3 Reasons Compound Bows Suck For Survival

“You must hate compound bows!”

Wait, wait, wait…..keep your finger off the trigger and hear me out.

I’m actually a fan of compound bows but here’s the issue I find with many in the survival community. Much like any other tool on the market, each has their job. While I can take a pair of pliers and remove a screw, a screwdriver would be the better choice. In the task of selecting a bow for survival, there’s a set of criteria that needs to be considered when selecting that specific tool.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have my bows tested in the field by survival experts and also several outdoors/survival publications. When discussing what they were looking for, a clear list of what was necessary for someone living out of a pack for a week or longer who depended on a bow to provide food was developed.

When looking at these factors, we unfortunately came to this conclusion:


Here are a 3 of the issues we found:


– Should your compound bow fail in the field, you’re pretty much done. While they do have these small bow press kits you can take into the field with you, you’re looking at a big job here. You’ve going to need a specialized string, bow press kit and have the knowledge to safely do this in the wild. Issue with your cams? Issue with your sight? Lose your trigger release?

I was small game hunting a few years back and had the string break on my Assyrian Bow . The maintenance is merely inserting your foot and replacing the string. What happens if you don’t have a string? Guess what? You can MAKE ONE!

A simple tool with less moving parts is ideal when Murphy’s Law is in effect.


– This is one people don’t think about enough. Should you break an arrow or lose an arrow in the field with a compound, what do you do then? However many arrows you are carrying better be enough cause you’re not going to be able to make more. I can’t tell you how may times I’ve seen people bring bows on survival shows and lose their arrows shooting at game.

The amount of force and flex coming out of a compound bow is tough to gauge when crafting arrows in the field from natural materials. There’s a reason you don’t see wooden compound arrows. You’re likely gonna get an explosion or a broken arrow in the hand.

With something like a recurve or Odinson Slingbow, there are a variety of materials at your disposal to make your arrows out of.

You essentially have an endless supply of ammo.


– When finding yourself constantly on the move, each pound added feels like a ton. If you’re someone in the realm of SHTF carrying a bugout bag or just on a long wilderness excursion, lighter is better. Most compound bow average around 3 to 6 pounds in weight. Combine that with your gear, pack contents, water, etc and that becomes a big deal.

Now take something like the Assassin Bow that weighs under a pound, can be unstrung, is only 42 inches long and you’ll see there’s not really a comparison. Someone can carry something like a MCA Pack or a Silent Assassin Pack and ALL of that gear still doesn’t equal the weight of the compound bow alone.


There are more but I’m sure you get my drift.

If you haven’t given thought to your specific tool selection for a bugout bag, SHTF situation, scouting or whatever it may be; I’d highly recommend taking the time to weigh all of these factors in. Decide your goals, what you’re going to be doing and go from there.

Hopefully this makes everyone think rather than default to just being triggered by the title

A Odinson

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