The bow and arrow has been used by man for hunting and war since time immemorial, it was widely used in ancient Egypt, Persia, the Americas, certain parts of Africa and Europe. A bow and arrow is a simple design, and you can find the materials you need in the back yard of your home or in nearby surroundings. Follow the steps listed below to make a simple bow and arrow for your pleasure. You will find more detailed instructions for making complex bow and arrow systems in the US Army Survival Manual, should you be interested in exploring this matter further.
- Materials required: Two pieces of easily bendable wood - one 65 to 70 inches long and an inch thick in diameter (for the bow), and the other about 12 to 24 inches in length and half an inch in diameter (to make the arrow); strong twine; cardboard paper and a sharp knife.
- Building the bow: Using a knife to cut two notches on the piece of wood you’ve chosen for the bow. These notches should be placed at intervals of one or two inches from each end of the bow. Make the notches in the shape of an arc on the outside of the bow's curve and about half an inch from each end of the bow. The notches will ensure the bowstring is held in place when being used. Before attaching any string, smoothen out the surface area of the stick using a knife.
- Attaching string: Cut a piece of string which is three quarters of the length of the bow. Ensure that the string is smaller than the bow; giving it more power.
- Tying loops: Tie loops at each end of the string which are big enough to fit around the notch. Put these loops around the notches on each end of the stick.
- Making the arrow: To construct the arrow, repeat the step as above but cut only one notch at the end of the arrow. The notch should be at the point where the string rests while you are pulling it through the bow. Lightly sandpaper the arrow so that it will fly more aerodynamically. Take cardboard papers and cut them into three small elongated triangles, glue them quarter inch from the bottom of the arrow evenly spaced from each other. This provides balance, accuracy and nice rotation when the arrow is released.
Bows and arrows were deployed as weapons of war until the development of gunpowder, causing bows to be relegated to sport and even today archery is a featured event in the Olympics. The weapon is not a match for modern weapons or indeed against the latest archery equipment but a primitive bow can still save your life if you have to hunt to survive in the wilderness. Some safety tips – you should not aim the bow and arrow at other people or straight up in the air or into the distance if you cannot see where it will land and most importantly store it in a safe place in your home when not in use.