
Publication Date:
03/04/2010
Filing Date:
08/29/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
44/507
International Classes:
A44C9/00; C06F3/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TROY, ABIGAIL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LANGLOTZ PATENT & TRADEMARK WORKS, LLC (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A wearable firestarter for attachment to a user's appendage, comprising: a wearable portion adapted for attachment to the appendage; a sparking element; a friction element; and the wearable portion being connected to at least one of the sparking element and the friction element.

2. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein the wearable portion is a ring sized to closely encompass a wearer's appendage.

3. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein the wearable portion is a bracelet sized to closely encompass a wearer's appendage.

4. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, including two wearable portions, one connected to the sparking element, and the other connected to the friction element.

5. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 4, wherein the sparking material and the friction element are removably connected to their respective wearable portions.

6. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the wearable portion is made of a combustible metal.

7. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein substantially the entire wearable portion is made of a combustible metal.

8. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein the sparking material is made of ferrocerium.

9. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein the friction element is made of file steel.

10. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 6, wherein the combustible metal is magnesium.

11. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 7, wherein the combustible metal is magnesium.

12. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 1, wherein the wearable portion comprises grippable surfaces that extend away from the sparking material and the friction element.

13. A wearable firestarter comprising: a sparking element; a friction element; and a combustible portion including a wearable portion, wherein the sparking material, friction element, and combustible portion are releasably connected to one another.

14. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 13, wherein the sparking material and its wearable portion are made of ferrocerium.

15. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 13, wherein the friction element and its wearable portion are made of file steel.

16. The wearable firestarter as defined in claim 13, wherein the combustible portion and its wearable portion are made of magnesium.

17. The wearable fire starter as defined in claim 13, wherein the wearable portions are rings sized to closely encompass a wearer's appendage.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a wearable firestarter for use in connection with starting fires. The wearable firestarter has particular utility in connection with enabling fire starting materials to be worn comfortably on an everyday basis.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Making fire is an essential element required for surviving a wide range of conditions. However, most people who find themselves in a survival situation do so unexpectedly. As a result, they are not typically carrying conventional fire starting materials with them.

The use of firestarters is known in the prior art. For example, one type of known fire starting tool is a magnesium block with a sparking insert attached to one side. However, the user must also have a knife in order to scrape off magnesium shavings from the magnesium block and to scrape the sparking insert rapidly in order to produce sparks to ignite the magnesium shavings. Although such magnesium blocks with sparking inserts may come equipped with a beaded chain to link to a keychain, they are not typically carried on an everyday basis.

Another type of known fire starting tool has a separate striker and starter linked together by a lanyard. Although the inclusion of a striker eliminates the need for a knife, the separate fire starting elements makes this fire starting tool bulkier than the magnesium block with a sparking insert. Furthermore, even though it has a lanyard, this type of fire starting tool is still not typically carried on an everyday basis

Therefore, a need exists for a new and improved firestarter that can be used for enabling fire starting materials to be possessed comfortably on an everyday basis. In this regard, the various embodiments of the present invention substantially fulfill at least some of these needs. In this respect, the wearable firestarter according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in doing so provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of enabling fire starting materials to be worn comfortably on an everyday basis.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved wearable firestarter, and overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and drawbacks of the prior art. As such, the general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide an improved wearable firestarter that has all the advantages of the prior art mentioned above.

To attain this, the preferred embodiment of the present invention essentially comprises a sparking material including a wearable portion and a friction element including a wearable portion. The friction element's wearable portion is releasably connected to the sparking material's wearable portion. The wearable portions may be rings or a bracelet sized to closely encompass a wearer's appendage. A portion of the wearable portions may be made of a combustible metal, such as magnesium. The sparking material may be made of ferrocerium. The friction element may be made of file steel. The wearable portions may form grippable surfaces that extend away from the sparking material and the friction element. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims attached.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of the current embodiment of the wearable firestarter constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the current embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of a first alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a second alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a top side view of the faces of the second alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the third alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the third alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the fourth alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the fourth alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention depicting the undersides of the striking element layer and the combustible layer.

The same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRENT EMBODIMENT

The principles of the present invention are applicable to a variety of wearable jewelry-like configurations. The term “closely encompasses,” as used herein, refers to the wearable firestarter fitting comfortably, but not easily falling off, a wearer's appendage and generally not been removable except by the wearer's deliberate action. A “ring,” as that term is used herein, includes without limitation both a circlet worn especially on the finger, but also on the toes or through a piercing, and rings that do not make a full loop for sizing because both of these types of rings nonetheless prevent lateral removal from a wearer's appendage. A “bracelet,” as that term is used herein, includes without limitation both an ornamental band or chain worn around the wrist or ankle as well as bracelets that do not make a full loop for sizing because both of these types of bracelets nonetheless prevent lateral removal from a wearer's appendage. A bracelet may consist of several different parts that are removably attached together. Furthermore, when this application refers to an element being connected to another portion of the firestarter, that may include being connected by way of an appendage of the user, as in two separate but adjacent rings, each with its own wearable portion.

A preferred embodiment of the wearable firestarter of the present invention is shown and generally designated by the reference numeral 10.

FIG. 1 illustrates an improved wearable firestarter 10 of the present invention. The firestarter includes all of the components required to start a fire with a small amount of tinder. More particularly, the wearable firestarter 10 has two wearable portions 16, each having a flat surface forming a face 26. One wearable portion 16 has a sparking material layer 12 attached to its face 26, and the other wearable portion 16 has a striking element layer 14 attached to its face 26. The two wearable portions 16 are releasably joined by retaining pins 20 inserted into pinholes 18 present in the wearable portions 16. Alternatively, the sparking material layer 12 and the striking element layer 14 may attached to a single wearable portion 16. In this case, the sparking material layer 12, the striking element layer 14, or both are releasably attached to the single wearable portion 16.

The wearable firestarter 10 is depicted being worn on a wearer's appendage 24, which is a finger in the current embodiment. The wearable firestarter 10 closely encompasses the wearer's appendage. The wearable portions 16 also provide convenient handles that can be gripped when striking the striking element layer 14 against the sparking material layer 12. When used as a handle, the wearable portions 16 have the additional advantage of leaving the entire exposed portion of the sparking material layer 12 and striking element layer 14 uncovered when the wearable firestarter 10 is in use.

In the current embodiment, the sparking material layer 12 is a plate made of ferrocerium. Ferrocerium is used because it gives a large number of sparks when it is scraped against a rough surface. When small shavings of ferrocerium are removed quickly from a larger body, the heat created from friction is sufficient to ignite the shavings. The resulting small pieces of burning metal are sufficient to ignite fine tender, thereby starting a fire. Furthermore, the small pieces of burning metal burn at a sufficiently high temperature to ignite magnesium shavings. A ferrocerium composition suitable for use in the current invention is 19% iron, 38% cerium, 22% lanthanum, 4% neodymium, 4% praseodymium, and 4% magnesium. The sparking material layer 12 has a flat surface, which is important for generating a sufficiently large quantity of sparks when struck perpendicularly by the striking element layer 14.

In the current embodiment, the striking element layer 14 is a plate made of file steel with a rough surface. The striking element layer's 14 rough surface causes the sparking material layer 12 to generate pyrophoric small metal particles when struck that ignite spontaneously. The striking element layer 14 also has a generally flat surface, which is important for creating a sufficiently large quantity of sparks when it is struck perpendicularly against the sparking material layer 12.

In the current embodiment, the wearable portions 16 are made of magnesium. Magnesium is used because it is a lightweight, highly flammable metal that is easily ignited when shaved into a fine powder but is difficult to ignite in mass because magnesium is protected by a thin layer of oxide which is fairly impermeable and hard to remove. Furthermore, because magnesium reacts with water to release hydrogen, combustion of magnesium is unaffected by damp tinder. Magnesium burns at extremely high temperatures, making it very effective for use as a firestarter. The wearable firestarter 10 readily yields magnesium shavings when the striking element layer 14 or a knife blade is struck against the wearable portions 16. However, any suitable material in addition to magnesium could be used, including a wide range of metals, wood, plastic, and fabric.

FIG. 2 illustrates the improved wearable firestarter 10 of the present invention. More particularly, the wearable firestarter 10 is depicted in exploded view with the two wearable portions separated from one another. The sparking material layer 12 and the striking element layer 14 are each attached to one of the wearable portions 16 by an adhesive layer 22. However, they also could be attached magnetically or cast as one piece with their respective wearable portion 16. Each wearable portion 16 has pinholes 18, which are drilled completely through at two points on adjacent sides of the wearable portions' 16 faces. Each wearable portion 16 is fitted with one retaining pin 20 fixed in one of the pinholes 18, leaving one filled pinhole 18 and one open pinhole 18 in each wearable portion 16. Each filled pinhole 18 features a tight fit between the inserted end of the retaining pin 20 and the wearable portion 16 that secures the inserted end of the retaining pin 20 within the filled pinhole 18. This can be accomplished by either a tight friction fit or an adhesive. When the wearable firestarter 10 is assembled, the free end of the retaining pins 20 is slip fit into the open pinholes 18. In the current embodiment, nickel-silver retaining pins 20 are used because they are sufficiently flexible to not bind up within the open pinholes 18. The nickel-silver retaining pins 20 slip and slide without requiring extraordinarily precise machining of the open pinholes 18. However, the retaining pins 20 still fit sufficiently tightly within the open pinholes 18 that the wearable portions 16 will not separate without the deliberate action of the wearer.

FIG. 3 illustrates a first alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 100 of the present invention. More particularly, the first alternative embodiment of the wearable firestarter 100 has three wearable portions 116a, 116b, and 116c, each having a flat surface forming a face 126. Wearable portion 116a has a combustible portion 122 attached to its face 126. Wearable portion 116b has a sparking material portion 112 attached to its face 126. Wearable portion 116c has a striking element portion 114 attached to its face 126. In the current embodiment, the combustible portion 122 is magnesium, the sparking material portion 112 is ferrocerium, and the striking element portion 114 is roughened file steel. Retaining pins 120, which are nickel-silver in the current embodiment, are removably inserted into pinholes 118 to releasably secure the wearable portions 116a, 116b, and 116c together in a similar manner to that previously described. However, wearable portion 116b, which is positioned between wearable portions 116a and 116c, has two open pinholes 118, each of which receives the free end of one of the retaining pins 120. The wearable portions 116a, 116b, and 116c can be made of the same substance as the material attached to their faces 126, can be made of magnesium, or can be made of any other suitable material such as other metals, wood, plastic, and fabric. The wearable portions 116a, 116b, and 116c can be designed to attach to one another in any desired order in addition to the one depicted.

FIG. 4 illustrates a second alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 200 of the present invention. More particularly, the second embodiment of the wearable firestarter 200 has two wearable portions 216, each having a flat surface forming a face 226. One wearable portion 216 has a sparking material layer 212 attached to its face 226, and the other wearable portion 216 has a striking element layer 214 attached to its face 226. The two wearable portions 216 are releasably joined by retaining pins 220 inserted into pinholes 218 present in the wearable portions 16. The wearable firestarter 200 is depicted being worn on a wearer's appendage 228, which is a wrist in the current embodiment. The wearable firestarter 200 closely encompasses the wearer's appendage. The wearable portions 216 also provide convenient handles that can be gripped when striking the striking element layer 214 against the sparking material layer 212. When used as a handle, the wearable portions 216 have the additional advantage of leaving the entire exposed portion of the sparking material layer 212 and striking element layer 214 uncovered when the wearable firestarter 200 is in use. In the current embodiment, the sparking material layer 212 is ferrocerium, the striking element layer 214 is roughened file steel, and the wearable portions 216 are magnesium. The sparking material layer 212 and striking element layer 214 can be joined to the wearable portions 216 magnetically, by an adhesive layer, or be cast as one piece with their respective wearable portion 216. In the current embodiment, the retaining pins 220 are nickel-silver.

FIG. 5 illustrates the faces 226 of the second alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 200 of the present invention. More particularly, the faces 226 have a striking element layer 214 and a sparking material layer 212 attached. In the current embodiment, the striking element layer 214 has a dull edge 222 and a sharp edge 224. When the wearable firestarter 200 is assembled for wear, the sharp edge 224 rests against the sparking material layer 212 so the wearer cannot be injured by the sharp edge 224 while wearing the wearable firestarter 200. The sharp edge 224 facilitates both the striking of sparks from the sparking material layer 212 and the shaving of magnesium from the wearable portions 216.

FIG. 6 illustrates a third alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 300 of the present invention. More particularly, the third embodiment of the wearable firestarter 300 has a wearable portion 316 that closely encompasses the wearer's appendage, which is a wrist in the current embodiment. The opposing ends of the wearable portion 316 have pinholes 318 that receive retaining pins 320. A striking element layer 314 and sparking material layer 312 are releasably joined to the wearable portion 316 by hooks 328. A combustible layer 326 is attached to the underside of the sparking materials layer 312. When the wearable firestarter 300 is used for fire starting, the sparking material layer 312 may be reattached to the wearable portion 316 so the wearable portion 316 can be used as a handle. In the current embodiment, the sparking material layer 312 is ferrocerium, the striking element layer 314 is roughened file steel, and the combustible layer 326 is magnesium.

FIG. 7 illustrates the third alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 300 of the present invention. More particularly, the third embodiment of the wearable firestarter 300 has a wearable portion 316 that is made of spring steel in the current embodiment and biases outwards to releasably engage hooks 328 with retaining pins 320 when the wearable firestarter 300 is assembled for wear by squeezing the opposing ends of the wearable portion 316 inwards. When assembled for wear, the wearable portion 316 also holds the striking element layer 314 securely against the sparking material layer 312 and the combustible layer 326. In the current embodiment, the striking element layer 314 has a dull edge 322 and a sharp edge 324. When the wearable firestarter 300 is assembled for wear, the sharp edge 324 rests against the sparking material layer 312 so the wearer cannot be injured by the sharp edge 324 while wearing the wearable firestarter 300. In the current embodiment, the striking element layer 314 has the same thickness as that of the joined sparking material layer 312 and combustible layer 326.

FIG. 8 illustrates a fourth alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 400 of the present invention. More particularly, the fourth embodiment of the wearable firestarter 400 has a wearable portion 416 that closely encompasses the wearer's appendage, which is a wrist in the current embodiment. The opposing ends of the wearable portion 416 terminate in hooks 418. A striking element layer 414 and a sparking material layer 412 with a combustible layer 426 attached to its underside are releasably joined to the wearable portion 416. When the wearable firestarter 400 is used for fire starting, the sparking material layer 412 may be reattached to the wearable portion 416 so the wearable portion 416 can be used as a handle. In the current embodiment, the sparking material layer 412 is ferrocerium, the striking element layer 414 is roughened file steel, and the combustible layer 426 is magnesium.

FIG. 9 illustrates the fourth alternative embodiment of the improved wearable firestarter 400 of the present invention. More particularly, the fourth embodiment of the wearable firestarter 400 has a wearable portion 416 that is made of spring steel in the current embodiment. The wearable portion 416 biases outwards to releasably engage hooks 428 with retaining slots 420 present in the underside of the combustible layer 426 and the striking element layer 414 when the wearable firestarter 300 is assembled for wear. The hooks 428 are engaged with and disengaged from the retaining slots 420 by squeezing the opposing ends of the wearable portion 316 inwards. When assembled for wear, the wearable portion 416 also holds the striking element layer 416 securely against the sparking material layer 412 and the combustible layer 426. In the current embodiment, the striking element layer 314 has a dull edge 422 and a sharp edge 424. When the wearable firestarter 400 is assembled for wear, the sharp edge 424 rests against the sparking material layer 412 so the wearer cannot be injured by the sharp edge 424 while wearing the wearable firestarter 400. In the current embodiment, the striking element layer 414 has the same thickness as that of the joined sparking material layer 412 and combustible layer 426.

In use, the user selects the desired embodiment of the wearable firestarter and wears it about the appropriate appendage in its assembled for wear state. When the user needs to start a fire, the user begins by separating the striking element layer from the sparking material layer. If the tinder requires a hotter ignition source than that generated by the sparking material layer alone, the user can use the striking element layer to scrape magnesium shavings from any portion of the wearable firestarter made from magnesium. Then, while holding the sparking material layer as close to the tinder pile as possible, the user holds the striking element layer firmly, typically by using the wearable portion as a handle. Then, keeping the striking element layer perpendicular to the sparking material layer, the user scrapes the striking element layer in a downward motion against the sparking material layer with considerable force. The scraping action ignites sparks of burning material from the sparking material layer, which are directed onto the tinder pile. These hot fragments ignite the tinder (and the magnesium shavings if they are present) into a burning flame. After successfully starting a fire, the user reassembles the wearable firestarter into its wearable state and wears it about the appropriate appendage.

While current embodiments of the wearable firestarter have been described in detail, it should be apparent that modifications and variations thereto are possible, all of which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. With respect to the above description then, 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. For example, the elements of the present invention could be incorporated into a wristwatch, necklace, or other types of jewelry.

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.