Emergency Survival Bow

When stuck in the woods, why take a chance by testing fruits and plants to see if they're poisonous, or attempting to fish but being alluded due to light refraction? Why not go hunting? Hmm, but you don't have your high-quality $500 hunting bow? No problem! With just a swiss army knife, you can make a cheap temporary bow for survival out of just a branch and some paracord. Matching survival arrowhead and arrow here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Survival-Arrowhead-Pendant/#intro

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Step 1: Select Branch

I used a very soft live pine branch. I recommend a live branch so that it is easy to get it to bend in the beginning.

Step 2: Shave Branch

Cut off all of the small twigs, knots, and shave the bark off to make it smoother and more comfortable to hold.

Step 3: Shave Front and Back

Shave down the front and back of the bow to be flat, with rounded sides. When it's flatter instead of circular, it is easier to bend and less likely to snap.

Step 4: Carve String Notches

You can either saw notches in either side of the ends of the bow, or shave down the ends so that the string fits over but does not slide down onto the limbs like the above image.

Step 5: Tie String

Take a piece of paracord from the survival bracelet/ necklace/ lanyard/ knife handle/ shoelaces/ keychain that any good outdoorsman should have with them and cut it to the right length. If available, fuse the frayed ends with a fire. At both ends, tie either a figure eight knot on a bite or an overhand knot on a bite. 

Step 6: Attach String and Use

Loop the ends of the string on the shaved down ends of the bow limbs. You can now go hunting. My bow shot at a maximum of about 30 yards quite accurately. In the video, I am shown using a normal bow arrow, but in an earlier test I used the survival arrow shown in another of my 'ibles and it shot well also.

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    3 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If you're in an unexpected survival situation, there's a good chance you won't have any paracord. In this case, you can strip the bark in long strips from young green saplings and twist several layers together to make a strong string.

    1 reply

    I don't know about that most people looking at this post probably have it somewhere on them, lanyard, shoe laces, key chain, bracelet, necklace, knife handle, watch strap....etc, that being said I agree it's good to know how to make cordage from natural supplies.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great 'ible, but don't use pine because it is a softwood tree. Use a hardwood like oak or yew.