A bow and arrow set is the ideal do it yourself weapon because it can be crafted almost anywhere and anytime. All you need is to find a good hardwood, of which there are plenty. Maple, pine, aspen, yew or ash wood all make sturdy bows. For the arrows, a wide variety of materials will work as well.
Commonly found materials such as cattails make for great arrows, but cedar wood is one of the best arrow materials if you can get your hands on some cedar. Cedar wood does not warp as easily as cattails or other natural arrow resources. Once you have made your arrowheads, they can be chipped from stones or they can be hardened by burning it to a point in a fire.
A fire might be the best tactic depending on where you find yourself since chipping arrowheads from stones is best achieved by flint. As such, if you don’t have flint available, it is advisable to use the fire method for your arrowheads.
The string of your bow, similarly, can be constructed with natural resources. The inner bark of plants like milkweed will serve as an adequate bow string as can animal hides. Admittedly, before you have built a bow, it would be some stroke of luck to come across an animal whose hide would serve as your bowstring. Still, it is handy to know hides are useful for bow strings if you do have a degree of luck – though luck is a relative concept if you are trying to survive after a disaster! – while trying to survive in the wilderness.
If you have a spare pair of jeans, the cords of the blue jeans can be used for a bow string as well. In short, be flexible and use your wits and imagination when looking for a potential bow string. Even better, bow strings can be used for things beyond the standard uses of a bow. They can be used for making fires, fishing, traps, snares and more if you know the relevant tricks.
While this guide is focused on hunting, it is essential to note that a bow has far more utility than its immediately obvious uses. So, the things to look for, as mentioned, are wood for your bow, material for your arrows and a string for your bow.
Once you have these things, you will be able to use your bow to survive if you have enough skill. For now, let’s look at how to find the wood for your bow.