Making Arrows in the Wilderness


Recently I posted an article describing how to build a survival bow in the wilderness.  Since a bow wouldn’t be much good without an arrow to fire from it today we’ll talk about how to build arrows in the wilderness for survival.


Shaft Selection

First, you will need to select straight, sturdy shafts for your arrows.  You do not want to use dead wood for this since it will break easily and you do not want lengths with knots or branches.  Look for young growth, about head height and as thick as your finger.  Cedar, maple, birch, and ash are often used to make shafts, but you will have to use whatever is available to you in a survival situation.  Once you have gathered your shafts, cut them to approximately 3 to 5 inches longer than the draw of your bow.


I recently posted a video demonstrating flint knapping.  If you have the ability to make a proper flint arrow head this would be the preferable option, but in a wilderness survival scenario you might not have this available.  Arrowheads can also be made from tin cans by removing the top, then folding it over to increase the strength, and then pounding it with a stone until it fits over a stick with the same diameter as your arrow shafts.  If you don’t have either of these you can also make an arrowhead by melting plastic and folding and rolling it over until it has become thick and hard, after it cools and solidifies it can then be sharpened.


Fletching for your can be made from feathers that you gather.  Make sure before attaching your feathers that they are from the same wing, otherwise they will not function properly.  Take the feathers and carefully split them down the quill with a knife.  You should only need two feathers per arrow.  They can be secured to the shaft by using the thin white inner strings of paracord and pine resin.


All you need to do now is make a nock point on the rear of your arrow so that your bow string will sit securely while you are aiming.


After completing your survival bow and arrows you will have a powerful tool for hunting, but know the realistic limitations of your weapon.  While you should not pass up an opportunity to fire on large game if it presents itself, focus your energy on targeting animals such as racoons and opossums that you can tree, and then get a still target on.

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