The Archer’s Checklist

You know that feeling you have when packing for a trip and your gut is telling you that you forgot something? You are in the car or on the plane contemplating what item you left behind. Usually it is not a huge deal, but you still feel humiliated for leaving behind an essential item like a toothbrush or a swimsuit. Luckily in those situations, you can conveniently resort to stopping at a Walmart and buying those things. But in archery if you forget a piece of equipment once you’re at the tournament venue, you are more often than not out of luck. There isn’t much worse in the archery world than that sunken feeling when you open your case and realize that you’re missing a vital piece to your bow while your gut says, “I told you so”.


So to help you minimize your chances of experience that embarrassing moment on the archery field, we did the hard work of making you a checklist. (Don’t worry, you can thank us later!).


The Obvious:

These might seem like no-brainers, but hey, double checking never hurt anybody! Who knows… you could be mentally focused on shooting a personal best and one of these items could have slipped your mind. No judging from us! And it’s better to catch it now than when you are putting your bow together right before the shoot!


  • Quiver
  • Arrows (marked!)
  • Finger Tab/Release
  • Arm Guard
  • Finger Sling
  • Limbs
  • Riser/Bow
  • Team Shirt
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Sight Bar
  • Sight Aperture 
  • Stabilizer(s)
  • String
  • Stringer

Other Essentials:

The less obvious, but still important things you should definitely bring along to any tournament!


  • Pen/Pencil

    To mark your arrows, simply use a Sharpie to write you initials on the arrow shaft. Having both a black and silver pen is helpful depending on the color of your arrow.
  • Sharpie
  • Sight Markings
  • Training Log
  • Scope/Tripod 
  • Binoculars 
  • Arrow Puller
  • Arrow Lube
  • Towel
  • Allen/Hex Wrenches
  • Bow Square
  • USA Archery Membership Card
  • First Aid/ Tackle Box
  • Chest Protector 
  • Bow Stand/ Bow Pod


You never know when you’re going to have an equipment failure. Yes, some are easy fixes, but some are beyond repair within the limited time you have to get back on the line. The more secondary items you have, the better. Here are just some of the more frequently needed to bring. Don’t limit yourself just to these items, and bring your (tuned and sighted in) backup setup if you have one. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!


  • String
  • Sight 
  • Finger tap/release 
  • Limbs
  • Arrows 
  • Knocks
  • Finger Sling
  • Fletching/vanes


For outdoor tournaments, a scope is always useful to have on the line or back under the tent so you can see exactly where your arrows are hitting on the target!


Anything that mentally puts you at ease is always helpful to have. We each have or own personal preferences, but here are some universal examples. The more comfortable you feel, the more relaxed you’ll shoot, and the higher your scores will be!


If there are certain shoes that you normally shot in, make sure they are packed. Check the weather for any outdoor tournaments, and be prepared for anything: hot, cold, rain, wind. If you like to wear glasses, sunglasses, or a lucky hat, bring them as well!


Tournaments can be long days of both physical and mental exhaustion. It is important to fuel up throughout the day to keep your energy going. We will cover nutrition another time, but for now we encourage you to bring any snacks/drinks you always like to have. It can be a banana, nuts, granola bars, Gatorade, or even Coach Cindy’s favorite, peanut butter M&Ms (*wink wink*)!


Again, some tournaments can be a long day. It’s important to remain focused on each shot on the line, but with the down time off the line, bring whatever helps you relax your mind and not over think too much. Charge your phone enough so you can listen to music or a podcast, bring a book or magazine your reading, or just a sketchbook to draw. And especially for outdoor tournaments, we recommend a tent and foldable chair.