Patent application title: Vertical campfire device
Albert W. Carlson (River Falls, WI, US)
FIRE FUNNEL, LLC
IPC8 Class: AF24B300FI
Class name: Summer field supporting frame
Publication date: 2011-07-21
Patent application number: 20110174286
A vertical campfire containment device comprising, a circular top ring, a
base member smaller than the circular top ring, plurality of vertical
support members, and plurality of support legs. The vertical campfire
containment device provides a structure where wood and other solid fuels
are placed into and burned. The vertical nature of the containment device
allows individuals to quickly create a campfire that is raised off of the
ground allowing the ample supply of oxygen and moving smoke higher and
away from the individuals surrounding the fire.
1. An apparatus for holding wood or solid fuel for a campfire comprising:
a circular top ring; a planar base member, wherein this base member is
smaller than the circular top ring; a plurality of vertical support
members attached to the circular top ring and base member, wherein the
support members create a tapered enclosed area; a plurality of support
legs attached to the base member.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base member is hexagonal shaped.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the vertical support member extends beyond the attachment point to the base member and functions as the support leg.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base member contains a grate.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support leg is bent outward from the base member at an angle between 92 and 100 degrees.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the material used is 3/4 inch steel.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to campfires and more specifically to a device that is adapted to contain a campfire above the ground to allow for added oxygen flow and smoke dissipation.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 Conventional campfire or fireplace fuel holding structures consist of a ring structure or grate structure to contain the fire from spreading in a campfire setting and supporting the fuel and preventing collapse in a grate setting. Traditional campfire rings are designed to be placed onto the ground and the wood or fuel is placed within this ring keeping the fire contained within this area. Despite these rings simplicity, they hold the fire low to ground, allowing the fire to be at the feet of user causing the smoke from the fire to rise towards the head and respiratory system of the user. This makes the traditional campfire less desirable due to the discomfort smoke causes.
 Traditional fire grates support wood or a fuel source in a horizontal direction. Due to the uneven shape of wood, stacking wood on these styles of grates can be difficult and, still further, becomes dangerous as the wood burns and can topple over creating an additional fire hazard. Other grates support wood in a vertical direction by providing a central support structure that allows wood to be adequately supported when leaned against it. This type of vertical support is not ideal as it does not support smaller logs or kindling and still may become dangerous as wood burns and falls off the support structure.
 Outdoor campfire enthusiasts are continuously looking for new and unique ways to enjoy the outdoors and fires in a safe environment with a reduced exposure to smoke. Although there are several styles and types of fire grates, a need for other alternatives, preferably ones that are safer, hold more wood or fuel, and reduce smoke exposure without sacrificing the visual aesthetics of a campfire are needed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention provides a vertical campfire containment device comprising a top ring, and a base member smaller than the top ring. The top ring and base member are spatially connected by a plurality of vertical support members, wherein the connection results in a funnel shape. These vertical support members are equally spaced around the top ring and base member so as to create a cage where wood and other solid fuels can be inserted. A plurality of support legs are attached to the base member to raise the structure off of the surface it is placed on.
 In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the base member is hexagonally shaped, with each point of the hexagon shape serving as an attachment point for a support leg. Further this base member may contain a plurality of horizontal grate members. This grate structure allows for burned wood, ash, and embers to fall out of the structure and onto the ground.
 In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the plurality of support legs is constructed from a vertical support member. In this embodiment, the vertical support member extends beyond the base member and is bent at an outward angle to support the structure. To allow for stackability in packaging, the preferred angle of the support leg is between 92 and 100 degrees.
 Preferably this vertical campfire containment device is made out of 3/4 inch steel due to its ability to be fire resistant, malleable, and to be welded together to form solid structures. Although steel is preferred, other metals and thicknesses of metals may be used, provided they are fire resistant or heat resistant up to very high temperatures.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)
 The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present invention and together with the description serve to further explain the principles of the invention. Other aspects of the invention and the advantages of the invention will be better appreciated as they become better understood by reference to the Detailed Description when considered in conjunction with accompanying drawings, and wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a side view of a vertical campfire containment device according to the present invention;
 FIG. 2 is a top view of a vertical campfire containment device according to the present invention;
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to FIG. 1, vertical campfire containment device according to the present invention, there is shown a top ring 10. Top ring 10 is connected to base member 20 by a plurality of vertical support members 30. Base member 20 is smaller in diameter than top ring 10, wherein the connection of the vertical support members 30 and top ring 10 and base member 20 results in a funnel or tapered shape. Further, the vertical support members 30 are equally spaced in their connection to the base member 20 and top ring 10, wherein the spacing results in a cage. A plurality of support legs 40 is connected to the base member 20 to support the structure and raise it off of the ground.
 In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the plurality of support legs 40 are created from a vertical support member 30, wherein the support member is attached to the base member 20 and extend beyond the base member 20 to create the plurality of support legs 40. According to this configuration, the vertical support member 30 is bent outward at an angle between 92 and 100 degrees after its connection to the base member 20.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, a top view of the vertical campfire containment device, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the base member 20 is hexagonal shaped. In this configuration, six support legs 30 are attached to each corner of the hexangonal shaped base member 20. Further, the base member 20 may contain horizontal grate members 50 to allow for ash, embers, and smaller pieces of burned wood to fall through this grate and onto the ground.
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