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Archery Equipment Checklist

Q


"Is there a checklist of items I should get when looking for archery equipment [to buy]? I am looking to shoot recurve."

- Joe B.

A

Samick Sage is a very popular beginner recurve.
Hey Joe!

Sure, here you go:

  • A recurve bow in a poundage you can pull and hold steady for long periods. Avoid any bow you cannot pull and keep steady. When sold a new bow typically comes with a bowstring. See a list of popular recurve bow brands and models, there are plenty to choose from.
  • A Bowstringer - to string your bow properly, without the risk of damaging it).
  • An archery glove or tab (to protect your fingers properly). The most common style is a 3-finger glove, such as the one made by the American company Neet.
  • Arrow Rest - there are many styles of arrow rests, choose one you like that is within your budget. Generally the better quality arrow rests effect the accuracy of your dramatically, so if you are going to invest in something better, spending it on the arrow rest is a good idea.
  • Nock Bead - a tiny brass bead that goes on your bowstring that is used to prevent Stringwalking by accident.
  • Arrowheads - 125 grain field points are the most commonly used. Heavier field points are for shooting at close targets, light field points and for shooting further distances.
  • Arrows that are spined correctly for your bow's poundage. This is actually extremely important. You want the right arrows that suit your bow, both for accuracy reasons and for safety reasons (shooting cheap weak spined arrows on a very powerful bow can cause the arrow to shatter midshot and you can end up with pieces of arrow in your bow arm or hand - see photo below). See 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Archery Equipment for more details.
Just one reason why you need arrows that are spined correctly for your bow.

Optional, but Not a Necessity. See Optional Archery Equipment for more details.
  • Armguard or Bracer - arguably a necessity for some people, but not everyone needs one.
  • A spare bowstring. (In case the first one breaks.)
  • Spare Parts for Arrows - spare nocks, spare fletching, fletching glue, spare arrowheads, spare inserts. This is in case you ever need to repair arrows.
  • A quiver of some kind - possibly a back quiver, side quiver, hip quiver, ground quiver - or you can just make your own.
  • Dampeners - puffy balls that make your bowstring quieter.
  • Archery Backpack - to carry your gear in.
  • Bow Sock - for storing a longbow or one-piece recurve in.
  • 3D Targets - for shooting at fake rabbits and such.
  • Portable Archery Targets - for when you don't have anything else to shoot at.
  • Stabilizer - a gadget to help prevent people from canting the bow.
  • Decorative Limbs Skins - purely for decoration.
  • Wrist Strap - so you don't accidentally drop your bow.
  • Bow Racks / Bow Stands - for storing your bow when you are not shooting it.
  • Strange Arrowheads - Whistling arrowheads, Tibetan howling arrowheads, blunt arrowheads, glass arrowheads, flint, obsidian - there are quite a variety available.

Four Extremely Effective HIIT Workouts

Guest Post by SpotMeBro.com

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is one of the best and most effective ways of shedding fat and increasing your overall fitness. The best thing about HIIT is it doesn’t take much of your time, making it a perfect workout for busy individuals. After successfully completing a HIIT workout, you’ll feel good and satisfied with a refreshed and clear state of mind.


Many studies have shown that by doing intense workouts helps boost your metabolic rate and ultimately burn more fat. If you are the kind of a person whose job is to sit more than 8 hours in front of a laptop or several hours at the office, then HIIT is probably the ideal cardio routine for you.

Here are five HIIT workouts that will definitely help you lose more fat and, of course, it’ll be very challenging – especially if you’re a complete newbie. Don’t worry, it will find a special place in your heart once you see those amazing results.

1. 8 Minute HIIT Workout

Let’s start with more resting time to allow your body to become used to the intensity and stress. You don’t need any equipment, belts or weights for this. There will be 8 one-minute rounds of 20 seconds of working and 40 seconds’ rest in between each exercise.
  • Jab Cross, Front Right: With your right foot in front of the left and hips facing towards your left, bring your arms in a boxing position and jab forward with your right arm. Finally, throw a cross punch with your left arm and allow your body to rotate towards the right.
  • Jab Cross, Front Left: Same as the above but with the opposite foot. Bring the left foot in front of the right one with your hips facing towards the right. Bring your arms up in a boxing position and jab with your left arm. Throw a cross punch with your right arm and allow your body to rotate towards the left.
  • Jumping Jacks: Keep your feet hip-width apart and arms extended by your sides. Now, jump with your feet out and swing your arms above your head. Jump back to your starting position while lowering your arms back down to your sides. Do as many reps as you can.
  • Bodyweight Sumo Squats: Slightly different from normal squats. Position your feet more than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing at a 45-degree angle. Keep your back straight while lowering your body till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive yourself back up to the starting position.

2. 20 Minute HIIT Workout

An ideal workout for maximizing calorie burning and increasing your metabolic rate. There will be 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest in between exercises. When you hit the 10-minute mark, take a two-minute break and continue.
  • Push-ups: Using the normal push-up technique, do as many reps as you can. Keep your hands more than shoulder-width apart and don’t allow your back to arch.
  • Bodyweight Squats: Unlike the sumo squats, these are just normal-stance squats -- your feet under your hips.
  • Butt Kicks: Stand in an area where you'll have enough space around you. Now, jog in place and kick the left heel back so that it touches your butt. Do the same with your right heel.
  • Tricep Dips: Take a chair and place it against a wall for support. Now place your hands on the edge with your back towards the chair. Straighten your legs out in front of you while keeping the balance on your palms. Lower your body by bending your elbows and press up. Go for maximum repetitions.
  • Side Lunges: You’ll be putting your body weight on your heels with your toes pointing forward. Step towards your right in a deep, lateral lunge and keep your knee above your toes. Switch positions and do the same for the other side.

3. 5/10/15 HIIT Workout

This workout demands less time and is ideal for beginners. There will be only 5 seconds of rest in between exercises for maximum intensity.
  • 5 Pull-ups: Grip the pull-up bar with your hands wider than shoulder width. Now quickly perform 5 pull-ups without your body's momentum.
  • 10 Kettlebell Snatches: You need a kettlebell for this workout. Place it between your feet. Now bend your knees and push your butt back. Look in front of you and swing the kettlebell back in between your legs. Now, quickly reverse your direction and drive it through using your hips and knees. This way the kettlebell will be swinging in an upward direction. As soon as it reaches shoulder height, quickly rotate your hand and punch straight up.
  • 15 Kettlebell Figure 8's: Grab the kettlebell and place it between your legs. Bend your body in the same way as in kettlebell snatches. Now lift the kettlebell and pass it to your other hand between your legs in such a way that it forms an 8-figure.

4. The Quick 4-Minute HIIT Workout

Pretty easy, but will definitely make you sweat. Here is what you have to do without any rest in between the sets:
  • Plank: Drop down into a plank and hold this position for one minute.
  • Mountain Climber: From the plank position, get into a push-up position. Raise your hips, bend your knees and try to touch your right knee to your chest. Do the same with the left knee as quickly as possible.
  • Jumping Jacks: Use the same technique for jumping jacks and aim for maximum reps.

SpotMeBro.com and SpotMeGirl.com is the mecca for bodybuilding, fitness, gym motivation and, of course, hearty gym meme's. Regularly introducing fans to new trends in training, nutrition, gear and technology. Join over 3,000,000 monthly bro's and fit girl's today.

Analyzing Compound Bow Arrow Clusters

Yesterday (Easter Sunday) I did some personal practice with one of my compound bows.

It was rather windy (mostly wind coming from the south, but with occasional strong gust from the south). So lets see how I fared and analyze the results.

Disclaimer - This post is NOT sponsored by Tim Horton's. I just like using their coffee lids as targets.

#1. A Good Beginning.

First up is a near perfect shot. A good start for the day. This Tim Horton's coffee lid was doomed from the beginning.

This particular shot was so good I decided to just stop there and relax the rest of the round. It was highly unlikely that I was going to beat it - or worse, I could end up Robin Hooding the arrow (hitting it in the nock and splitting it), thus ruining my arrow. I have Robin Hooded so many arrows with my compound bow I now only shoot 3 or less arrows per round in an effort to reduce the chances of hitting my own arrows.


#2. A Gust from the South.

Below you can see what happens when the wind starts gusting from the south. Now what you might not understand is that the arrows themselves were not effected by the wind very much - it was actually the wind blowing me around that was the biggest annoyance. When the wind is blowing the archer around it makes it difficult to maintain your aim, your balance and hold steady.

You can tell from the angle of the arrows that some of them were effected more by the wind, by they are still in a tight cluster on the target - largely due to me being patient and timing my shots when there is less wind / more stability.

In theory if I wanted even more stability I could just wait until the gusting stops completely, but that would be missing the point of practicing during windy conditions. Practicing during the wind allows you to work on how well you adjust your and get used to it - and what skills you learn in the process to improve your accuracy.

Having flags at the archery range also help. Gives you a better idea of what the wind conditions are and their precise direction.

There isn't much left of the Tim Horton's lid at this point, so I am aiming for the upper left corner of the lid.


#3. Less Wind equals Tighter Cluster.

I held it together and timed my shots better during this particular round. You can see it is a nice tight cluster, and I am still aiming for the left side of the lid since there is so little left of it. The top right arrow ripped a chunk out of the lid.


#4. Not Much Left of the Target.

In this shot I hit the white golf tee so it pushed it into the target butt and the Tim Horton's lid ended up dangling from the arrow. There was so little left of the lid it was clearly time to pack up and leave.

Plus it started spitting a bit so I was content to pack up my gear and take a walk up the hill towards the Tim Horton's. (Where I later met my wife and we went to visit my mother-in-law for Easter Sunday dinner.)

How to Oil a Wooden Longbow or Flatbow - FAQ

On a rainy day (like today) it is a good habit to remember to oil any wood bows that you used outside.

Now in my case, I ended up shooting inside my garage today because it is just plain pouring today - and spitting even at the best of times.

Today I wanted to shoot one of my antique longbows - a wooden flatbow made by "Archery Craft Toronto", circa 1960s. But just walking from my home to the garage gets the bow a little wet from walking in the rain.

Fortunately I routinely oil my wooden bows each time I use them and they get wet. This is a good habit to get into, so if you know if your bow got wet you should remember to wipe it down afterwards and give it a quick oiling.

What Type of Oil should you use?

Well, for starters, don't use WD40 or any oil meant for machinery. That is just plain wrong.

Oils used for protecting wood are usually made from mineral / plant oils or animal grease.

You do not have to use Tung Oil. This is just for example.
I used both linseed oil and mineral oil. However there is a broad range of oils out there that are available. For example I know that Mike Meusel, the Toronto Bowyer, prefers to use tung oil. Some people prefer teak oil or gunstock oil, although it often depends on what they have handy / within their price range.

Traditionalists often prefer animal grease - such as deer grease, bear grease, or other kinds of animal fat. I even know one person who uses bacon grease.

What kind of oil doesn't matter so much as you might think. Some oils last longer, some provide a thicker protective layer, some sinks into the pores of the wood better, there are pros and cons.
  • Mineral oil is cheap. Does a decent job.
  • Boiled linseed oil does a good job. Takes awhile to dry.
  • Tung oil is more expensive. Dries faster.
Generally speaking it is considered a good idea to use multiple different kinds of oil, that way you get multiple layers of oil which protect the surface of the wooden bow.

Some archers might prefer to use type of more expensive / better quality oil that provides a good protection and a nice shine. Others might simply use whatever they have available. Others might prefer to use a mix of both plant oils and animal grease. Some archers even have their own "special recipe" that they like to use.

What is more important is that you are at least oiling the bow to protect it from water damage.

Should I clean the bow before oiling it?

Does it look like it needs to be cleaned? Yes? Then the answer it yes, you should probably clean it.

Before oiling you may decide you want to first clean your bow, possibly using rubbing alcohol or fine grit sandpaper. Sandpaper should be something you want to avoid using unless the bow is in really bad shape and needs some heavy duty cleaning. I have purchased some antique longbows and recurves in the past which were "absolutely disgusting" and needed to be thoroughly cleaned because they were covered in guck and stains, and that is a good time to get out the sandpaper. Otherwise rubbing alcohol works very well.

There may be other cleaning products out there that are safe to use on bows, but those are the only two things I use.

How do you apply the Oil to your bow?

I recommend using paper towels and pouring a small amount of oil on to the paper towel (a lint free cotton cloth also works well) and then proceed to rub the wooden areas of your bow with the oil in a manner similar to using sand paper on wood.

After everything is well oiled wipe it clean with a second paper towel and then store in the open air. (Do not stick it back inside a bow sock or case right away.)

If you are using multiple different kinds of oil, I recommend starting with the cheapest oil first and repeat this process with each oil, using the most expensive oil last. So for example I would use the mineral oil first, and then the linseed oil. (The order you use might depend on personal preference however.)

How often should you oil your wooden bow?

Honestly, once it has a good layer of oil on there, it should be fine - as long as it doesn't get soaked in water for long periods of time. For paranoid archers like myself however, I routinely oil any bow that gets remotely wet. I would rather be paranoid about it than to later discover I had forgotten to oil one of my wooden bows and it became damaged as a result of negligence.

Should I use wax finish or expensive wood finishes?

Not a necessity, but some people may decide to do so for the sake of appearance. Some traditionalists might use a beeswax paste to apply a more waxy finish to the bow, but that is mostly for the sake of appearance. For the purposes of protecting the wood waxes are unnecessary. I personally don't use waxy finishes on any of my bows, but I might decide to use them in future on my homemade flatbows in the future just to give them a waxier look, especially if I am planning to sell them.

For the purpose of selling a bow, it makes sense to wax a bow before showing it to a potential buyer, in the same way someone selling their car should probably use car wax before showing it to someone who is thinking of purchasing. Generally speaking, the shinier something is the more people are willing to spend on it.

To learn more about archery sign up for archery lessons in Toronto.

The Barkley Marathon

The Barkley Marathon is effectively a super marathon (also known as an ultra-marathon). It is over 100 miles long, on rough hiking terrain, and must be completed in less than 60 hours. Depending on the precise route, the distance is said to be closer to 120 miles - making it roughly 4 times the distance of a normal marathon (a normal marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards or 42.195 km).


The Barkley isn't so much a speed race. It is a race of endurance, determination, sacrifice, careful preparation, and orienteering skills. Most people never even finish the race. They quit because they are lost, starving, dehydrated, lost their will to finish, lacked the endurance to finish, didn't prepare enough.

Participants get a map and a compass. The route of the course is unmarked.

The Barkley Marathon Factoids
  • Takes place in late March / early April.
  • The Barkley course was designed by Gary "Lazarus Lake" Cantrell.
  • The Barkley is named after Gary's running buddy Barry Barkley.
  • Only 40 runners are allowed to run the Barkley each year.
  • Potential entrants must complete an essay on "Why I Should be Allowed to Run in the Barkley".
  • Potential entrants are expected to be experienced at running endurance races / marathons. It is not for amateurs.
  • The entrance fee is a mere $1.60.
  • First time runners are required to bring a license plate from their state/country as part of the entrance fee.
  • If accepted, an entrant receives a "letter of condolence".
  • The course is a 20 mile unmarked loop. Each runner must complete the loop 5 times to finish.
  • There are no aid stations except water at two points along the route.
  • The combined hill climb involved during the race includes 54,200 feet of accumulated vertical climb.
  • The race officially begins when a cigarette is lit by the race director, Gary Cantrell.
  • Between 1995 and 2017 only 18 people have ever finished the Barkley. The vast majority fail to even finish.
  • The current record is held by Brett Maune who in 2012 finished the race in 52 hours, 3 minutes and 8 seconds.
In 2012 a documentary about the Barkley was made, titled "The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young". The documentary film is currently available on Netflix.



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