Friday, April 2, 2010

Ingredients for a good ‘mancation’: The great outdoors, sports and machine guns

I recently took a “mancation” to shoot machine guns in the desert, watch Cactus League baseball, visit a copper mine and explore Phoenix.
For the uninitiated, a mancation is a man vacation. Just the guys. No day spas or shopping or things women might enjoy. Mancations are about manly stuff – thrill seeking, adolescent fun, maybe some geeky things.
The possibilities are endless.
They range from the mundane (golf vacations) to the extreme (running with the bulls in Pamplona).
The concept of mancations has been featured in such movies as “City Slickers” and “The Bucket List.”
I’ve taken a few mancations in my life. My college roommate Scott and I drove from Chicago to Key West, Fla., in December 1988 and rode the rapids on the Upper Gauley River in West Virginia in September 1998. I also explored China with my brother Bill in May 1999.
Obviously it’s been awhile since my last mancation.
But here’s my list of guidelines for mancations:

10 Mancation Rules

1. No women allowed. (Duh.)
2. No shopping excursions, spas, theaters, and other activities popular with ladies.
3. No getting dressed up. No fancy restaurants or events.
4. Shaving not necessary. Grow that beard if you want.
5. Red meat diet. (Steaks, burgers, etc.) No vegetarians.
6. Beer.
7. No talking about your feelings.
8. Limited contact back home. (i.e. Calls to wife or girlfriend.)
9. Activities must include one or more of the following: the great outdoors, sports, big machines, and other macho stuff.
10. Have fun.

Photo: Riding the rapids on the Upper Gauley River in West Virginia.

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