There’s a reason that archery has been around for so long and has been used for a wide variety of purposes. If you like to camp and be out in the wild, archery is certainly a skill that you would want to develop. Also, being a skilled archer can help you survive in different environments in the wild if you’re ever stranded there.
Contrary to popular belief, learning archery is actually easy and cheap. There are now training facilities and tools that can help you practice the sport. Archery targets, for example, are smart investments because you can hone your skills with these and practice the sport anywhere.
Learning the basics of archery and practicing as often as possible can improve your survival skills in the long run. Here’s how:
- Access To An Immediate Weapon
Whenever you need to showcase your survival skills, you may not have an automatic rifle available to fall back on. Since you are in the wild, it’s not like you’re going to be able to run to the store. More often than not, you’ll have to compromise and make use of materials available outdoors.
Archery can improve your survival skills as this sport can teach you a lot on how a bow and arrow works, and how you can make these items in the wild.
Remember that the first people who practiced archery only used flint, metal stone, and other hard materials as their bows and arrows. Learning the sport allows you to understand what specific materials are suitable to be used as alternatives to bows and arrows.
With this knowledge, you can easily scout for different materials outdoors, and make your own bow and arrow.
- Hunt And Collect Food
During ancient times, archery wasn’t a sport or recreational activity. The practice of using a bow and arrow was actually adapted by the Ancient Egyptians to hunt for food. When you know how to play archery, you can also utilize the sport as a means to hunt.
Instead of a shooting range, your target will likely be animals in the forests or oceans. Your skills in archery can surely go a long way for you to feast on fish and other types of meat when you’re outdoors.
Since your bodily functions are highly dependent on the nutrients you can get from food, archery can play a signal role in your survival. With this skill, you won’t starve yourself to death because you have the necessary skills and tools to hunt for food.
Surviving the great outdoors is challenging. Aside from thinking about your food supply, you also have to make sure that you’re safe from any type of danger. Being trapped in a forest, for example, can increase your chances of becoming prey to wild animals.
A bow and arrow can be a great weapon to protect yourself. When you know how to create and use a bow and arrow, you can shoot wild animals and scare them away. This weapon can signal the animals that you’re well-armed, and you can easily inflict pain on them.
Shooting wild animals for your own protection is a better option than running. The latter can consume more of your energy and doesn’t warrant that the animals won’t come back to get you.
- Opens Up Other Survival Skills
Learning archery won’t only teach you how to shoot an arrow with a bow. This sport also serves as an avenue for you to develop intense concentration and focus, gain clarity of mind, improve balance and coordination, and boost your distance judging abilities.
All of these skills will become innate to you once you spend a lot of time learning and practicing archery. The skills you’ll learn from archery will make it simple for you to survive the wilderness.
- If you want to excel in archery, you have to understand what wind speed is and how this can affect the direction and flight of your arrow. Having a strong background on wind speed will not only improve your aim, but certain levels of wind speed can also serve as indicators for upcoming storms and other types of weather conditions.
Determining when a storm is coming by observing the wind speed can help you prepare and protect yourself. Once you’ve identified that a storm will hit your location, you can improve your shelter or look for caves to ensure that you’re dry from the rain.
- Patience is an important skill in archery. Aside from learning the sport from scratch, you’ll need to practice patience in assessing your skills, identifying where to improve, and adjusting your skills for the better.
You’ll need to practice a lot of patience if you want to survive outdoors. For one, you need to be patient in following an animal for food and wait for the right moment to shoot. Hastily shooting any animals outdoors will only shoo them away.
Aside from being an easy sport to learn, archery can also open a wealth of other benefits. Regularly playing this sport allows you to socialize with other people, improve your physical and mental health, and boost your confidence.
But, for you to enjoy these benefits and survive the wild outdoors using the sport, it’s important that you first exert time and effort in learning it first. Having the determination to learn will make it very easy for you to become an archer!
How do you become an archer? Here are the main steps to take!
Even if getting involved in archery isn’t complicated, you will need to put some effort into it in the begging. Here are all the steps to take to become an archer.
Step 1- Find an archery club
Find an archery club near you
You cannot become an archer on your own. Look for an archery club in your area and visit them. Talk with the people working there and ask them for some tips on starting. If you’re still in school, you might find an archery class/club within the school.
You will discover archery organizations, stores, and shooting ranges as you begin your research work. They might provide you with equipment, lessons, and drilling facilities. Even if you don’t find an archery club in your area, maybe one of your friends can help you with the information.
Get the details
Most clubs have meetings for beginners and advanced shooters. Ask them if you can rent the equipment and give it a test. We don’t recommend you go to the club with no warning, especially if you’re a beginner. Bring an ID as you might need it for fees, if applicable.
Some clubs will only offer membership, which could be a downside if you don’t know if archery is for you or not. Look until you find what you need.
Have an archer instructor
No matter how many videos you watch or read about it, you will learn best from a real archer. They will show you the correct position and adjust it accordingly. If any of your friends is an experienced archer, kindly ask them to give you a hand in the beginning.
Many archery clubs offer classes for beginners—it’s the best way to learn how to shoot a bow.
Have an introductory course
An introductory course is specially created for people with no experience or knowledge about archery. You will get familiar with standard archery terms, correct standing position, holding the bow, and safety measures to take when shooting.
Step 2- Select your equipment
Start with a test for eye dominance
The dominant eye will impact how you see the shot and influence the aim. An eye dominance test will help you discover which side of your body you need to hold the bow on.
Put your thumbs together and forefingers to create a triangle. Select an object that’s 15ft away and place it in the middle of your triangle. Close your left eye and see if the object shifts or is right in the middle. Do the same for your left eye. Your dominant eye is the one that keeps the object in the center.
You need this information because bows are made to be held with either left or right hand.
Rent the equipment
Archery equipment is expensive and it’s not wise to buy it until you don’t figure out what works for you and if you like archery after all. It’s common for archery clubs to let you rent equipment. Ask a friend or someone you know to loan you the equipment until you have an idea about how it all works. If none of these options are available, check out the return policy for the equipment you buy.
Get a bow with adequate poundage
Draw weight (poundage) refers to the weight you need to pull the bowstring back. Your strength and size will impact the draw weight that works best for you. Talk to a professional from the archery club to learn more about it.
If the draw weight is too high, it will be difficult for you to shoot. You can also hurt your arms. However, it shouldn’t be too easy to pull the string back either; it will make you over-pull the string.
Get safety equipment
Even professional archers use shooting gloves/finger tabs and arm guards. The armguard protects from the string’s snapping, whereas the glove/tab protects your fingers when you pull the string back. The safety equipment also contributes to the precision and smoothness of your shots.
You can renounce using the safety equipment, but we encourage you to use it initially. Check out the chest guard as it flattens your clothing, so the string doesn’t snag on them. If you shoot in the woods, remember to wear brightly colored clothing (orange) to be visible and reduce the risk of accidents.
Select the arrows
Fiberglass, wood, carbon, and aluminum are the primary materials used for arrows. The material is less important than the length of the arrows, though. You need to measure your arm span and divide it by 2.5. Your arrows should be 1-2 inches longer than that.
Step 3- Practice to improve your skills
Master the basics
Archery takes various forms, from hunting to riding and shooting at a moving target. However, you shouldn’t start with riding on horseback and shooting at a moving target—you need to be an expert in basic skills first. Therefore, you should grip and draw the bow quickly, have a perfect stance, and have excellent precision when aiming. You should also learn to adjust your shooting according to the weather and the wind.
Once you master these basic skills, you can step up to the next level. We recommend you have an archery instructor examine you first. They can watch you shoot and seek to make recommendations. Even if you don’t hit bullseye right from the beginning, you shouldn’t stress. It takes time until you become an excellent archer.
Control your breathing
Many beginners make the mistake of holding their breath when shooting. However, this will only reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain and alter your vision. You should breathe in slowly to remain calm. Archery is a quiet sport and you need to keep your calm from beginning to end.
Try to exhale when you release the string so that your breath and arrow are one.
Pick a practice place
Decide where you want to practice and learn about any local restrictions. Make sure that there’s nobody around when practicing. You can build your targets from cardboard boxes and bales of hay. You will find various targets in hunting, sporting goods, or even farm stores.
Practice as often as possible
You will need to commit to becoming an excellent archer and daily practice is ideal. Please don’t overdo it at first because your muscles may get sore from pulling the strain. Play with the distance and angles when practicing your shooting. Don’t use the same distance and the same angle each time—you won’t improve your archery skills like that!
If you think about using archery when hunting, you need to get in a tree stand and try shooting at your target from there. The more various the conditions, the angles, the distances, and your targets will be, the bigger the chances for you to become a great archer!