CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application 61/173,664 filed Apr. 29, 2009 by the present inventor and the application is hereto incorporated by reference in its entirety.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
NAMES OF PARTIES TO JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING
DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to devices for the elimination of human urine while outdoors and specifically outdoor urinal systems that minimize urine scent.
2. Description of Related Art
Hunters, photographers and videographers commonly use tree stands or elevated hunting blinds as a vantage point from which to view and hunt game. The nature of these activities requires patience, quiet and concealment by the operator, in order to avoid scaring away the game. Hunters go to extremes to ensure their concealment, including camouflaging themselves and the hunting blind, spraying clothing down with scent retardant, and attempting to be quiet and still. Often they must spend many hours in this low profile state, either on the ground or elevated, in order to view or take aim at their game.
One of the constant frustrations with the aforementioned activities is the inability to use the bathroom. Leaving the tree stand, hunting blind, elevated platform or even ground level area to urinate on the ground invokes multiple problems. The noise and activity associated with climbing up and down, walking to a desired spot and commencing urination can, of itself, scare nearby animals away. The strong scent associated with human urine is yet another strong animal deterrent. The scent can carry a significant distance and can linger for many days, effectively destroying the concealment of the hunter and often scaring off the prey.
Frequently, these outdoor pursuits involve long hours and weather that is inclemently cold or hot. Such conditions invite the need for beverages. Many hunters unfortunately, must deign to drink anything at all, in order to avoid the disruption that the need to urinate causes.
Various methods to solve the problems associated with urination during hunting have been attempted; however none have effectively solved all the problems. The primary problems are the noise and activity associated with having to leave the camouflaged area to urinate on the ground; the odor associated with urinating on the ground or in a device, and the disposal of the urine.
A few patents and marketed products for this problem exist yet none offer a true scent minimization system. Few hunters wish to urinate in a bottle or packet which they then must carry with them. Nor do hunters wish to transport and install a bulky large urinal container in the stand or blind. Yet another proposed solution is a scent minimizing slurry packet to pour over urine that is excreted onto the ground, yet this solution requires the user to continually repurchase and carry packets on their persons.
There is a need for a urination system that is small and lightweight, easy to transport, set up and use, and inexpensive. There is a need for such a system to effectively and quietly eliminate the urine as well as effectively minimize the urine scent.
NOTATION AND NOMENCLATURE
Certain terms are used throughout the following description to refer to particular method components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, design and manufacturing companies may refer to a component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components that differ in name but not function.
In the following discussion, the terms "including" and "comprising" are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean "including, but not limited to . . . ." Also, the term "couple" or "couples" is intended to mean either an indirect or direct connection. Thus, if a first device couples to a second device, that connection may be through a direct connection or through an indirect connection via other intermediate devices and connections. Moreover, the term "method" means "one or more components" combined together. Thus, a method can comprise an "entire method" or "sub methods" within the method.
"Filtration medium" may comprise charcoal, coal, zeolyte or any readily obtainable, low cost substance that minimizes odor and assists in filtration, effective for the purposes described herein.
"Scent minimizing substance" may comprise any odor minimizing substance effective for the purposes described herein.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The disadvantages shown in the prior art are solved by a method and device for outdoor urination and minimization of human urine scent while in a tree stand, elevated hunting blind, ground blind or other outdoor area where traditional bathroom facilities are unavailable, yet disposal of urine and minimization of urine scent is important.
The scent minimizing outdoor urinal of the disclosed invention includes a urine collection container having a top end with a closeable lid and a bottom end with a closeable spout. The urinal includes a hose extending from the urinal to a buried disposal bucket, having one end that fits over the bottom end of the urine collection container and an opposite end that lodges inside the buried bucket. The buried bucket has a closed lid and may have a hole with a slightly larger diameter than the hose so the hose can protrude into the bucket, which also has a filtration medium in it. The bucket further has drainage holes such that the urine enters the bucket via the hose, is dispersed through the filtration medium and then exits the bucket into the ground via the drainage holes in the bucket.
An objective of the disclosed invention is to provide urinal facilities to a hunter in close proximity of where he is waiting for the game.
A further objective of the disclosed invention is to minimize urine odor after voiding.
A further objective of the disclosed invention is to cleanly and permanently dispose of the urine without the need for transporting the urine to a designated location.
A further objective of the disclosed invention is to minimize sound when the user needs to void.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The application makes no claim for the structure of the objects depicted in the photos and drawings, such as drawings of hunting blinds, tree stands or funnels, and they are considered prior art.
The drawings contained herein represent preferred embodiments of the invention and are not intended to limit the scope. For a detailed description of various embodiments, reference will now be made to the accompanying illustrative drawings in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the system.
FIG. 2 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the urine collection container.
FIG. 3 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the underground urine disposal container.
FIG. 4 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the disclosed invention in flowchart format.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Although tree stands or elevated hunting blinds are the most obvious embodiment, even ground level blinds, camping spots, construction sites or any outdoor areas where bathroom facilities are unavailable may prove useful sites for the disclosed invention. The disclosed invention presents a low cost, easy to assemble and easy to transport system for outdoor urination with scent minimization.
A preferred embodiment of the urine collection container of the system includes a generally funnel shaped container with a wide top end and a narrow bottom end. The top end may be closed with a plastic snap on lid or other type of lid and the bottom end may be closed with a twisting on/off valve or spout to seal out urine scent after elimination. A flexible tubing or hose of small diameter clamps onto the bottom end of the urinal container and is of sufficient length to allow the opposite end to be buried into the center of an underground urine disposal device. The underground urine disposal device contains a perforated bottom end and layers of carbon medium in specific size and placement to encourage the efficient disbursement of urine into the ground and the elimination of associated urine scent. In an additional embodiment, the urine scent can be effectively flushed from the apparatus by a flushing scent minimizing rinse. In one embodiment, fine charcoal mixed with water may be used as the scent minimizing rinse by pouring the mixture into the urinal container after urination.
In an alternative embodiment, the urine collection container may be a bag, a bottle or any other liquid impermeable hollow container effective for voiding into.
Carbon and zeolyte are effective means of scent removal and are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain.
FIG. 1 illustrates the disclosed preferred embodiment for the eradication of human urine and human urine scent when on an elevated hunting blind 10 or tree stand. The urine collection container 12, is depicted as generally funnel shaped and is attached to a corner or side of the interior of the blind 10.
In the preferred embodiment, a hose 14 is connected to the base end of the urine collection container 12, with the opposite end of the hose 14 terminating midway into an underground urine disposal device (UUDD) 16. The hose 14 is of a length sufficient to reach from the end of the urine collection container 12 to the midway point of the UUDD 16. The hose 14 used in the preferred embodiment is a black UV resistant flexible vinyl tubing of approximately 17 feet in length and 1/2 inch in diameter, however, one skilled in the art will appreciate that any tubing, conduit or a hose of any reasonable diameter, sufficient to allow the passage of fluid, may be used, and the length used will vary with the height of the tree stand, elevated platform, or ground structure. The hose 14 may be attached to the leg 18 of the elevated hunting blind 10 or, in the case of a tree stand, the tree trunk itself, by any reasonable attachment means 20 such as zip ties, rope, plastic straps, wire or other means. The attachment prevents unwanted movement of the hose 14 by wind or other disturbances.
In a preferred embodiment, the UUDD 16, is buried a few inches underground near the leg 18 of the elevated platform 10 or near the tree trunk and can be easily removed when blind location is changed.
In FIG. 2 a preferred embodiment of the urine collection container 12 is depicted. The urine collection container 12 may be generally a funnel shape although other shapes may be used and the drawings and descriptions herein are not intended to limit the shape. In the preferred embodiment, the urine collection container 12 has a twist on/off valve 22 at the base of the container 12 to further seal out scent after elimination has occurred. The urine collection container 12 may have a snap on or screw on lid 24 which may or may not be used as desired. In the preferred embodiment, the urine collection container 12 has a handle 26 for ease of use, although this is not a necessary element. The urine collection container 12 depicted in FIG. 2 is preferable due to the handle 26 and twist valve 22 which make the container easier to use and more effectively eliminates any possible residual urine scent.
In the preferred embodiment the urine collection container 12 may be simply hung on a nail driven into the tree or the wall of the elevated platform 10. In an alternative embodiment it may also be hung by a strap, though one skilled in the art will appreciate that any reasonable fastening means may be used to hang the urine collection container in the elevated platform or blind, including straps, wire, hooks, clips, Velcro™, ties, zip tie or other available means.
In the preferred embodiment, and as depicted in FIG. 3, the UUDD 16 comprises a two gallon bucket 26 that has a lid 28 and a sufficiently perforated bottom 30, to allow drainage of the urine into the surrounding underground. The bucket 26 may be three gallons or any other size desired although two gallons provides sufficient space for the filtration medium and is small enough for easy storage and transportation. In the preferred embodiment, the bucket 26 has a hole 32 in the middle of the lid 28 that is just slightly larger diameter than the hose 14.
In the preferred embodiment, the UUDD 12 is buried underground with, in a preferred embodiment, at least a couple of inches of dirt over the lid 28. The bucket 26 contains a filtration medium 34 which will typically be activated carbon and zeolyte. The carbon medium allows for disbursement and drainage of the urine while eliminating the urine scent.
As a preferred embodiment of final disposal of the human urine and elimination of the human urine scent, a final step may be taken as illustrated in FIG. 4. The user performs the following steps: First step 40: void into urine collection container; Second step 42: mix a packet of carbon medium with water; Third step 44: rinse urine collection container by pouring packet mixture in urine collection container; Fourth step 46: twist valve or spout at base of urine collection container to off, or if no valve, place lid on container; Fifth step 48: urine and urine scent is eradicated. These steps minimize if not eliminate the presence of odor in the stand or blind. The user can pour the packet of scent minimizing filtration medium into a bottle of water and shake up the mixture for ease of use. The packet may contain fine pieces and particles of activated carbon and zeolyte or activated carbon only. The packet may also contain charcoal plus an activating acid if desired. A premixed solution of carbon and water or carbon and acid are alternative embodiments of the rinsing and flushing process.
The method and device disclosed herein effectively disposes of human urine, while minimizing noise, odor and movement for a user who does not have traditional urinal facilities available. The disclosed method and device eliminates the need to climb up and down the elevated platform or tree or leave the ground level site, which can scare away the wildlife.
The system is uniquely designed such that all of the elements of the system (hose, attachment straps or ties, urine collection container, carbon filtration packet and carbon filtration medium) all fit in the bucket for ease in packaging, marketing and transportation. The bottled water may be purchased separately by the end user or may be sold with the system.
Packets of the carbon medium used for rinsing the urine collection container and tubing may also be packaged and sold separately for replacement purchase by the end user.
The method and device disclosed herein achieve significant advantages over the prior art in that it is easy to set up, small and portable enough to carry out to the tree stand or elevated blind, blends in well with the environment, is quiet to use, is quick and easy to use, and eliminates the need to carry one's urine or to climb up and down the stand, or leave a ground blind. The method and device disclosed herein depict a far superior attainment of urine disposal with urine scent minimization, while also minimizing noise and movement, than the prior art methods.
While the disclosed method and apparatus has been described in conjunction with the preferred embodiments thereof, many changes, modifications, alterations and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The invention should therefore not be limited to the particular preferred embodiment disclosed but should include all embodiments that could fall within the scope of the claims.
Accordingly, the preferred embodiments of the invention shown in the drawings and described in detail above are intended to be illustrative, not limiting, and various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims set forth below.