Scanning the internet for a list of bugout bag essentials is not hard to do. More often than not there are repeated items on many of the lists of all the must-haves that a person should include.

However, what doesn’t come up on many (if any) lists is a takedown bow and arrow set. For those not “in the know,” a takedown bow is exactly what its name implies, both a bow and arrow (or arrows) that easily break down into a number of parts for effortless transport while trekking through any type of environment.

A takedown bow offers numerous advantages in a wide variety of survival scenarios. Here, we take aim and release nine of a takedown survival bow’s most useful characteristics.


A takedown bow specifically aimed for survival use keeps the design simple, free of beautified and often needless aesthetics. Assembly of the unit is fast and seamless, and it offers ease of use for the average “Joe” even when first handling the bow. These bows have fewer parts than today’s complicated compound bows and there’s little that can go wrong with them. They’re made to be dependable in survival situations.

The SAS Tactical Bow full assembled and ready to shoot.


No matter where you need to travel during your bugout activity, being able to move quickly and smoothly is essential. Large, oversized tools and weapons can hinder pace, progress and create unneeded fatigue during your travels. A takedown bow doesn’t have these limitations. When broken down, a bow and its included take-apart arrows take up a space of about one to one-and-a-half feet in length and only four to six inches in width. Strung in a carry bag over your shoulder, you won’t even know you have with you…until you need it!

“A takedown bow offers numerous advantages in a wide variety of survival scenarios.”

The SAS bow folds down to an easy-to-carry size that can be slung over your shoulder.
An arrow conveniently stores within the body of the bow.
Both the bow and arrows fit perfectly in an easy-carry pouch.


Noise can do a lot of harm when you’re bugging out. It can alert others to your location or scare away needed four-legged food sources. However, with a takedown bow, you’ll be able to hunt and/or defend yourself in virtual silence. No noise is created from assembling the bow, as well as breaking it down, and the only sound it will emit when fired is a virtually silent whisper as the arrow slices through the air. Impact hits are also silent, so the target hit won’t alert others of their unfortunate demise.

With a little practice, large game can be secured with a survival bow.


Time is of the essence in a lot of survival situations. From hunting to defense, minutes or seconds can mean the difference between life and death, as well as eating dinner or going hungry through the night. Typically consisting of three to five parts, these bows can be assembled within seconds with a little bit of practice and some repetitive use in the field. The limbs either slide out of the handle and lock into place, or just sit one inside the other and lock into place once the string is tight between the two ends.

Most survival bows assemble without any screws or bolts.
Assembly is easy with most survival bows. Here, the limbs fold outward, and you just add the string.


Firearm ammo is finite, meaning that once it’s gone it’s gone, and your sidearm or rifle becomes nothing more than a blunt impact tool. A takedown bow (or any bow for that matter) utilizes reusable ammo in the form of its arrows. Yes, arrows can be lost due to a wild, out-of-control shot or broken due to an impact against a rock, but the majority of arrows can be retrieved and reused.

Three take-down arrows come with the SAS bow.

Additionally, the arrows included can be unscrewed into two easy-to-carry and store parts, but in a pinch regular, one-piece arrows can also be used without any noticeable decrease in performance. Also, when things really get bad and supplies are either scarce or non-existent, a person given sufficient time can craft arrows from scratch and the bow is back in action.

The simple, yet innovative construction, allows easy disassembly and inside storage.


With some brief trial-and-error use, nearly anyone can learn to fire a bow and arrow on their own without professional training. A takedown bow may require an additional step with its assembly and its break-down, but overall it’s a straightforward process. With a firearm, you’ll need a training course for overall operation of the firearm, practice to shoot with consistency, and knowledge of how to disassemble and clean the weapon when your shooting session is completed. Speaking of simplicity, a bow versus a firearm, it’s not even a close comparison.

survival bow
Most survival bows assemble without any screws or bolts.


Takedown bows can range in price from $50 to about $200, depending upon quality of materials and any bells and whistles that some may exhibit, including carrying cases and arrows with higher end tips or shafts. Compared to prices for firearms reaching a few thousand dollars, take-down bows are a relatively “cheap” weapon to add to your bugout bag or emergency kit.


The takedown bow, due to its simplicity and its relative safe-to-use operation, is ideal for men, women, and teens. So essentially, all family members (minus small children, of course) can stock this valuable weapon in their survival kits. This allows for more chances of bagging game, as well as greater protection from both four- and two-legged predators. Firearms are a very “adult” style weapon and the fear of younger-aged people needing to use them can ring negatively in the minds of parents. A bow doesn’t hold that stigma.

The Scout Survival Bow ready for action.


As stated earlier, a take-down bow can serve multiple purposes. It is valuable for self-defense, from both man and beast, as well as a hunting tool that can be used for food precuring purposes. A bow, set up properly and with the proper arrows, can take small and large game, birds and fish. It can and has been used to take virtually every game animal on Earth.

A wild boar doesn’t stand a chance against this powerful bow.

Additionally, in extreme survival situations, a takedown bow can be further broken down into its base components such as the handle, the limbs, and the string, which can then be repurposed for survival necessities, such as a bow drill or tent stakes.


A takedown bow can be a key essential to your survival gear. One can be a great addition stowed in your backpack, kept at your base camp or placed for emergency use in the trunk of your vehicle. Its benefits are numerous, and its drawbacks are few.

Most survival bows are compact and easy to carry and store.


A quick internet search will reveal numerous outlets for survival takedown bows, but we’ll save you the time with these quality options.


This company offers three styles of bow from tactical to survival bows ranging in price from $199.95 to $499.95.


Family owned and operated since 2010, this company produces the Rapture compact takedown bow. It offers an aluminum skeleton with a universal arrow rest, and it also is one of the lightest compact bows on the market today.


This survival kit-of-the-month website offers the Wrascal “Survive 55” takedown bow. This survival bow sports 55-pound fiberglass limbs, an aluminum riser and three takedown arrows. No sights for this baby. It allows you to learn instinctive shooting which is essential under stressful survival conditions.

Editor’s Note:

A version of this article first appeared in the April 2022 issue of American Outdoor Guide Boundless.


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