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Survival 102:Making a Survival Bow

One of the best skills that you can have in regards to survival is the ability to create both tools and weapons that will give you the ability to survive indefinitely. One of these items is a survival bow. One thing you need to realize is that a survival bow can have more than one use. There are three uses I can think of right off the bat. You can of course hunt with it, you can use it to build fire, and you can use it to drill holes with in order to construct more permanent structures.

A survival bow on a base level is a pretty easy thing to build, and it can become as complicated and elaborate as you want it to; however, for a survival bow you’ll need to know just a few basic things to get started. Probably the most important factor to understand in the manufacture of your bow is the proper knots to fashion in your cordage. One of the easiest and most versatile knots is a variation of the hangman’s noose. This knot, when tied around a shaft with some length, will self tighten to the point that it is almost impossible to get loose. Also it will strengthen weak points on your bow, work as a handle, and affix fletching and arrowheads to your arrows.

Here are the important factors to consider when you are building your first survival bow:

  1. You have to use the right wood. My preference for anything survival is durable. The best wood I’ve ever used is Osage Orange, some people call it hedgeapple. It is extremely hard and yellow as the sun. Your stave should be slightly bowed, 3 to four feet long, and free from knots. It’s also best to get it a little green so there’s some flexibility to it.
  2. Follow it’s natural curve. Make sure that the bow already has a tendency to bow a certain direction. It will do you no good to try to produce a curve against the grain in any way.
  3. Trim consistently. The bow should remain thicker towards the center and gradually taper towards the ends consistently. It is up to you to shape your bow slowly using a knife of sharp rocks. And when you get the tips of the bow flat and somewhat pointed, make sure to notch the ends to hold the bow string.
  4. Prepare several strings for your bow. There is nothing more frustrating in the wilderness than not having the proper tool handy when you need it. Therefore, you should prepare three or more strings for hunting, (strings that will stretch tight from one end to the other, causing the bow to curve slightly to keep it taut. ) These hunting strings should be greased with animal fat to prevent rotting and should only be used when needed as they don’t usually last long. Once they are stretched out they can be used for bowdrill or for turning other spindles.
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