During the holiday season, you likely attended a multitude of parties, maybe even some that you actually want to be at. If you are like us, and we know you are, recounting the same boring storing with another person you hope never to meet again was more than you cared to handle, even with free booze. Our solution? Take up some new manly hobbies that will impress and intrigue any random grouping of people brought together for mutual celebration, and entertain yourself in the winter. Dominate the conversation with your everyday life and you’ll mute the guy whining about holiday excess in America.

Hobby #1 – Marksman:

Is there anything more manly than putting back to back rounds inside the same 1” circle? Shooting is an indescribably enjoyable activity, and a wonderful test of focus, coordination and intelligence. Marksmanship requires skill and dedication, therefore making it more socially acceptable than simply getting drunk with the boys and firing some rounds in the air. To get started, you’ll need a gun, ammunition and safe (legal) location to practice.

Some gun ranges will allow you to rent a firearm. Try a few handguns (short-range) and rifles (long-range) to see which you prefer. Chat with the camouflage-wearing attendant behind the counter to learn a bit about the weapons you are using. Learn from him which guns ideal for sharp-shooting, the right caliber, ammunition type, etc, and buy your new best friend, here.

Search your local area for a gun or Shooting Club. Such a membership will make sure you actually get out and use your newly acquired firearm and another source of knowledge. Repeatedly hitting a target requires more than steady hands. Seasoned vets can teach you the subtleties of correcting for distance, wind, gravity, etc. Place your spent targets somewhere in your home guest can’t help but ask you about them.

Hobby #2 – Handyman

Trader by day, home repair by night, he is Handyman! Alright, fixing the busted cabinet door is not as thrilling as life as a crime fighting vigilante, but you will certainly be a hero to your wife. Look around your house. There are probably several items in disrepair that can be quickly improved with minimal effort. Building shit also gives you a sense of accomplishment and self worth. Marvel at what you create.

Before you know it, you’ll be eyeballing that basement bathroom and pricing out new tile. Laying it yourself, of course, you’ll save a pretty penny on labor. You don’t need to be a professional to do this, just have the ability to follow directions. The cliff notes version of tiling goes like this: clean the floor and arrange tiles on the floor. If you enjoy the view, mix your mortar and spread it on the floor (tiles removed, of course). Using spacers, place your tiles on the mortar. Once dried, spread the grout between tiles and sponge up excess. That doesn’t sound like chemical engineering, does it? For detailed tips, check out the DIY Network.

Accomplishing tasks that professionals are usually hired for is impressive to guests and mother-in-laws. It is also a great excuse to by new tools, though, honestly, simple jobs can be completed without the use of expensive equipment. Experience is the best way to grow your skills, so the more you hobby, the better you become. Your favorite hardware shop can offer tips as well. Create, for you are man.

Hobby #3 – Treasure Hunter

You cannot deny that if you were given the chance to trade positions with Indiana Jones, there would be little hesitation in accepting the hat. Some men collect stamps, some wives, but few choose to seek out actual history worthy of a story. Whether or not you use a whip is up to you, but consider the amazing travel you can justify via your hobby. It might even be more attainable than you think.

A junior treasure hunter might begin, “Geocaching,” the act of following GPS coordinates to a “treasure” placed by strangers. Www.geogaching.com lists coordinates for locations around the world. Don’t let the snow outside turn you away; winter hunting is much more manly and challenging. Choose a location you would like to visit, regardless of treasure, and begin your adventure. Indy would be jealous of your technology.

From there you can graduate to shipwrecks and pharaohs. Thousands of ships around the world sadly sit at the bottom of the ocean, crying to be explored. Equip yourself with some scuba gear, a map of fallen ships, your shark knife, and try for your best Aquaman impression. You will be limited to offshore wrecks, unless you acquire an awesome submarine. Ask James Cameron if you can borrow his.

If you prefer life on land, why not explore beneath your feet? Archeological digs are occurring constantly around the globe. For a small “dig fee” you can join in these earth moving exercises. You might find yourself in Pompeii, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia or some other exotic locale, like Ireland. Yes even Ireland is home to digs. You could prove to your friends the country is not actually a floating island of discarded Guinness kegs. This scholarly debate needs your strong back.