Bow and Arrow have been the weapon of choice for the better part of 15,000 years until the invention of modern firearms. There are many reasons bow and arrow should be part of your survival plan. Here’s a list of reasons you should not only incorporate one in your bug out supplies, but also practice using this tried and true ancient but very effective technology.
Bow and Arrows are portable and light. Take down bows are best suited for travel with out taking up much room. “Take-down” simply means that the bow comes apart in three pieces: the middle grip section and the two limbs. It is simple to take down – just the twist of a couple lug screws. The fact that it comes apart makes it very portable. You can stash the bow in your pack or Bug Out Bag. It’s perfect for a Bug Out Vehicle or BOL (Bug Out Location) cache as well. And importantly it is very light weight so packing a bow in if on foot is easily accomplished.
There are many types of bows, but they all use the same method of launching a projectile faster than otherwise possible with human strength alone.
Common types of bow include
- Recurve bow: a bow with the tips curving away from the archer. The curves straighten out as the bow is drawn and the return of the tip to its curved state after release of the arrow adds extra velocity to the arrow.
- Reflex bow: a bow whose entire limbs curve away from the archer when unstrung. The curves are opposite to the direction in which the bow flexes while drawn.
- Self bow: a bow made from one piece of wood.
- Longbow: a self bow with limbs rounded in cross-section, about the same height as the archer so as to allow a full draw, usually over 5 feet (1.5 metres) long. The traditional European longbow was usually made of yewwood, but other woods are also used.
- Flatbow: the limbs are approximately rectangular in cross-section. This was traditional in many Native American societies and was found to be the most efficient shape for bow limbs by American engineers in the 20th century.
- Composite bow: a bow made of more than one material.
- Takedown bow: a bow that can be demounted for transportation, usually consisting of 3 parts: 2 limbs and a Riser.
- Compound: a bow with mechanical aids to help with drawing the bowstring. Usually, these aids are pulleys at the tips of the limbs.
An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other. Modern arrows are usually made from carbon fibre, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood shafts. Carbon shafts have the advantage that they do not bend or warp, but they can often be too light weight to shoot from some bows and are expensive. Aluminum shafts are less expensive than carbon shafts, but they can bend and warp from use. Wood shafts are the least expensive option but often will not be identical in weight and size to each other and break more often than the other types of shafts.
A good pretty good bow should only cost you a couple hundred bucks and if you take care of it, you can expect it to last your lifetime. Not only is the bow itself affordable, but the ammunition (arrows) are cost effective too. Once you hone your shooting skills, you should be able to retrieve your arrows after shooting and reuse them over and over again. With a little practice, you can also easily make your own arrows using wooden dowels or even natural-found wood and plant shafts.
Modern technology of arrows have come a long way. Carbon fiber arrows are ultra lightweight and have a tip that accepts different screw-in arrow tips for hunting everything with small game stunner tips, broad-head razor large game tips, standard practice tips, hook tips and line for bow fishing and even batman style grappling hooks. You can hunt anything from squirrel to deer using a bow with various arrow tips. A large selection of arrow tips can be easily stored and doesn’t take up much room. Of course there is always flint knapping so that if there was ever a need to make my own arrow points. With practice you can do it.
Legal limitations and laws are much more lax on the bow and arrow than they are with guns and bullets. You don’t have to mess with paperwork and permits, even though, in the right hands the bow and arrow is equally deadly. The less you have to deal with this stuff the better.
Silent and Deadly
The bow and arrow is a very quiet weapon. You never know when you might need the convenience of a weapon that is nearly completely silent as well as deadly.
Bows and parts of bows can have multiple uses. The first and most obvious multi-use piece is the bow string. Bow strings range in length from 4 feet to 6 feet and are incredibly strong. You could use a bow string in a variety of ways:
- Bow drill for fire
- To build a snare for trapping
- Emergency Cordage for shelter or tiedown
- A sling or tourniquet
- Trotline fishing
If you are packing a bow then you are probably packing a few arrows as well. Arrows can be used as spears and gigs for small game and fish. They can also be lashed to a longer shaft and used as a larger spear for big game such as wild pig. This larger spear can be used in self defense as well. Imagine a spear with three arrows lashed to the end and each of the arrows with a razor broad-head on the tip – you can’t even buy a spear that effective.
Bow and arrow require skill to use. It’s not like a point and shoot weapon. So if you do invest in a bow for packing or survival purposes, so yourself a favor and practice. There are some guides for bow hunting in our library to help out with techniques. It is also a weapon that carries a certain amount of respect. Ninety-nine percent of being able to effectively use the weapon is the skill itself – not the equipment. The skill will always be with you.
Plan, Prepare, Protect yourself and your family.
We would love to hear any ideas you have on the multi-uses a bow and arrow would provide.