The bow and arrow is one of the oldest weapons on earth. It has been used in a variety of cultures and is viewed as a survival tool and an art piece. It is often one of the first weapons young hunters use when learning the sport. It lacks the power of modern weapons, but when used correctly by a skilled hunter, it can be just as deadly. Best of all, bows can be fashioned from a variety of primitive materials, so if necessary, it would serve as a versatile tool to hunt with in an emergency. You will not be able to create a rifle from items you find in the wilderness, but it would be entirely possible to make a bow and arrow.
Gather Materals for Your Bow
Start your bow making process by gathering the materials you need. Sticks found on the ground are usually sufficient for the body of the bow. Look for ones that are strong and straight, but that have some flexibility for bending without breaking. You can use the straight sticks to make the arrows, too. Those do not need the same level of flexibility.
The actual bow is simple to make with a large piece of elastic or rubber band. Look for a band that is about a half inch to inch thick. The rubber piece needs to be about an inch shorter than the stick. Secure the rubber band to the top and bottom of the stick. You should be able to pull back on the rubber band without it disconnecting or breaking.
Making Your Arrows
Next, create your arrows. Whittle the ends of the wood into sharp points. The points can be hardened by heating the tip over hot coals. You can straighten the arrow by heating it over a coal fire, but be careful not to burn the stick or catch it on fire. You can also carve arrowheads out of glass, stone, or bone. Once the point is sharp enough, carve a notch into the other end of the arrow. It should be large enough to slide the rubber band inside. It should be slightly secure, but loose enough to release with ease when you fire the bow. Once the arrows are shaped and carved, you can add a few feathers to the back of the arrow. This helps improve the flight of the arrow, but is not necessary for an accurate shot.
Enhancing Your Bow and Arrow
Though a basic bow and arrow is enough to survive in the wilderness, there are ways to enhance your weapon. Wrapping the bow with wet leather gives the stick extra strength and makes it easier to grip the bow when firing. You can carve a notch into the stick to rest your arrow when firing. Professionally manufactured bows have this feature because it makes firing easier. You will need to measure with an arrow to determine the best place to carve the notch. This prevents wobbling while you aim. When shooting arrows, fire with care to avoid splinters. You can put a resin or varnish over the arrows to make them stronger, but this might not be an option in the wilderness.