How to Be a Heroine: Archery Equipment

Hello, everyone! I'm back with another installment of How to Be a Heroine! The heroine that is being featured in this post, as well as some further installments of this series, is Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games series. Today, we're going to be starting with square one of archery: the equipment.

The first thing you're going to need is a bow. There are three main types of bows, two of which are used by Katniss in The Hunger Games, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Katniss uses a longbow when she's hunting beyond the fence of District 12, and she uses a recurve bow while she is in the arena.

A longbow is a traditional bow, and like its name implies, it very tall. Usually it is about as tall as the user, but mine comes up to my shoulder. When it is not strung, the bow lays flat, but has a "D" shape when it strung. These bows typically have a long range, and they have a longer pull because of their length.

A recurve bow is another traditional bow. When it is strung, the tips of the bow curve away from the archer. Because of the extra tension that this bow provides, it tends to have more power than the traditional longbow. Katniss uses the recurve bow while she is in the arena.

The last major type of bow is a compound bow, which is a modern bow that uses pulleys, cables, and a levering system to bend the limbs. This bow is stronger than both the longbow and the recurve bow. This bow was not used in the first and second movies. While Mockingjay the book describes the bow that Katniss uses having special features, it is possible that she could be using a compound bow. But in pictures taken on set, she is using a recurve bow.

For our purposes, I'm going to be focusing on the longbow and recurve bow. Now, you can buy these bows in archery shops or sporting goods stores if you are lucky. I actually bought my longbow online at It was actually made from PVC pipe, and it's working out quite well. You can find the etsy shop that I found it at this link. My recurve bow is actually given to me by my uncle. It belonged to my late grandfather. So other than finding a really cool hobby, I'm also learning a skill that my grandfather practiced. Since Katniss got one of her bows from her father, I thought it was only fitting to have a bow passed down in my family.

Another good thing to have is arrows. You need to have strong enough arrows so that the force of the bow does not break the arrow. Plus the arrow needs to be the right weight so that it does not immediately drop to the ground or fly off course. For this you need to find out your bow's strength and pick one accordingly. The best thing to do is to go to your local sporting store and ask for help. That's what both my brother and I did to match our arrows to our bows. Also make sure that the length of the arrow matches the length of your arm so that you have the proper pull for your bow.

Another thing that is necessary for archery is a bow string. One of my strings came with my bow, and the other string my great uncle procured for me. You can get your strings from sports and archery stores. If you are using a traditional bow, be sure to mention that when looking for the correct string. 

The next few things that I am going to list are not necessarily needed in order to shoot a bow. However, if you are going to spend enough money for a bow, arrows, and string, you'll probably want to practice with your bow regularly. These things will help you practice, especially if you are new to shooting a bow.

The first thing you may want to look into purchasing is a quiver. Many people have been using hip quivers that attach to a belt or a belt loop. I prefer the back quiver that Katniss uses. You can get both of these types of quivers on, but I made my own quiver. I hope that I'll be able to show y'all all what I did to make it in a later episode of How to Be a Heroine.

The next thing that I would suggest investing in is an arm guard. This piece of equipment protects your arm from the backlash of the string. For the first few times that I practiced with my bow, I had incredibly large and painful bruises because one: I did not have the proper technique to actually shoot a bow and two: I didn't have the proper gear to protect myself. I was lucky enough to have a great uncle look at the bruises and knew what they were. He got me one that makes my arm incredibly happy. You can get yours on and local sporting stores.

The last thing I think would be good for those considering archery is a shooting glove. It protects the tips of the three fingers that pull the string back. If you plan on doing target practice and continuously fire the bow, you'll probably get a lot of wear and tear on the tips. Again you can get these at a sporting goods store or online shops like

Of course, you will need a place to shoot your bow. Your best bet is to do a Google search of shooting ranges around your area. If you're like me and live in the middle of nowhere, you can get a few hay bales or target blocks from Wal Mart and shoot behind your house.


So now you have everything you need to start your Katniss training! Know that this is just what I think you would need in order to start shooting a bow. It would also be beneficial to you to visit your local shooting ranges and sporting stores and get an experts opinion. Again, I am not the end all for all things archery. I just hope that you find enough interest to take the necessary steps for you to feel comfortable pulling back the string. Next time, I'll talk about technique and strengthening exercises that you can do in between shooting.

So that's it for this edition of How to Be a Heroine! Let me know down below of other heroines and abilities you would like to see in upcoming episodes. You can subscribe to the blog by adding your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button off to the right. You can be up to date on the ridiculousness about my life or about the blog by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. You can also follow the tumblr dedicated to the blog, and you can find it by clicking this link. Read on, lovelies! I'll see you next post!

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