The TV comedy Parks and Recreation may have had its series finale already, but fans still love the character Ron Swanson. Luckily, you can feel a little like Ron Swanson yourself, and it doesn’t even require growing a big mustache. If you’d like to add some of his old-fashioned, manly swagger to your own life, here are six unique hobbies that would surely be Swanson-approved:
Gunsmithing is a unique artform and skill involving the design, repair, and building of guns. Some gunsmithing enthusiasts build guns from scratch, while others prefer to repair old antique guns, or engrave and enhance the appearance of guns that are already in good working order. You can take gunsmithing classes at some local gun shops or specialty workshops, or take gunsmithing lessons by video via the American Gunsmithing Institute.
Have you always wanted to build a beautiful dining room table or chair from scratch? Learning woodworking takes time and discipline, but many technical schools and community classes offer beginning woodworking classes. Once you get more serious about woodworking, you will need a quiet (preferably soundproofed, for your neighbors’ sakes) place to work and some essential tools, such as an air compressor, different kinds of saw, and sanders.
Hunting for pheasant or other fowl will make you feel like a gentleman in the English countryside, no matter where you live. If you have a beloved dog that happens to be a good hunting breed, this can be a hobby you enjoy together. Just be sure to follow the basic rules of bird hunting, like wearing bright orange clothing and making sure you have the proper hunting license for your state.
If you’re a total beginner to hunting, it’s a good idea to go on an organized and supervised hunt with a guide the first few times you go out. These are usually organized by hunting clubs, so feel free to contact one in your area.
Ham Radio Operating
Becoming a ham radio enthusiast will have you feeling like an old-fashioned movie spy in no time. Ham radio enthusiasts repair and use old radios to communicate with people around the world. This is a hobby with a long history, and many useful applications. Sometimes ham radio amateurs are even called on to communicate messages to the public during emergencies. In order to legally broadcast over the air from your radio you will need to get licensed by the National Association for Amateur Radio.
Archery is a skill that requires the kind of calm, steely focus. Being able to safely and proficiently operate a bow and arrow, and then successfully use the bow and arrow for target practice requires time, patience, and preferably lessons. Look for local archery schools or archery parks in your area. Once you have the basics down, you’ll be able to aim your bow and arrow at 3D targets designed to look like animals. You may even be able to participate in archery competitions.
If you learn to forge hot iron into horseshoes or crafts, even Ron Swanson would be impressed. Blacksmithing is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, so look for classes taught by a local individual blacksmith or a blacksmith collective. Once you hone your new skill, you may even be able to make money off of it. Blacksmiths often sell their wares at local festivals or in online shops, and can also earn money giving blacksmithing demonstrations in old timey dress.
By adding these unique, old-fashioned hobbies and skills to your life, you will soon be almost as interesting as Ron Swanson himself.