Basic archery equipment for instinctive shooting includes: a bow, an optional bow stringer, arrows, arm guard, quiver, and a shooting glove or finger tab (or finger protectors installed on the bow string).
The bow you select can be a long bow, a recurve, a take-down recurve, or a compound bow depending on your personal preference and whether you plan to use it for target archery, field archery, or hunting. Since most of you will use your bows for either target archery or field archery, we recommend a recurve or take-down recurve bow. The advantage of a take-down recurve bow is that the limbs of the bow can be replaced to achieve different draw weights (see below). Additionally, take-down recurve bows are very reasonably priced. You can find examples of take-down recurve bows by visiting the LL Bean website or googling Samick Sage or Martin Saber take-down recurve bows.
It is essential that whatever bow you purchase be matched to your level of strength in pulling the bow to a full draw. This is referred to as the draw weight and can vary from 20 pounds to 80 pounds or more of pull. As a general rule 35 pounds of draw weight is adequate for target and field archery. Lower weights, particularly for smaller framed individuals, are quite acceptable.
A bow stringer is not a requirement but is extremely useful for the beginner as well as the experienced archer. It comes in various types ranging from a wooden frame over which the bow can be braced, to a single cord with leather tips at each end to assist in stringing the bow with your feet and hands. The cord bow stringer is inexpensive and easy to carry in your pocket and can help prevent damage to your bow.
The arrows you select should be matched to the bow weight in terms of the flex of the arrow shaft to obtain the best accuracy. Arrow length is also very important and should be matched to your arm length at full draw. Arrow points can vary from target points, to field points, to blunt points, to fishing points, to broadheads, depending on your intended use.
Quivers can vary from shoulder quivers, back quivers, belt quivers, pocket quivers, to bow quivers, all depending on your preference and the number of arrows you want to carry, and the type of archery you prefer.
Arm guards can vary in size and length from elbow to wrist or longer. Shooting gloves, finger tabs and other forms of finger protectors can also vary depending on your preference and intended use. For those who prefer 'free style' shooting, there are many different types of bow sights that can be installed on your bow, or even come attached to the bow you select to buy. For beginners in instinctive archery, we recommend postponing purchase of sights until and unless you deem them necessary.
Accessory tackle can be very helpful and might include: a bow case for transporting your bow, knocking points to insure proper placement of the arrow on the bow string, an extra bow string matched to the length and pull weight of your bow, bowstring wax to prolong the life of your bowstring, extra arrows matched to your bow, a storage rack or wall hook to hold your bow when not in use, a target with tripod stand for use in practice sessions at home, and even a line spool to attach to your bow for use with arrows equipped with fishing points for bow fishing from a boat where allowed on streams and lakes.
A useful guide to archery is The Archery Bible, available online. Besides googling archery, and elements of archery, to learn more about the sport and its equipment, you might consider browsing the following commercial sites: