Watch a sneak peek of Travel Channel's new series, "Mancations," starring Evan Mann and Gareth Reynolds.
Wake surfing while firing automatic weapons. Experiencing zero gravity during spaceflight training. Learning the secrets of invisibility at ninja camp.
These are all things comedic duo Evan Mann and Gareth Reynolds have done while filming their new Travel Channel show, “Mancations.”
Comedic duo Gareth Reynolds, left, and Evan Mann are hosts of the new Travel Channel show, "Mancations."
So how do these best buds define mancation? “A guy-themed trip, places where guys go to get away from it all and get back to their primal roots,” says Reynolds.
If the 2009 movie “The Hangover” is like a mancation on steroids, then the new Travel channel series can be described as a couple of funny guys hanging out – and having a seriously fun time – while undergoing testosterone-fueled activities like lumberjack training, crab fishing and a Civil War battle re-enactment, all in some beautiful places from Alaska to Arizona.
They even spend time relaxing at a spa in Sedona, Ariz. “It’s kind of a nontraditional mancation,” says Mann, adding that the activity followed days of rock climbing and other manly pursuits.
The pilot was shot at ManCation Nation in Parker, Ariz., which promotes itself as a place to “Load your gun rack, pack up your backpack and get your sack back.”
ManCation Nation offers a range of activities from shooting guns to mountain biking to parasailing to golfing. Owner Randy Goodman says he started the business two years ago as a tribute to his former road trip buddy and good friend, Keith Knudsen, former drummer for The Doobie Brothers, who died in 2005.
Goodman says he enjoys seeing the transformation of his guests, who often leave with more confidence. “They’re hanging out, they’re bonding, they’re buddying up, having man time,” says Goodman. “I think they’re reverting back to their kidhood a bit.”
While mancations are nothing new, a recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker survey found that guys-only trips are on the rise, with 15 percent of Americans expected to take a mancation or go on a girlfriend getaway in 2011 , compared to 10 percent in 2010.
Mann, 32, and Reynolds, 31, met while at Emerson College in Boston, where they were in the same comedy troupe. They started performing together, doing sketch shows and comedy videos, and are real-life best friends. They want “Mancations,” Reynolds says, “to be funny, scary and show off some awesome places.”
So do they have any advice for guys seeking permission from their girlfriend, wife or significant other when they want to go on a male-only getaway?
“When guys have fun together, it can be a different kind of fun,” Reynolds says. “A lot of women understand that.”
“I think the other option is to just sneak out of the house,” says Mann.
The show airs Sunday, June 5, at 9 p.m. EDT.
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Joy Jernigan is a senior travel editor for msnbc.com. Follow me on Twitter @JoyJernigan.