How-Tos for the Handyman

While it isn't the sexiest fire, the one you are going to build the most exists somewhere between Tom Hanks' victorious first spark in Castaway and a lighter fuel-soaked stack of pallets. Learning how to start a fire without a match is a valuable survival skill, but it's not one that can be taught in a few hundred words. We suggest practicing that middle ground—the one-match fire.

» Learn How to Start a Fire
(Lijuan Guo/Shutterstock)
starting a fire camp fire how to guide best way to

Start a Fire

While it isn't the sexiest fire, the one you are going to build the most exists somewhere between Tom Hanks' victorious first spark in Castaway and a lighter fuel-soaked stack of pallets. Learning how to start a fire without a match is a valuable survival skill, but it's not one that can be taught in a few hundred words. We suggest practicing that middle ground—the one-match fire.

» Learn How to Start a Fire

Swing an Axe

Have the center of your pelvis lined up with your nose, lined up with the axe, lined up with what you're hitting—on the same plane. Focus your breath. Just like throwing a punch, exhale with the swing and breathe through it when you connect.

» Learn How to Fell a Tree

Stirling Hart Chopping Wood
(Courtesy of Stirling Hart)


Split Firewood

Head speed is everything. Get it moving fast and true and it'll do the work for you: Grip the handle at the base; Slide your dominant hand up the shaft as you raise the maul, down it during the swing; and, as they say in baseball, swing through your target. And no sandals. .

» Learn How to Split Firewood

(Catalin Petolea/Shutterstock)


Build a Solar Water Heater

Cut your heating bill and give a boost to the environment by building your own solar water heating system.

» Learn How to Build a Solar Water Pre-Heat Sytem

solar water heater hot water solar power solar energy installation home house roof
(kenny1/Shutterstock)


Clean a Deer

With an estimated 30 million deer in the United States alone, and the ever increasing emphasis on locavore eating ethics, it's time you traded in that Patagonia catalogue for Cabela’s and started learning how to provide on a whole new level.

» Learn How to Clean a Deer

hunting cleaning a deer carcass eating game deer meat
(Valerie Johnson/Shutterstock)


Grow Your Own Vegetables

Not because it's sustainable but because what you grow tastes better than anything from the grocery store. The key is intensity: lots of nutrients, sun, heat, and water.

» Learn How to Grow Your Own Vegetables

(Alita Bobrov)


Make Your Own Grill

Combine a 55-gallon drum and shopping cart to make the ultimate grill.

» Learn How to Make Your Own Grill

(Zoom Team/Shutterstock)


Fix a Motorcycle - With Your Teeth

Pop! That's the sound of trouble on two wheels. If your clutch cable snaps, you can find yourself stranded a long way from home, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

» Learn How to Fix a Motorcycle - With Your Teeth

(cell105/Flickr)


Start Flintknapping

lintknapping, the practice of creating arrowheads and other primitive tools out of stone, has experienced a tremendous influx of students over the past ten years, but the skills haven't changed.

» Learn How to Start Flintknapping

(melystu/Flickr)

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