Knowing a few basic skills can potentially save you time, money, and frustration. And should the time arrive to use these skills to save the day, you might just impress someone enough to snag a first date. By mastering these skills, you’ll also have a few great lessons to teach your kids someday. You may have to get your hands dirty, but the satisfaction of a job well done will make it well worth it. Here are four essential skills every guy should know.
1. Changing a tire
A grown man who has the physical ability to change a tire should never be sitting around waiting on AAA. A flat tire is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and prove your manliness to the world and yourself. But there are a few things you need to know first: As soon as you can after buying a car, learn where and how to access your spare tire, car jack, and tools. They are on the vehicle somewhere. You need to know if you have lock nuts and how to unlock/disable them.
Know how your jack works and how it’s supposed to attach to the vehicle (they are all different). You don’t want to have to figure that out in 95-degree weather on the side of the highway. And remember, break the lug nuts loose by a half turn before you jack the car up, otherwise you’ll just be spinning your tires trying. If the nuts won’t break loose, it’s probably because they were overtightened by a compressor. It’s OK to call for help then, because you’re stuck, but at least you gave it a try first.
2. Hammer time
Having some sort of building skills is essential. You don’t have to know how to build an entire house, but learning the basic rules of framing may save you money during your kitchen remodel. Before you take on that project, learning to swing a hammer is critical. I’m not talking about hammering a picture nail — I’m talking about heavy-duty nails that take some time to pound into the wall. I know, I know — you know how to use a cordless drill, but swinging a hammer from time to time will give you an appreciation for the work you’re doing. And when your battery dies on that drill (because it will eventually), you’ll still be able to finish your fence project, while getting a workout too.
3. Nature provides
If you were a caveman, how would you provide food for your family? Would it be hunting, fishing, foraging, or gardening? Picking up one of these skills will not only provide for the family dinner plate, but will also create an opportunity to engage your family in these activities and spend time with the kids. If you live in the city, start a rooftop garden, or even an herb garden on your windowsill. If you have never been fishing, have a friend take you to learn the ropes. Find a hunting expert and try your hand on the range with a rifle. Get out there, cast that line, and you may just catch a life long hobby.
No matter where you live there is always some basic maintenance skills that need to be kept up with. Even living in an apartment where there is a maintenance employee requires some upkeep from the occupant. Learn how your home works. Change air filters, check drain lines, inspect drain pans, and clean out dryer exhausts. These types of simple maintenance will keep these systems running smoothly and extend their life. You may also find a problem prior to it becoming an emergency.
It will save you money in the long run on recurring bills and major replacements. Maintained systems run more efficiently and last longer. Having these basic skills and doing a few minor tasks will ensure you keep your man card. Don’t slack. If you don’t know how to do any of these, ask a friend. I would be happy to teach any friend some of the skills I’ve learned. Of course, I’m going to rib him a little bit first for not knowing, but after that it’s down to learning. And if you have skills to pass on to others, do it.