Here's a basic toolkit for on-the-field jobs that you might need to do to keep your recurve or compound bow in working order:
- Allen (hex) keys - a set that includes all of the common metric sizes: 5mm, 4mm, 3mm, 2.5mm, 2mm, and 1.5mm.
Sometimes there are odd sizes, e.g. 1.2mm for a pressure button. Always keep the Allen keys that came with your equipment.
- Screwdriver/bits (especially hex bits), if your equipment needs them. Some sights attach with a Phillips head bolt.
- Knife - useful for removing glue from arrows or stick-on arrow rests, and all sorts of other things.
- Bow square - used to check your bracing height, tiller, and nocking point position.
- Small pair of pliers. Handy for adjusting arrow rests and nocking points.
- Fletching glue. Bohning Fletch-Tite Platinum is a good one for aluminium or carbon arrows. Superglue gel is fine for aluminium shafts, but can be very tricky to remove from carbon without lifting the fibres.
- A tube of string wax. Use this to keep your string in good shape. Ensure you get the right sort for your string material. Apply it monthly.
- Dental floss or nocking point thread - for tying nocking points.
- At least 2 spare arrows, ready to go, in your arrow tube, so that you can carry on with a round if you lose a fletching. Later on, you might also want to keep 2 unfletched arrows for use in bow tuning.
- Arrow nocks - 6 or 12. Push-in nocks can be replaced in seconds when damaged, avoiding the need to change arrows. Other types may require gluing.
- Spare fletchings. Keep a dozen of each colour in your kit. It's usually better to glue on a new fletching rather than re-attach the old one.
- Spare arrow rest. If you use a plastic stick-on rest, keep a few spares - they wear out quickly.
- String. They rarely fail these days, but it can happen, so definitely something to consider if you take part in competitions.
- Sight pin. These most often break when a bow is knocked or dropped, but are usually replaceable without buying a whole new sight. Note the position of the old pin before replacing!
- Spare finger sling (they're easy to lose).