How to Build a Bow and Arrow from Materials Found in the Woods

created at: 03/25/2016

What would it look like to create a bow and arrow from scratch? Not from seasoned, dried wood from the lumberyard and woven string and a shop full of tools, but really from scratch – from only what you can find in the woods?   

Primitive Technology, a YouTube channel from Northern Australia, sought to find out. 

Here’s a truncated description in the author’s own words:

I made a bow and arrows in the wild using only natural materials and primitive tools I’d made previously from scratch (as usual). The tools used were a celt stone hatchet, a stone chisel, various stone blades and fire sticks. The stave began as a small tree about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter which I cut to a length of 1.25 m (50 inches) using a celt hatchet…I then split the stave in two using a stone chisel and mallet. Selecting one stave, I began shaping the bow…. I made the string for the bow using the bark from a fast growing tree that grows in disturbed rain-forest clearings… The next day I twisted the thin strips of fiber into cordage…For the arrows I used small saplings between 6 and 8 mm in diameter and cut to a length of 60 cm….The tip of the arrow was charred in a fire and sharpened against a rock. The fire hardens the wood and makes it easier to sharpen as charred wood scrapes off with ease. The fletching was made from the feathers of a bush turkey picked up from the ground (no turkeys were harmed in the making of this video). 

No fooling around, right? Check out the full process in the video below, and read the narrative description at their site: