How To Carry A Bow On Your Back

Let’s face it, a bow is not the smallest piece of equipment but when you are out in the field, you must be able to comfortably carry it.

One of the best ways to do this is to carry the bow on your back, but a lot of people want to know how to do this without it being difficult or causing strain.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the best way to carry a bow on your back, freeing up your hands and giving you a more comfortable archery experience.

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Why Carry A Bow On Your Back?

One of the main reasons that carrying your bow on your back works so well is that it is easily accessible. If you are hunting game, you never know when a target might appear. You will need to be able to access your bow quickly and more important, quietly. When it is on your back, this is easily done.

On top of this, when you are out and about, you will not want any extra weight dragging you down. If you have to carry your bow in your hands, you will quickly become tired and this can have an adverse effect on your shot.

Furthermore, your hands will be free to do other things. This is so important for bowhunters because out in the wilderness, you may need to climb or use your hands to support yourself over uneven ground and this is almost impossible when you are carrying a bow in them.

However, a bow is not designed to fit onto the back without using the correct equipment and if there is an issue with height, the task can be almost impossible.

Before you get started, you must ensure that you have been properly fitted for your bow. You wouldn’t believe how many new archers pick up any old bow and assume that they will get on well with it.

There are many things to think about when it comes to choosing the right bow height, and we have written more detailed guides on this. But for the purposes of this article, all you need to know is that a professional archery shop will be able to help you find the right size.

Not only will this make it easier for you to carry the bow on your back but it will also make it easier to use.

The Best Way To Carry A Bow On Your Back

Whether you are using a recurve bow or a compound bow, you should be able to comfortably carry it on your back. Using a bow sling is the best way to do this without damaging the bow, or yourself.

But before you choose your sling, it is vital that you measure your bow to ensure that you will find a sling that fits. If the sling is too big, you will find that the bow moves around and this defeats the point of carrying your bow on your back for convenience.

To measure for the sling, you will need to know the length of the bow, preferably in inches. To do this, you will measure the distance between your chest and fingertips of an extended arm, before adding one inch to this measurement; this will be the size of the bow sling.

Homemade Bow Slings

You can, by all means, purchase a bow sling but the truth is that it is incredibly easy to make your own. All you need is a piece of material that is soft and durable, such as a cotton towel, and the knowledge of how to properly fit it to your body.

  • Take the towel and gather it together before wrapping it around the bowstring.
  • The sling should be fitted across your back and under your shoulder. You will see how the bow sits at an angle, making it much easier to carry.
  • You should test the bow to make sure that the string does not move around. If it does, you may notice that it irritates your throat or neck. If everything is correctly positioned, the bow should rest on your back without moving around, even as you move about.
  • When it comes time to use the bow, you will need to take the bow by its bottom end and bring it over your head and arm.

Testing The Sling

Once you have gotten your bow sling and fitted it onto your body, you must test how it feels before going out on a hunt. The last thing you want is for the bow to slide around or for you to be uncomfortable.

You can easily test the bow sling by walking around and moving as naturally as possible. Some people like to exert themselves a little but running or jumping, as you never know when you might need to pull out these moves when out in the field.

Once you are confident that the bow feels secure and that you are comfortable, you are ready to try it out for real.

Pros And Cons Of Carrying Your Bow On Your Back

Carrying your bow on your back is one of the most convenient methods, however, as with anything, there are pros and cons to this way of transporting your bow.

In favor of carrying your bow this way, the most obvious plus point is that you will have your hands free for other tasks.

Furthermore, if you are hiking over long distances, having your bow on your back will be much more comfortable. It might be easy to carry a bow in your hands for a few minutes but try doing it for a few hours and we guarantee you will feel the burn.

However, in contrast, when you carry the bow this way, there is room for the limbs to be damaged since they are completely exposed. You will need to be mindful of hitting the bow against things.

In line with the above point, carrying a bow on your back can take a little getting used to. You will need to learn how to move around with this extra piece of equipment in the way. For example, if you duck under a tree branch, you will need to do this so that the bow does not make contact with the branch.

Finally, if you do not take the time to adjust the sling properly, it could chafe on the skin.

Tips For Carrying A Bow On Your Back

While there are some downsides to carrying your bow on your back, in the main, this is an excellent idea. That being said, we have some great tips to help you to make the most out of the experience as well as making it much safer for you.

  • Make sure that you take the time to size up your bow and sling so that there is no chance of your becoming injured or experiencing pain.
  • When wearing the bow on your back, be sure that the sling fits snugly against your body. This will stop the bow from moving around but will also help to prevent chafing which can be terribly uncomfortable.
  • If you feel that a back sling won’t work well for you or will be uncomfortable, there is the option of using an over-the-shoulder method which some people prefer.
  • Never attempt to use the bow when carrying it on your back. When it is time to shoot, you must remove the bow and use it in the normal manner.


When you are out on a bow hunting expedition, you could be out for hours, or even days at a time. This is a long time to have to carry a bow in your hands but there is a solution. Carrying your bow on your back.

Doing this will mean that your hands are left free to do other things and transporting the bow will be much easier. You will certainly not feel the fatigue that you would as quickly as when carrying the bow in your hands. Furthermore, your equipment will be much easier to access when a game target appears.

The best way to do this is by using a bow sling. You can purchase these but you can just as easily use a towel or other material and create a makeshift bow sling.

However, since the bow will be exposed, you must be mindful of your environment. If you are not, this could result in your bow becoming damaged.

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