One of the perks of participating in competitive archery is the travel, which can take you to some amazing places. The key to a smooth trip starts with good packing. Whether you’re going on a short road trip or flying to a tournament, you’ll need a few essentials.
To protect your bow during travel, you’ll need a proper bow case. If you’re flying, make sure your case is airline-approved and can handle the rigors of a flight. You’ll find soft- and hard-shell cases that are rated for air travel, so consider your personal preference. Hard cases are more durable, but soft cases are lighter and easier to handle. Seasoned competitors prefer cases with wheels and good arrow storage.
Checking Your Bow
Flying with a bow is simple. Notify the attendants at the check-in counter that you have archery equipment to check. You might have to wheel your case to a special scanner where TSA employees will inspect the contents. After this process is complete, it’s a good idea to lock your case. You can use your own lock or the standard TSA locks. If you choose your own lock and TSA chooses to re-inspect your bow, they will call your name over the loudspeaker so you can unlock the case for further inspection.
Shooting Gear and Equipment Repair
Your bow case can hold more than just your bow and arrows. You can pack all your necessary shooting equipment in your case so that everything is one place.
Even if it seems unnecessary, make a packing list. Every archer who has traveled to a tournament and forgotten a release or a bowstring will advise you to check your list twice.
A small repair kit is always a good idea, because screws may loosen or you might need to execute a quick repair during a tournament. Some items to include: Allen wrenches, serving material, super glue, lighter, razor knife and extra fletching.
The tournament targets might be brand new, so it could be harder to pull your arrows from them. Arrow lube and an arrow puller will help save your strength for shooting arrows instead of pulling them.
Packing clothes seems obvious, but remember to bring clothing that’s appropriate for the weather and tournament dress code. Checking the weather and carefully read the governing bodies rules before you pack your suitcase can prevent much heartache once you reach your destination.
Sun Screen, Bug Spray and Extra Comforts
If you’re shooting an outdoor tournament, you’ll likely need sunscreen and possibly insect repellent. After applying sunscreen, wash your hands and remove the slippery oils from your palms, or you’ll have trouble gripping your bow.
And don’t forget the food. Snacks are always a good item to pack for tournaments. Some events can take much longer than your local shoots and will stretch your time between meals. A granola bar or some jerky can stave off your hunger and keep you focused. If you’re driving to a tournament, you can pack more comforts like water, a folding chair and a cooler.