I’m a fan of archery, I have to confess I’m not that much of a committed prepper. I don’t have a bug out bag or a survival cache anywhere, but what I do have is a couple of bows lying around my house and they’re pretty good prepper and survival tools. If you hadn’t previously considered it before, let me tell you why I think learning archery will make you a better prepper. (…or should I say, better prepared!?)
Reason #1 – Do it yourself
Knives, fishing hooks, torches, medical kits, all manner of survival gear is available out there and it’s relatively compact and widely available, but the one thing I think it lacks is that it is normally the result of a modern manufacturing process. Yeah I know those 2 bows I have in my house are also the result of a modern manufacturing process, but, let’s take knife vs bow as an example. If you have a knife and some string you can make a bow and some arrows in about 30 minutes (and then save your knife). If you need a knife and you don’t have one you need a store or a blacksmith!
Reason #2 – Arrow Re-use
Arrows have many different types, they can be wooden or hollow or solid carbon. You can get survival arrows that come in several pieces and screw together to make storage easy. Arrows have various tips available for different hunting uses, blunt tips for blunt force hunting small game, barbed tips for fishing, pointed tips for target and larger game and broadheads for the most lethal type of shooting. The key thing about arrows I think is that 90% of the time after you’ve fired one, you can get it back and use it again and again. You can change the tips and re-purpose them.
The same doesn’t apply to many other sorts of ranged weapon. A bullet for a gun is a one shot deal! Slingshot ball bearings and other sorts of small ammunition will be easily lost, but an arrow is probably the easiest type of ammunition to find, re-use and repurpose.
Reason #3 – The Sharp Stick
Arrows don’t always need fletches – that’s feathers on the end to the uninitiated. Fletches are there to stabilize and improve the flight of the arrow, if you’re only shooting short distance — say into water to bowfish, or at a close range target — they aren’t necessary. If you’ve crafted some arrows out of hardwood using a knife, and they have no fletches, what you essentially have there is a sharp stick. A carefully crafted sharp stick that has been fire hardened is something I can think of several uses for off the top of my head:
- A spit for cooking game
- Laying traps
- Lighting fires
- Use as a spear
- Assembling shelters (as a tent peg)
There are going to be others, but you get the general idea.
Reason #4 – Silence is Golden
A good modern bow such as the Samick Sage can be made to be almost silent. If the bow isn’t over drawn and with silencers applied to the string to absorb vibration it becomes an almost silent weapon. Certainly as silent as any silenced firearm. If what you are thinking of preparing for includes a bow and arrow, you’re either going to want to survive or defend yourself and if you want to defend yourself there is no better way than to do it silently. Who knows when you take down your prey what other predator may be around and if you fire an unsilenced firearm you’ll certainly be attracting the attention of everything in a pretty large radius.
A bow will let you can hunt for a long as you like without fear of drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
Reason #5 – Portability
Now if you’ve seen a modern bow you’ve probably noticed that they aren’t small. They’re anything from 48 to 70 inches in length. That’s not a particularly portable solution. You can always carry a strung bow over your shoulder or on your back, but it is still a big piece of kit to take on a long foot journey.
Fortunately however, modern recurve bows come in takedown varieties this means they’ll allow you to remove the string, and the top and bottom limbs making the bow into a more portable 3 piece item. Those pieces will fit inside a carry case which you can more easily strap to your back or keep inside your bug-out bag or survival cache.
For the ultimate in portability you’ll want to look at something like the SAS tactical survival bow. These actually fold down into a long hollow rectangular box shape which has storage inside for arrows. The folded bow will be something like 30 inches long and be very light weighing in around 2lbs, quick to assemble and sacrifice only a little precision and power over its fully fledged brethren.
Reason #6 – Teach The Kids
I’m willing to bet most of you reading this are parents. If you’re thinking about surviving and doing it in your own homestead, one of the other great things about archery is the fact that it’s a family friendly sport. You can take your children to the range and they can learn to shoot as soon as they can hold a bow.
You don’t get the same freedoms with a bow as you would with guns or knives. However, your spouse may take more kindly to you practicing archery than other aggressive survival skills. They certainly may be far more responsive to having a bow and a few arrows in the house than a Beretta or a Glock. For that reason, I think you may also be more likely to convince them that you should learn this survival skill as a family unit.
Do you agree that learning archery will make you a better prepper?
If you’re interested in archery or bows in general, I encourage you to look into the subject a little more. It’s a great skill, one you can have fun learning. One that I think makes you better prepared. I hope you liked this article, and if you have anything to add or if there is something you don’t necessarily agree with, please leave a comment below!