Intro: Survival Bow and Arrow
While waiting for a ferry on a very isolated island in BC Canada my buddies challenged ourselves to find the supplies we would need to make the most effective survival hunting weapon. In that hour of waiting We collected things on the beach and in the woods that we felt would be suffice to make a bow and arrow. From there we took our supplies and built them when we got home, we only had an hour to build our weapon and we could only use the tools we had in our pocket when we were on the island. For me that consisted of a knife and a lighter
1 bowed stick about 4 feet tall
Pile of yarn on the beach
Thin piece of washed up particle board
2 foot long straight skinny stick
1 small chunk of wood 2" by 1" by 1"
Sapp if you can find any
2 nails 1" long and 1/2" long
I was able to find a perfect bow stick on the beach. It was pre bowed and very strong and flexible. It also had anchors on the top and bottom where I could tie the yarn onto. I struggled to find a straight stick on the beach, but was able to find a straight branch in the wood that I shaved down and used as my arrow. I'd say I got lucky finding washed up yarn and some nails in a piece of wood.
Step 2: Tying Your String
For this step I started off by tying a boulin on to the bottom of the bow. I then pre bent the rope, wrapped my yarn through the V on the top of the bow, and then pinched and tied half hitches in the top to maintain the pre-tension in the yarn. I tied about 5 half hitches then tied a dead end knot to ensure that the half hitches would not come loose. This made for a very tightly strung piece of yarn, with much more power than I expected.
Step 3: Adding the Arrow Rest
I then chose where I wanted my arrow rest to go and wrapped it with leftover yarn. I lashed it Irish style, basically figure 8's until it was not moving at all. I then pinched off the yarn to maintain the tension, then tied half hitches and a stop knot to hold it all together.
Step 4: Making the Arrow
I then took my straight piece of wood, and began lashing one of the nails onto the skinny end of the stick pointy end out. I made sure this part was very tight, this is also what I got my sapp for. Once I had lashed and half hitched and dead end knotted my yarn, I spread tree sapp all over this joint. I then used the lighter to heat up the sap so that I could spread the sapp around the yarn. The sapp acted ass an epoxy with the yarn being the working fiber. This made for a very strong piece that would not break or slide back on the stick during impact. Once that was done I began adding fetching to the back end of the arrow so it would fly straight. I began by cutting 4 slits in the back end of the stick, one every 90 degrees. From there I made a pattern on the thin piece of particle board with the knife, and cut them out by pressing very hard with the knife, these pieces would be my fletching. I made one solid feather and two half feathers that would fit on each side of the solid feather. I pressed them into place by spreading the slits open, then lashed on top of the slits very tightly. I tied half hitches and ended it with an end knot. From there I took my other nail and slowly nailed it into the side of the arrow, right in front of the fetching. I used this as my nock. Make sure to use a small nail and nail slowly so you don't split the wood. I was lucky to find this nail in a piece of wood on the beach.
Step 5: All Done
All done now, it's pretty effective from under 20 yards. I was able to pretty accurately hit stuff with power. I would think this could be pretty effective for fishing in survival situations. I didn't try to kill any small animals because that was not my intent in building this. My goal was to make an effective weapon with materials on and island in under an hour, and I was able to do that. I think if I needed this weapon or would be a bet helpful tool. BTW im not trying to shoot the bow in the last picture, just showing its flexibility while taking a picture at the same time. Have Fun!