12 Winter Hobbies For The Self-Reliant Man

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Winter is a tough time, especially if you’re used to being physically active. It’s easy to get bored and stir-crazy so you need to plan for this time in advance. If a disaster strikes or even if you get a bad storm, you may not have electricity or other modern conveniences such as computer games, the internet, or video games, so be sure to have a mental list of hobbies and a stockpile of supplies to get you through.

Here are a few suggestions for winter hobbies for the self-reliant man.

1 – Wood Working

Though electric tools are great, you don’t need them to make things from wood. All you need are some saws, sandpaper, nails, a hammer and maybe some stain or paint and a drill. Hand sanding is time-consuming but you’ll gain two things from it: a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a great eye for not wasting product that you’re just going to have to sand down. You’ll learn to cut much better, we promise!

Oh, and don’t forget: you’ll have a finished product that will be sturdy, reliable, and custom-made to meet your needs. Wood products make great gifts, too. Be sure to stockpile plenty of dry, workable wood and some extra blades, nails and sandpaper or else you’ll end up with a bunch of half-finished projects.

2 – Gardening

A great winter hobby for the self-reliant man is gardening. There’s no reason that your food should lack fresh herbs or, for that matter, some fresh tomatoes or peppers, because they can all be grown inside. You’ll also want to start your summer garden plants in early spring while it’s still freezing so that the young plants will be ready to go in the ground when it warms up enough.

3 – Models and Art from Scraps

You can make models or art from scraps that you have laying around the house. Metal, wood, or even paper Mache projects are all great ways to pass the time and make aesthetically pleasing works of art. You can whittle, machine or layer many different projects.

Ships are beautiful made from wood scraps. Model cars can be formed from either wood or scrap metal such as aluminum. For that matter, you can make windmills and outdoor ovens from that same scrap. It all just depends on how creative you can be. These make great gifts, too.

Video first seen on Instructables.

4 – Board Games

Another great winter hobby for the self-reliant man is playing board games with friends or family. Cards or poker would be included here, too. Sometimes there’s nothing better than whiling away a few hours playing poker with your buddies. It’s a great way to forget about the worries of surviving or of everyday life, and you may even earn yourself a few peanuts in the process!

Playing board games with your kids is a great way to spend some dad time with them. Don’t just play; talk to them. It’s great family bonding time.

5 – Exercising

{adinserter usf}Maintaining your physical fitness is important regardless of whether you’re a stockbroker or a farmer and it’s easy to lie around and get fat and sassy in the winter. It’s a bad idea though for both health and survival reasons.

You don’t need a home gym to maintain your health and your marvelous physique; simple body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges and burpees can keep you in top shape without the need for a weight bench. If you have one, though, kudos and get to it – it’s not just for hanging clothes.

6 – Darts

Get the neighborhood guys together in the garage for some guy time and a little healthy competition. For that matter, bring out the older kids and the wife and involve them too, but don’t be upset if you get beat by a girl.

Darts are not only fun; they’re a great way to improve hand-eye coordination and to keep your aim in top shape. Since a single game can last for an hour depending upon how many are playing, it’s a great way to unwind and burn up a few hours when you have nothing else to do.

7 – Reading

Sometimes there’s nothing better than escaping into the pages of a good book. Even if it’s one that you’ve already read, if you liked it the first time, you’ll most likely pick up on things that you missed on your second read through.

If you like to learn while you read, stockpile some do-it-yourself books or books about your favorite topics. Winter is a great time to improve your skills or to learn new ones.

8 – Leather Crafting

Learning how to make things from leather may serve you very well if SHTF. For that matter, it’s a great skill to have even if you just want to learn to be more self-reliant or if you want to make really cool gifts for your friends.

Leather products aren’t cheap but if you know how to make them, you can create beautiful pieces for very little money, especially if you tan your own hides. Though it’s labor-intensive, it’s a useful skill to have. What may be a hobby today may keep you and your family from freezing to death tomorrow.

Video first seen on 01Humakt.

9 – Music

It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at singing if you enjoy it! Music brings people together and is a great winter hobby for men. Whether you enjoy singing, playing an instrument, or both, just do it! For that matter, use the winter months to LEARN how to play an instrument, even if it’s only the spoons or the kettle. It’s a good time that will bring lots of laughs.

10 – Cooking

Cooking is a great winter hobby for the self-reliant man. There’s nothing better than sitting down with your family to share a wonderful meal that you cooked for them, or for that matter, enjoying it by yourself. If you’re married or have a significant other, cooking is a great way to spend some quality time together.

11 – Making Beer or Wine

This is a great hobby for the winter, especially considering that many beers ferment better in cooler temperatures. Plus, you’ll be the most popular guy in the neighborhood when it’s done!

12 – Tapping the Trees to Gather Sap for Syrup

As winter starts to wind down, the time for tapping maple trees to gather sap for syrup is near. Sap typically starts running anywhere from mid-February to early March and you want to gather as much sap as possible if this is something that you enjoy.

What you can do during the winter to prepare for this is to get your spiles (taps) all put together, clean your equipment, and make sure that everything is in working order. If you’re making your own spiles, be sure that they’re all in working order and ready to go.

The key to finding winter hobbies for a self-reliant man is to figure out what you enjoy doing, or what needs doing, then find a way to do it in the house. Winter is a good time to catch up on all of those indoor tasks that you just didn’t seem to get to in the busy summer months. It’s also a great time to bond with your family or nearby friends.

If you have a winter hobby that you’d like to share with us, please do so in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about them!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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Theresa Crouse

About Theresa Crouse

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors. You can send Theresa a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.
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