Are you packing for an archery tournament but have that nagging feeling you are missing something?
While packing for a trip, we often don't realize what we've forgotten until we're already well on our way or at our destination. However, while you can always stop at a convenience store to make up for the omissions, you won’t enjoy such luxuries if you show up at the venue of an archery competition and realize you forgot a crucial piece of your archery gear.
Opening your case to find that you're missing a crucial part of your bow as your intuition whispers, "I told you so," is one of the worst feelings in archery. For this reason, we went to the trouble of creating a checklist for you; to spare you from experiencing such awkward moments on the archery field. Use this checklist to ensure you don't leave anything important at home while traveling to your next archery competition.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Packing for an Archery Tournament - The Basics
Remembering everything you'll need for an archery tournament is a daunting task, and it's easy to forget something important. While every archer has a unique list of must-haves before heading out to a competition, there are a few basics that should be on everyone's mind. These basics can be broken down into four (4) categories:
Anything that helps you relax your mind is a must-have. Certain gears will increase your comfort level for better performance. The less stressed you are when shooting, the better your results will be.
Pack your go-to shooting footwear if you have a favorite pair. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for any outdoor events you might be participating in to enable you to prepare for whatever the weather throws at you. Remember your sunglasses and lucky cap as well!
It's not uncommon for tournaments to go over many days, leaving competitors mentally and physically drained. Constantly refueling your body with healthy foods will keep your energy levels high all day long. So, feel free to bring along your favorite beverages and snacks.
As stated earlier, certain competitions can last all day or even span several long days. Hence, be sure to pack anything that will help you unwind in your spare time. This could be a novel, a magazine, a fully charged phone, or a headset to listen to music. It's also a good idea to bring a tent and collapsible chairs to any outdoor competitions.
The Ultimate Checklist for an Archery Tournament
So, what are the top 10 items you must pack before heading for an archery tournament? Check them out below:
Compound bows and recurve bows are the main bows used in tournaments. Only recurve bows are allowed in Olympic archery, but other bow types may be used in some other tournaments. Check the organization’s website to confirm the appropriate bow type for the event.
Transporting your bow in a sturdy bow case is critical to protecting the bow and maintaining its integrity. You can make use of either a soft bow case or a hard bow case to move your bow safely to the event venue. However, hard bow cases are an ideal option if you’re traveling long distances or flying.
Packing an extra bow setup is common these days. Why risk wasting precious time repairing a faulty bow or relying on others for a spare if you can afford to purchase two bows? You can check out the Legend Double2 compound bow case if you are considering attending your next tournament with an extra bow setup.
Arrows & Quiver
Shooting arrows at a target to rack up points is the main objective of any archery tournament, making them a nonnegotiable component of any archery tournament kit. Without them, there is no point in showing up for the competition in the first place.
Safety is an important consideration when transporting your archery gear. To this end, you can use an arrow tube to protect your arrows while traveling. It’s best to pack about a dozen arrows to make up for broken or faulty arrows. You should also consider marking your arrows to make them stand out and ensure they don't get lost in the crowd.
During the competition, you can keep your arrows in a quiver until needed. Quivers can be attached to the archer’s body or bow in various ways depending on the quiver's design. Most (if not all) tournament archers use either hip quivers or field quivers. But it won’t be a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the various quiver types available.
Binoculars are often overlooked when considering archery gear, but a pair of quality binoculars are an important investment for every archer. They increase your chances for success by helping you better see your shots and further adjust your shooting for better accuracy. Be sure to pack them along with your gear. While at it, remember to grab a lens cleaning spray and cleaning cloth also.
It’s not uncommon for archers to suffer wrist slaps from the bowstring as they fire a shot. These are not just painful but can affect the rest of your performance during a competition. Armguards serve two crucial purposes - protect the inside of your forearm from bruises and prevent your shots from being compromised by holding loose clothing out of the way. Various armguard designs are available, but the best armguard should be comfortable and adequately protect your arm from injury.
Every bow has moving parts that require a set of Allen wrenches to keep them in place, and those pieces are the bow's heart and soul. From adjusting your bow sight to changing draw weight, Allen wrenches are a handy tool for every archer. During an archery competition, you need to pay attention to what your bow is saying. Whenever you hear a rattling sound, grab your wrenches.
Arrow pullers & lube
With an arrow puller, you can easily retrieve your arrows from even the most stubborn targets without risking damage to the fletchings or straining your hand muscles. Arrow lubes further ease the arrow-pulling process, helping you save time and conserve energy during the tournament.
Stabilizer and Extra Weights
Bow stabilizers give archers a winning edge whenever they take a shot. Stabilizer systems increase the weight of the bow to resist bow movement and also increase the bow’s weight at a distance which helps to resist rotational movement and increase the bow’s moment of inertia (the measure of how resistant an object is to rotation).
For those who don’t know the benefit of packing a few extra stabilizer weights, here’s the scoop. Some archers will tell you that they were holding really well the few days leading up to the tournament, and now that they are competing, they can’t seem to make it hold the same. If you get this same feeling on the first day of the competition, you can either add (or remove) from your stabilizer setup, depending on if you bob up or down. Even a small amount of added weight can greatly impact your aim, and luckily, most bow stabilizers come with multiple weights or provisions to accommodate extra weights.
Why pack one when you can pack more? Packing a handful of spares is always a good idea when preparing for an archery tournament. So get you some spare nocks, vanes, serving material, release aid, and all of those “small” but useful items. Glue, lighter, and razor blades are also good ideas. A number of things could go wrong at the tournament, and you definitely don’t want to be caught off guard.
Snacks & drinks
You may have invested a lot of time at the range practicing for the big event. However, your performance will suffer if you aren't adequately nourished and hydrated. Remember to fuel yourself with nutritious foods and drinks before heading out to the competition. Don't go on any outing without your go-to energy bar or trail mix. Not all walking courses and archery competitions have on-site meal service. Thus, failure to have snacks and drinks on hand could be a recipe for depleted blood glucose levels and, possibly, an epic failure.
Outfit & other accessories
For outfits, you need to adhere to the tournament dress code and prepare for anything mother nature throws at you. Archers typically wear loose-fitting long- or short-sleeved shirts and pants or shorts that don't restrict their movement. If you plan on participating in any outdoor competitions, be sure to pack warm clothes and appropriate footwear. A lightweight rain suit will come in handy in the event of rain. Inquire about the competition's dress code in advance. Sunglasses, sunscreen, an umbrella, insect spray, and your go-to shooting cap are all helpful to have on hand.
Participating in an archery competition can be nerve-wracking, and stressing over what you may have forgotten to pack will only worsen matters. Fortunately, with this handy checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you have every piece of archery gear you may need on your outing.
So, get these and any other gear you may need from the best archery store and head over to that archery tournament with confidence to bring home the gold!