All weather conditions present various challenges for competing as my earlier blog about weather can attest. If you have been shooting for some time, you probably already have experienced what the weather can do to your equipment. The rain, or any adverse weather, can have some undesired long-term effects on your bow.
Rain is especially tricky as it can get into all kinds of small places that you would never even expect like inside your string, inside your plunger or other various tiny screw holes. It can even impact the inserts for your limbs. If ignored, rust can form and make things very difficult to adjust in the future, which can lead to a lot of work to fix or money to replace.
Rain can also create havoc during competition with your equipment like impacting plunger performance, making your handle slippery, and it can even impact limb reaction speed. However the most common and problematic is with your sight. Besides the potential of additional weight on the arrows, impacting your sight marks, there is the potential of faded sight marks or the sight mark tape losing adhesive and peeling completely off.
Although shooting in the rain is unavoidable for any competitive archer, there are a few things you can do before, during and after a rainy competition.
- String: Make sure your string is waxed
- Handle: Add grip (adhesive or wrap) to the handle
- Pack: A Towel, Small Tarp, Plastic bags, Umbrella, Footwear, etc…
- Before Each End:
- String: Pluck your string to remove any accumulation of water.
- Between Ends
- Sight : Protect your sight with a Ziploc or small plastic bag when not shooting
- Bow: Store your bow under a tent, tarp or umbrella
- Finger Tab: Store your finger tab in a dry place.
- During Breaks
- All Equipment: Use a towel to dry off all surfaces
- String: Pluck the string before taking it off the bow.
- All Metal and Plastic Equipment: Thoroughly dry off all surfaces and meticulously towel dry all small parts of your bow including sight, limb fittings, plunger, any screws, etc..
- All Other Material Equipment: Take a hair dryer to your finger tab, sling, arm guard etc…
- Bow & arrows: Towel dry each arrow shaft and dry your feathers.
Personally, I love shooting in the rain, it can be lots of fun if you are in the right mindset. So, if you are prepared, all you need to do enjoy it.