We all know that men love to stay busy. From outdoor activities like hiking and hunting, to hobbies such as building with LEGO or tinkering in the garage, there are a lot of ways for you to make yourself useful without filling up your time with mindless tasks.
The “100 hobbies for guys” is a list of hobbies and activities that are perfect for men. The list includes everything from fishing to woodworking.
We’ve chosen to reprint a vintage essay each Friday to assist our younger readers discover some of the greatest, evergreen jewels from the past, with our archives currently totaling over 3,500 items. The original version of this article was published in January 2016.
Leisure time was often regarded of as a chance to “veg out,” rather than a chance to explore one’s passions and interests — an outlet for a man’s sides that were not encouraged by his professional activity. Hobbies were regarded significant because of their ability to enhance all aspect of a man’s life. They may offer you delight, improve your attention to detail, keep your mind fresh, broaden your creativity, introduce you to new people, and teach you useful skills. In a nutshell, hobbies provide variety to your life and help you grow as a man.
Unfortunately, we now spend most of our free time parked in front of the television or internet. Even if it hasn’t, we believe that contemporary life has become so hectic and stressful that all we can do when we have spare time is lie on the sofa.
However, if you’ve been feeling down, restless, nervous, or in need of true refreshment, the issue may be a lack of action rather than too much.
Winston Churchill, a fervent enthusiast, described it like way:
It’s pointless to tell the tired’mental muscles’… ‘I’ll give you a nice night’s sleep,’ ‘I’ll take a long stroll,’ or ‘I’ll lay down and think about nothing.’ Regardless, the mind is kept occupied. If it has been weighing and measuring, it will continue to do so. If it has been worrying, it will continue to worry… In this state, arguing with the mind is pointless… ‘Worry is a spasm of feeling; the mind gets hold of something and will not let go,’ according to a renowned American psychologist. Only by gently insinuating something else into its convulsive clutch may anything else be insinuated. And if this something else is selected well, if it is really accompanied by the light of another sphere of interest, the previous excessive hold gradually relaxes, and the process of recovery and healing starts.
We’ve put up a handful of hobby guides throughout the years for those of you who want to have a fun hobby but aren’t sure what to do. We continued to come up with new concepts even after the second was released. As a result, we decided to gather all of the old and new ideas into one comprehensive list of men’s interests. This isn’t an entire list, but there’s certain to be something that catches your attention or inspires you to think of one that hasn’t been listed.
Our objective is that every guy will be able to choose a hobby that will evolve into a pleasurable activity at the present stage of his life, and maybe even a lifelong passion.
There isn’t a more manly pastime than reading. Most of history’s great leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt, were ardent readers. Reading connects you to history’s great thinkers and authors while also exposing you to new ideas, resulting in a more intellectual and well-rounded individual. Reading may be a totally free pastime if you have access to a library card. Look no farther than our various reading lists for suggestions on what to read. You should also brush up on your reading skills. (Of course, it seems simple, but it isn’t always!)
Are you want to join a close-knit community that focuses on radio and communication? You can’t go wrong with amateur radio. While the internet has supplanted radio as the primary mode of communication, there is still a lively community of amateur radio enthusiasts. Radio amateurs like interacting with individuals from all around the globe while also learning more about radio theory. Furthermore, most amateur radio operators serve their communities by serving as relays in the case of crises or natural disasters. The Federal Communications Commission regulates radio operating, therefore you’ll need a license to operate one. Licensing is simple: you must pass a multiple-choice exam that covers fundamental rules, operating procedures, and electrical theory. You’ll also need the necessary equipment. Buying new radio equipment is expensive, but you may get amazing bargains on secondhand radio equipment on eBay. Check out the Amateur Radio Relay League, which has been around for 100 years, for additional information on how to get started with ham radio.
Learning to play the guitar is a talent that will bring you and others around you a lot of pleasure for many years. Oh, and girls like a man who can play the guitar. Personally, I’ve serenaded Kate and gotten myself out of the doghouse by using my guitar talents. Later in life, assemble the family around your backyard fire pit for some fantastic sing-alongs. Of course, learning to play any instrument is hard, but guitars have the benefit of being very inexpensive and having a simpler learning curve for beginners. There are a plethora of internet sites that provide free guitar lessons (here’s a comprehensive list), including an AoM piece on the three guitar chords every guy should know.
Dancing in a Ballroom
Why not channel your inner Fred Astaire and learn to ballroom dance like your grandfather did? Self-confidence, poise, and posture may all be improved via ballroom dancing. It’s also a great way to get some heart-healthy activity. Ladies, on the other hand, appreciate a gentleman who understands how to lead them on the dance floor. Most cities offer ballroom dancing classes; just perform a fast Google search to discover one near you, and then chat to the teachers to get a sense of their style and qualifications. Private lessons cost roughly $50 per hour. Ballroom dancing is a terrific date night activity whether you’re married or have a girlfriend. It’s a terrific approach to meet new ladies if you’re a bachelor.
Parkour is a sport in which you leap over barriers and jump from buildings. Parkour is a physical art, or more precisely, the skill of moving through your surroundings in the most natural and efficient manner possible. It’s fascinating to watch someone navigate a territory in ways never imagined before, and inspirational to see the human body push the boundaries of its capabilities. While we now think of parkour as a fun kind of exercise, it was originally created as a tactical skill and a technique for troops to improve their fitness. This activity has various advantages: it’s entertaining, it’s a wonderful exercise, it tests your ingenuity, it’s a mental and physical challenge, and it may even save your life if you ever need to sprint and leap over items. It’s also absolutely free. You just need your arms and legs, as well as some urban terrain. Read our parkour primer and get started right now!
I’ve always admired guys who could take ordinary wood and turn it into something useful and beautiful. They’re the guys who create their own Christmas gifts rather than purchasing them, and who can proudly remark, “I made that,” while pointing to furnishings in their home. By taking up the excellent pastime of woodworking, you may become that guy. Many woodworking enthusiasts report decreased stress levels and more patience, in addition to gaining a practical skill. It’s easy to go into a zen-like condition while you’re chiseling a piece of wood. Woodshop programs are available at many technical colleges, and Woodcraft businesses also offer woodworking fundamentals sessions for about $50 apiece. You may find a variety of woodworking projects in our archives. Also, check out our interview with Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson). Nick spoke about his woodshop, where he makes tables, chairs, boats, and other items.
The image of the yeoman farmer, who cultivates his own land to provide for his and his family’s needs, is perhaps one of the most striking macho images in America. To get in contact with the land, you don’t need a homesteading plot; a modest square in your backyard would suffice. If you work in an office all day and are surrounded by artificial light and stale recycled air, gardening is an excellent activity to take up to get some exercise, sunshine, and fresh air. You’ll find yourself growing more in touch with the seasons as you see your garden develop from seeds to plants. You’ll experience a feeling of success that surpasses any video game high score when you harvest your modest crop. And you’ll experience a rush of macho pride when you prepare your first supper using veggies produced in your own garden. Check read our essay on why you should be a gentleman gardener if you need more persuading.
One of man’s greatest pleasures is paddling leisurely over the lake. There are few greater leisure activities than going on a date with your lady or just enjoying nature on a solitary adventure. While paddling may seem as easy as riding a bike, captaining a canoe or kayak requires a certain amount of competence, which we’ve explored in detail. You may begin by renting from a local recreation center, and if you love it, you can purchase a sailboat. When you get really into boating, you may go beyond a leisurely paddle around the lake and go on multi-day adventures on some of America’s most scenic rivers.
Not only is lock picking very essential in an emergency, but it’s also a lot of fun to know that you can outsmart a device that most people feel is impregnable to all but sheer force. Instead, with a little dexterity and know-how, the lock picker can keep his doors intact and save the inconvenience and expense of visiting a locksmith. Start practicing on the front door after reading our primer on picking common pin tumbler locks. Then go to mastering other types of locks until you’re a true Houdini.
Restoration of classic automobiles
Men used to spend hours working with their vehicles in their garages back in the day. Home mechanical labor is going the way of the dodo bird as automobiles get more complex and dependent on computers. You may always take up historic automobile restoration as a hobby if you have the urge to become a grease monkey. You’ll pick up some technical knowledge, sharpen your problem-solving abilities, and feel the sweet satisfaction of a job well done when the engine you rebuilt purrs like a kitten. Restoration of automobiles is a costly hobby to begin. You’ll need not just the automobile to repair, but also the tools, room, and specialized components to complete the project. However, putting in the time and money to repair a vintage automobile might pay off handsomely (even if you won’t be prepared to part with your baby). Check out Second Chance Garage for additional information about antique automobile restoration, and start learning about how your car’s engine works.
While cooking is included on this list, BBQing is distinct enough to be considered a separate activity. Whether using a smoker or a charcoal grill, cooking a hefty piece of meat and delivering the completed product is mentally and physically rewarding. The entrance hurdle is low: all you need is a grill and a piece of meat. As you get more familiar with the equipment and the food, you may try new cooking techniques and meats (or even fruits and vegetables! ), create your own spice mixes, and, of course, prepare gourmet dinners for friends and family. Make sure to check out our grilling playlist on YouTube.
Metalworking offers all of the advantages of carpentry, only you’re surrounded by the deliciously nasty scent of burning metal instead of the pleasant fragrance of sawdust. My brother-in-law began metalworking in high school and now creates some incredible pieces, like cast iron headboards for that shabby chic room your wife wants to design, hanging pot plant holders, and garden archways, to name a few. Darren Smith, an AoM contributor, has published an essay for us on how to get started with blacksmithing. Metalworking lessons should be available at your local vo-tech.
Take up a shooting sport and become an experienced marksman to learn to love the thrill of firing a gun. Marksmanship requires complete focus and a steady hand. There are shooting clubs all around the nation that focus on various gun sports. Clay pigeon shooting, handgun and rifle shooting, and even Frontier and Cowboy shooting are all options. The sport may be costly; firearms aren’t cheap, and the cost of ammunition has skyrocketed owing to rising demand. You’ll also need to locate a safe spot to shoot your weapon, so if you don’t own any land, you’ll have to rent time at a gun range.
Many males like collecting items, which most women can not understand. Females are multitaskers, but the male brain prefers to focus on one thing at a time. We have a tendency to get infatuated with stuff. When you combine this proclivity with man’s primal need to hunt, you get a man’s passion for collecting. A guy might spend a lifetime searching for the last piece missing from his collection. It becomes his White Whale, his obsession. Completing a collection is, of course, generally a letdown. The joy of collecting is in the pursuit. Pick your poison, whether it’s duck stamps, baseball cards, or vintage typewriters. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Check out our guide to getting started with collecting for additional information.
If you’re the kind of man who sings in the shower or bellows along to the radio on the way to work, singing as a pastime should be taken more seriously. You could believe that either you’re a professional rockstar or that there’s no way to put your voice to good use. That couldn’t be more untrue. Community and church choirs abound, as do karaoke bars (which often have weekend contests), and if you become really serious, you can do some crooning on the side or form a barbershop quartet. Continue to develop your art by taking classes (many school/community choir directors provide one-on-one instruction), studying music theory, and even practicing presenting skills.
Because he has lost connection with nature, modern man is restless and dissatisfied. For the benefit of his physical and mental health, every man should make an effort to interact with nature on a daily basis. He needs to get away from it all now and again and sleep beneath the stars. Spend a few days away from your desk, inhaling fresh air and sitting around a campfire. Another apparent advantage of camping is that it is one of the most cost-effective ways to “get away from it all.” It’s a terrific opportunity to improve your outdoor abilities, reconnect with your friends, and spend quality time with your significant other. We’ve written articles on camping and hiking, so begin reading and go out into the woods!
Message in a Bottle
Putting complicated model ships in a glass bottle is a traditional old guy pastime. Your ship in a bottle exhibits will wow youngsters! They’ll be trying to find out how you accomplished it for the rest of their lives. Putting a ship in a bottle (or an impossible bottle) requires intense concentration, patience, and a steady hand. The model ship is normally built on the outside of the bottle, with the mast down. With a pair of long forceps, raise the mast after inserting the ship inside the bottle. You may make impossible bottles with other things, such as a deck of cards or tennis balls, in addition to putting ships inside bottles. Here’s where you can learn more about impossible bottles.
Chandlery is a term used to describe a (Candle Making)
Chandlery, or the art of producing candles, was formerly a wealthy and essential profession. While electricity has rendered candles obsolete as a career, they continue to make their way into many homes as sources of atmosphere and pleasant scents. Who doesn’t like watching a blazing flame on a cold evening or inhaling an oaky perfume as the sun rises in the morning? While store-bought candles may be very costly, making your own is both economical and quite simple. All you’ll need is wax, wicks, and a few jars (or old mugs). We’ve covered how to create your own candles, so have a look and get started!
For some guys, a morning lifting workout prepares not just their bodies but also their minds for the day ahead. If you’re new to working out, it might be difficult to get yourself motivated to hit the weights or hit the pavement for a run. When you start getting in shape, though, you’ll start thinking about how you can schedule an hour of exercise into your day. Rather of going to the garage to do some carpentry, you’re attempting a new maximum deadlift. Being strong isn’t only useful; it also makes you look better (hi, women! ), and it’s really cool to know you can lift 400 pounds off the ground. We have plenty of fitness articles to help you get started, and your local gym/trainer is also a wonderful place to go.
A man’s responsibility in his family has been to provide for millennia. This was done for the most of human history by tracking down and killing wild animals. Many societies and tribes used the hunt to usher adolescents into manhood and provide males a chance to unite and connect in a fully masculine environment. Now fast forward to the present day. The majority of males receive their meat wrapped in a “Big Mac” piece of paper or packed in plastic at the grocery store. Moreover, the meat is often loaded with hormones and antibiotics. There is a significant separation between man and his food, as well as between man and environment.
It’s past time to embark on a search if you want to reconnect with the “Circle of Life.” There are several advantages to hunting, but here are a few: To begin with, it allows you the opportunity to provide yourself and your family with a supply of high-quality, lean meat that is devoid of the antibiotics, hormones, and even ammonia found in most factory-farmed meat. Second, it provides you the opportunity to reconnect with nature. Third, since the money you spend on hunting permits and equipment goes to state wildlife agencies, you’ll be helping to conserve wildlife. Finally, even if you don’t kill anything, hunting allows you to interact with other men and form friendships, which is an essential element of your total satisfaction. A deer hunting primer is available, as well as information on how to get started with bow hunting. Also, have a look at our guide to getting started with dog hunting.
What if you want to start working with wood but don’t have the financial means to do so right now? Try your hand at whittling. A knife, a soft piece of wood, a rocking rocker, a corn cob pipe, and, most importantly, lots of time are all you need. Whittling is one of those things that may help you unwind and relax after a long day at work. Pick up a whittling book from your local library. You’ll discover a wealth of inspiration and plans to get you started. You may also have a look at our whittling primer.
Have you ever grown tired of playing hide and seek? Have you ever fantasized of going on a treasure hunt? Then geocaching could be a good fit for you. People all around the globe conceal goods or containers in strange areas and then publish the coordinates online. People then go out looking for these well-hidden “treasures” using their GPS gadgets. It’s a fun way to get out of the home and see sections of your town and neighborhood you’ve never seen before. Go to geocaching.com for additional information about geocaching and to get a list of geocaches in your region.
You could have liked model construction as a kid, making scale copies of vehicles, aircraft, and ships. However, as an adult, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick up the activity again. Model making improves your attention to detail and motivates you to study more about the history of the objects you’re working on. Plus, you’ll have something unique to display at your workplace or man cave. It’s quite simple to get started: just purchase a kit from Amazon.com or your local hobby store, which nearly typically includes all of the necessary ingredients and instructions.
Prospecting for gold
While prospecting for gold is unlikely to make you a billionaire, it may be an enjoyable activity that pays for itself and gives some additional spending money. Rather than being predominantly a business endeavor as it once was, gold panning is now mostly an outdoor leisure pastime that the whole family can enjoy, generally beside a small stream. A basic gold pan and/or shovel may be used to get started, and if you are serious about it, a bigger sluice and suction dredge may be required. While it’s great to frolic in any old stream, the real prospector understands that the study phase is crucial: understanding where gold has been discovered before, where it’s likely to migrate and gather, and how the precious metal “behaves” in nature. Only then can you go out into the wilds, confident in your increased prospects of success. You’ll become an amateur geologist as well as an outdoorsman. For additional information on how to get started, see here.
Leather always brings out the frontiersman in a man, the part of him that grew up reading Davy Crockett novels. Leatherworking is a terrific opportunity to connect with your inner cowboy while also learning a macho skill. Wallets, leather pouches, belts, pistol holsters, and saddles are just a few of the items that a professional leatherworker may create. What’s the drawback? This is a pastime that may be rather costly. To actually succeed, you’ll need a variety of specialized tools. How to Make a Leather Sheath and How to Make a Leather Wallet are two introductory articles on AoM. Purchase a starting kit from the Tandy Leather Factory to get started. They come with everything you need to produce little items such as a wallet and a key fob. That way, you can measure your enthusiasm before investing large sums of money in larger initiatives.
The Dude, Fred Flintstone, Homer Simpson, Ralph Kramden What do these well-known TV and film actors have in common? They were bowling. Men came to bowling lanes in droves throughout the 1950s to join league teams. It was a means for males to socialize with other men while also drinking beer and smoking a cigar. In families that had been feminized by the continuous presence of the stay-at-home mom, the bowling alley became a haven of masculinity. What’s nice about bowling is that it’s a fun activity to do with your friends. It also provides you a reason to dress up in a badass bowling shirt. So get up your friends and form a team.
While weapons have almost totally replaced the bow and arrow in both hunting and self-defense, going back to the ancient methods may occasionally provide a lot of joy. A paintbrush is to a rifle what a bow and arrow is to a sledge hammer. Archery enables you to interact with one of the most basic weapons on the planet; it relies only on human strength. It’s the type of calm, repetitive, and concentrated exercise that might help you relax. While hunting with a bow and arrow is no longer popular (though it is still a possibility), target shooting — honing your abilities to the point where you can strike an apple off someone’s head — may provide a lot of joy (metaphorically speaking, of course). Simple, beginning bows are reasonably inexpensive, so it’s a pastime you can attempt right away in your garden (make sure it’s safe!). There are also archery parks where 3D animal-shaped targets are strewn over the woods. Cool.
Survival Skills and Preparation
While “preppers” receive a poor name in mainstream culture and are derided on reality TV programs, it may be a fun and beneficial hobby for the guy who wants to assure his safety and survival when SHTF (sh*t hits the fan). Prepping include not just gathering emergency supplies (though that is a big part of it; see bug-out bags, bug-in bags, and emergency water), but also learning new skills (we have a full section dedicated to that) and learning about survival strategy and methods (see: the survival library). This might be a costly pastime, but it doesn’t have to be – particularly if you concentrate on the necessary materials first, then master the techniques (many of which can be practiced in the backyard).
Writing a Letter
We’ve already covered many of the advantages of reviving the lost art of letter writing, so suffice it to say that writing letters in your leisure time may be a highly rewarding activity. You may get into letter writing’s interesting instruments, such as premium stationery and fountain pens. Send a number of notes to your family and friends. At least one of them will react, and you may start a lifelong connection with them. Alternatively, use a software like Pen Pals for Soldiers to make your letter writing really meaningful. Soldiers like receiving letters, so take the time to send them a message of encouragement. Also, make sure you write at least one of these seven letters throughout your lifetime.
MMA (Martial Arts)
Learning a martial art has several advantages, like improving your self-defense abilities, strengthening your discipline and concentration, improving your health, connecting with a male tradition, and channeling your inner warrior. There are many different martial arts to choose from, and the one you choose will depend on your own preferences. To choose the discipline and teacher that are suitable for you, do a lot of research and shopping around. You may want to learn how to combine a range of techniques into your fighting arsenal by going the MMA path. Boxing, of course, is highly advised. We also offer BJJ and Krav Maga primers.
Throwing a knife or a tomahawk
Knives and hatchets are both fantastic. Duh. Throwing them for sport and recreation is, of course, fantastic. Baseballs and footballs, as well as pebbles and snowballs, attract men. Why not take it a step further and add a blade to your throwing arsenal? You may hold competitions with friends and family members, compete against yourself for throw length or accuracy, and, of course, you’re prepping for a zombie apocalypse. This is a reasonably inexpensive pastime with a short learning curve. Get some throwing knives or hatchets, then read up on how to throw knives and tomahawks.
A lengthy trek is the best way to unwind, get some fresh air, and re-energize your male spirit. Hiking is fantastic since, in most circumstances, it is entirely free. All you’ll need are some durable shoes or boots and a place to walk, whether it’s the fields outside your home or a state park path. To discover a hiking path near you, go to trails.com. Even in the most flat states, there are always trails to be found. You may just need to travel a short distance to get there. Remember to keep your hiking manners in mind!
Most guys have a vice, which is a pleasure in life that isn’t always safe or healthy but may be enjoyed in moderation. Tobacco, generally in the form of a cigar or pipe, is the answer for many males. Sure, you can stroll into a tobacco store and pick up whatever you’re familiar with or what’s the cheapest. You may also become a true connoisseur by learning how one tobacco variety varies from another, where they originate from, and which ones you genuinely like. Take a trip to your neighborhood tobacco store and ask the tobacconist to teach you the ropes. And, of course, you’ll need to do some hands-on learning! Smoke (and drink – tobacco goes well with whiskey) until you discover the pearls that make you feel at ease and happy at the end of the day. Also, check out our primers on how to smoke a cigar and how to start smoking a pipe.
Few guys will ever forget the pleasure of riding a bicycle without training wheels for the first time. The wind on your face, your pedaling legs propelling you forward, and, of course, the first digger’s harsh scrape on the pavement. We used to live on our bikes when we were youngsters. But then we receive our driver’s license, and our bikes become lonely and mainly underused in the garage.
But why give up this young pastime? Bicycling has regained popularity among urban hipsters and amateur athletes alike. While it seems that everyone has ran a 5k, participating in bike events is distinctive enough to make you stand out. Even if you’re not racing, simply riding about town on your own two legs is a rewarding experience. Mountain biking is another alternative that allows you to spend time in the woods.
Coffee roasteries nowadays are high-tech and high-volume, producing hundreds of pounds of beans at a time that all look and taste the same. While store-bought coffee tastes good and is much simpler to use (just purchase it and put it in the coffee machine! ), roasting your own coffee will give you the nicest cup of coffee you’ve ever had. It’s also less expensive than store-bought, costing $5-$8 a pound on average. You may purchase a coffee roasting machine or make it on your grill like I do with a popcorn popper. You may roast coffee for friends and family or even create a side business selling beans in your community to make it a true pastime. If you combine this pastime with the pursuit of vintage coffee machines (such as hand-crank grinders) or the exploration of as many brewing techniques as possible, you’ll be a connoisseur in no time.
Fishkeeping is a passion that has been practiced for at least 1,500 years, significantly older than many of the other hobbies on this list. Fishkeeping was generally a rich man’s pastime in the 1800s, since the tanks needed to be heated with gas or later, electricity. The pastime did not become really available to the general public until the 1950s. It’s becoming more popular among home aquarists and dental clinics.
This is a fantastic pastime to take up since it’s simple to scale. To check whether you like it, start with a traditional goldfish tank and a castle. If you do, you’ll gradually progress to larger aquariums, more exotic species, and more elaborate tank decorations. When you have a 90-gallon tank (like one of my former roommates had), it keeps you occupied in ways other than simply feeding the fish every day. For help getting started, go to Marineland.
Pick-up, intramural, and recreational sports
Every male, whether geek or meathead, should participate in some kind of team sport. Physical exercise increases testosterone levels (which men today really need as T levels have been steadily declining), keeps you healthy and in shape, helps you avoid depression, and relieves stress. Sports that allow a man’s competitive spirit to be expressed are very advantageous to his manliness. Join an intramural or rec league team, or play pick-up football, basketball, or soccer with your buddies. It makes no difference what sport you participate in as long as it gets your blood flowing and your pulse beating.
Classes are available online.
Every guy should strive to be a lifelong learner. While reading is a terrific activity that may help you achieve your goal, online courses provide a range of learning techniques (video, reading, discussion) and hold you responsible for what you’re learning via quizzes and assignments. Expert lecturers are also available to answer inquiries and guide you if anything seems perplexing.
What’s amazing about this pastime is how inexpensive it is in most circumstances. You may start lessons now for free on platforms like Coursera and EdX, covering anything from programming fundamentals to critical thinking to classical music. The toughest part, in my experience, is just doing the classwork when you’re not being paid, so consider doing this with another person or perhaps a group to hold yourself responsible.
Many guys like becoming motorcyclists, whether they are going cross-country or tinkering in the garage. Although publications like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Shop Class as Soulcraft advocate for the numerous mental and philosophical advantages of riding, this pastime is likely to reward its practitioner in more than simply gas mileage and technical knowledge:
“You’re usually in a compartment in a vehicle, and since you’re accustomed to it, you don’t notice that everything you see through the car window is simply more TV.” You’re a passive spectator, and everything is passing you by in a frame.
The frame vanishes while riding a bicycle. You’re entirely aware of everything. You’re in the situation now, not just watching it, and the feeling of being there is tremendous.”
–Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig
Begin with purchasing and learning to ride your first bicycle.
With the popularity of programs like Pawn Stars and American Pickers, antiquing or “picking” has returned to the public limelight. Antiquing is a pastime that involves purchasing and collecting antiques from shops, malls, and garage sales, among other places. In many instances, it also entails reselling them for a profit, sometimes after refinishing or repairing them first. Instead of purchasing from antique shops, pickers would purchase directly from collectors, amateur historians, and even hoarders, and then sell to antique retailers.
Picking a niche of things to hunt for is the best way to go about antiquing. This will make your task a lot simpler, and it will offer you the joy of hunting for something special rather than merely seeking for excellent prices. It’s vintage shaving supplies for many AoM males. (There’s even an article on how to fix them.) Another fantastic alternative is a pocket knife, which can be readily repaired. Whatever it is that you appreciate, there is likely to be some amazing vintage thing relating to it. This comprehensive book will teach you all you need to know.
While antiquing or picking focuses on goods that have genuine monetary worth in their existing state, scrapping is all about converting other people’s trash into cash. In your hands, what was once trash is recycled and converted into green. To get started, all you actually need is a tiny magnet and a rudimentary understanding of the different kinds of metals and their values. After that, you may begin collecting and bringing your discovered items to a scrapyard.
Metal detecting is similar, but the most common items discovered are ancient rings, coins, and other jewelry. Detecting is also a walking pastime, so you’ll get some exercise while you’re at it.
Both of these pastimes will make you a bit of a historian, which is an essential quality for a guy to possess.
No other sport has the same aura of majesty and history as golf. The clothes are smart, the moves are beautiful, and the grounds are well-kept. It’s a gentleman’s game, to be sure. There are few better ways for guys to get together and spend a few hours than on the golf course. It’s a difficult sport to perfect, but that’s part of the appeal. You’re virtually always up against other people as well as yourself. In other sports, you typically merely have to outperform your opponent, but part of the fun of golf is improving your own game; there’s always something you can do to enhance your skills that doesn’t depend on anybody else. It’s preferable to learn how to play golf in person at a local course or golf store.
Twin Cities Airsoft is the source of this image.
Paying for range time and ammunition may add up quickly when it comes to weapon instruction and shooting. While airsoft used to be a toy for youngsters, today’s market has nearly-exact copies of practically every weapon on the market. You may use airsoft for training if the police and military do. Connecting with the airsoft community online and discovering simulations and contests — much like paintball, but more realistic — is a great way to have fun while also improving your tactical abilities.
This is an excellent activity to attempt if you’re not quite ready to go into woodworking but want to start working with wood in some form. Woodburning, also known as pyrography, is the process of employing a pen-like searing instrument to burn a pattern or piece of art into a block of wood. It’s really simple to learn, and the first investment is less than $50. While internet materials and networks for pyrography are more difficult to come by than for traditional woodworking, they do exist. Woodburning demands attention to detail, patience, and a knowledge of the instruments of the craft, albeit it isn’t as exciting as making a chair. To get started, have a look at our primer on the topic.
A pastime of nearly too many great men to list has been writing and journaling. While some guys write to sell a book or an idea, many just write to organize their ideas, create connections, solve issues, and even relax. Getting things out of your thoughts and into paper is a very relieving process.
Many guys will set a goal to journal more, but I’ve found that seeing it as a pastime — something you do in your free time, even if it’s only a few minutes here and there during the day — is nearly as beneficial. While it isn’t something you can brag about like a lot of other hobbies, it is personally fulfilling and will help you avoid the shackles of a distracted world. And one day, your grandkids and great-grandchildren will be delighted to read about your life in the year 2016.
We’ve put up a helpful 31-day guide with easy-to-follow instructions to start your creative juices flowing; if you’re having difficulties coming up with unique ideas, try copywork.
Many guys have fantasized of taking to the seas on their own initiative. Weather forecasting, navigation, rope skills, and other classical disciplines are all part of sailing. Even if you’re only puttering about the tranquil waters of a tiny lake, you hearken back to crusty, bearded warriors of past facing wild seas and fierce whales. It’s a breath of fresh air that offers both physical and cerebral stimulation. It may seem to be a pricey activity, and it can be, but costs may be reduced by taking lessons, renting boats, and so on. You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a boat to get started. It’s also something the entire family can enjoy, rather than just you; invite your spouse and kids to join you on the boat and make it a weekend tradition!
Connoisseur of Alcohol
Choose your poison: craft beer, wine, Scotch, tequila…the possibilities for a great glass of booze are only limited by your creativity. In the domain of alcohol, the enthusiast opts for a local microbrew rather than Budweiser. He’s going with Don Julio instead of Jose Cuervo. Choose a specific specialty to specialize on and get started studying about it. You may learn how that specific alcohol is created, which brands are considered high-quality, and when new goods are released. You even get a taste of collecting; it’s fun to go on a search for the next great whiskey to share with your friends and family. Wine, beer, rum, whiskey, and Scotch whisky are among the beverages and spirits covered in our primers.
While sailing keeps you on the surface of the water, scuba diving brings you under the surface to explore the depths. It’s a one-of-a-kind pastime in that you have to attend lessons and be certified before you can participate. If you reside in a place where there isn’t much water to explore, you’ll be restricted, but even inland areas offer diving stores and lessons. Many individuals may take diving training inland and get certified, but they will then apply their talents on holidays to the Caribbean’s pristine seas or murkier locales like the northern shores or the Great Lakes. Most of the time, you can at least drive someplace to do scuba diving.
Joining schools of fish and historic shipwrecks on diving trips can turn you into an amateur historian and biologist all in one. Few activities can compare to this level of excitement, so look for a school near you to get started!
Model Train Sets
While railroading is classified as a model-building hobby, it is distinct in that you are not just creating a single object to add to a collection, but in many instances a full scene with trains running through it. Johnny Cash, Joe DiMaggio, Walt Disney, Tom Hanks, Frank Sinatra, Warren Buffett, and others have all indulged in this pastime. You’ll study a range of subjects, including arithmetic and physics fundamentals, wiring, scene construction, and design. This isn’t your typical Christmas tree railroad ring from your youth. Take a look at the National Model Railroad Association’s beginner’s handbook to get you started.
Climbing on Rocks
While hiking and mountaineering are included, rock climbing is a distinct activity. You’re conquering cliff cliffs instead of sloping peaks, frequently for the physical excitement of knowing you just ascended a vertical wall, not for the reward of a wonderful view (though that’s often a part of it). As you look for the next little handhold and form a line to the top, it tests your physical abilities as well as your intellectual and problem-solving abilities.
Learning the ropes in an indoor gym is the simplest method to get started rock climbing. Take your new passion outdoors after you’ve mastered the fundamentals of safety and technique; even if you don’t live in an area endowed with stunning cliffs, you could be surprised to discover lesser-known local climbing spots. Most climbers need a belay partner, which might be a barrier to learning if you don’t know somebody who can go with you. Climbers, on the other hand, are a sociable bunch; hang around at the gym and you’ll find people eager to recognize you and invite you along on their adventures.
Reenactment of History
D-Day Ohio is the source of this image.
It’s critical for guys to have a sentimental interest in history. Participating in historical reenactments is a great opportunity to completely immerse oneself. It may be as particular as reenacting a single war or as wide as reenacting a certain time period at a historic site like Colonial Williamsburg. Reenacting historical events has been around since ancient Rome, when men would reenact legendary wars. It allows you to experience what guys wore at the period, as well as what they would have thought, and you’ll learn a lot regardless of what you’re reproducing. This activity allows you to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, albeit from a different era. Furthermore, you often have the opportunity to educate individuals who attend the reenactment.
Ebay offers a terrific starting guide and will be a great resource for finding stuff as well!
Beekeeping has been documented in ancient Egypt as far back as 4,500 years. Burt Shavitz brought his passion to market with Burt’s Bees in the 1980s, and the hobby garnered some celebrity in the United States. (Speaking of Mr. Shavitz and Burt’s Bees, there’s a great documentary called Burt’s Buzz on Netflix about Mr. Shavitz and Burt’s Bees.) It mixes a little bit of risk and overcoming worries with a measurable result – honey! Check your city’s beekeeping rules before getting started, particularly if you live in a city. Another pastime that can be scaled up is beekeeping. You may start small with one hive and work your way up as you gain experience.
House parties and get-togethers in the 1950s and 1960s were often centered around the record player. You’d get together and listen to the newest record while attempting to wow the apple of your eye with your slick skills. Vinyl collection and playing, like many other nostalgic pastimes from that era, is making a resurgence. In reality, vinyl sales have increased dramatically in recent years, while CD sales have continued to drop. Going from CDs to vinyl gives music fans a whole new way to listen to their favorite songs. The richer, more accurate sound buried in a record is revered by vinyl devotees.
Listening to vinyl compels you to concentrate on the whole album rather than bouncing around to your favorite tracks. You’re seeing it as a work of art, rather than merely four minutes of amusement, as the creator would desire. Check out our advice on purchasing your first turntable to get started with record collecting and listening.
Many of the advantages of collecting — organization, learning about a specialized subject, even the excitement of the search — are available to bird watchers without the associated expenditures. You’re maintaining a log of your discoveries or even marking off species on a list, rather than purchasing and perhaps cluttering your house with items. As a kid, it seemed like the ultimate old man’s pastime, but even now, in my late twenties, I seem to be more interested than ever in the birds in my yard. Maybe it’s their serene attitude, or maybe it’s my envy for their ability to fly; either way, they’re lovely animals with as many different forms, colors, and behaviors as humans. Bird watching provides fun and delight in the near term (such as on an afternoon stroll) as well as over the long term (such as hunting for rare species and learning more about the animals that people have attempted to imitate). Start by grabbing a pair of binoculars.
Projects for the House
Working on chores around the home is a pain for some guys, and one they would rather avoid at all costs. For many others, though, it’s a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Puttering about the house (and garage) allows many guys to work with their hands and acquire new skills, whether it’s completing a basement, working on a home maintenance checklist, or just re-painting a room.
To be healthy, our homes, like our bodies, need love and care. You’ll be lot better off if you learn to like it, and you’ll probably save money in the long run since you won’t be renting out every small job. Of course, you must always exercise caution; it is better to be safe than sorry and have to spend more to replace what you have broken. The advantage is that people who seek may find a wealth of information, whether it’s on the internet in the form of videos and articles, in books from the library, or on HGTV programs.
Games using analogue controls
Many of the founding fathers, including Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison, were avid chess players; presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Harry Truman played poker with their advisors; and Abraham Lincoln played backgammon with his sons.
Almost every great man in history, as well as millions of individuals whose names have been lost to time, had a favorite board or card game. Join their ranks and learn about the many advantages of playing analog games with your friends and family. Check out our primers on cribbage and poker, in particular.
Even guys who do not believe themselves to be materialistic might be time hogs. While clinging to our time and resources may seem to secure our pleasure in the short term, this selfishness canker our souls in the long run. As a result, service should be a part of every man’s life, since when you lose yourself in helping others, you frequently discover that your own life improves dramatically.
Instead of devoting your whole hobby to your own interests, why you volunteer to help others? As you help others, you will discover satisfaction, get a better understanding of your own challenges, break down prejudice, and more. While men need time alone with an activity to replenish themselves, volunteering on a regular basis provides a different form of regeneration.
Try photography if you’ve always wanted to learn an art but don’t have the touch of a painter. Photography as a pastime is more popular and accessible than ever before, because to the decreasing cost of digital cameras and digital editing software. One of the advantages of photography as a pastime is that it may be combined with other hobbies. Do you like being outside? While on your walk, take some images of nature. Are you a fan of old-school diners? Take photographs of each restaurant you visit. Many photo enthusiasts have free sites devoted to teaching photography, and there is a strong community of photographers online. For additional information on how to get started with this pastime, see Digital Photography School and Strobist.
While this is a passion that can only be enjoyed by a small percentage of the population who live on the coastlines, it is one that many of them revolve their lives around. While being on the seas in a boat is enjoyable, being actually on the water on a surfboard is a whole other experience. You can feel every wave, feel the rush of the next wave, and feel the anguish of failure if your ride goes wrong. Few activities can link you with the natural world like a day riding the waves; you’re fighting against yourself and Mother Nature herself. Surf shops are easy to find in famous surfing areas; visit one, tell them you’d want to learn, and be prepared to make a fool of yourself on your first few attempts!
I have the temptation to stroll into a smoky pool club and become the king of the cue stick every time I see The Hustler. To win in pool and billiards, players must use a combination of strategy, geometry, and, in some cases, psychology. It’s also a fun way to spend time with your buddies while shooting the bull. If you can’t persuade your wife that the game room isn’t complete without a pool table, consider getting your game on at a pool hall or bowling alley. A game will set you back a few dollars, or more if you are scammed.
Mountaineering is a terrific option if you like camping and hiking and are searching for a new challenge in the great outdoors. Mountaineers, as the name implies, climb mountains. Why? Because, well, they’re there! Few things in life are as fulfilling as reaching the summit after an arduous trek, staring out at a spectacular vista, and knowing that you have just conquered the mountain. Check out this helpful essay by Adam Cook for some climbing advice.
This sport began in the late 1970s on a college campus, when a group of rock climbing pals hung climbing webbing (about 1′′ wide and flat) across a pair of trees and challenged each other to not only walk over, but also to execute other acrobatic acrobatics. It has now evolved into a popular hobby not just among college students, but also among young and old as a team-building exercise. This webbing is usually stretched between trees at a height of one or two feet from the ground in today’s common-man version of the sport. The goal is frequently just to get it over without falling, much alone do any type of circus show. Mental attention and tenacity are required in addition to physical fitness and practice. It’s also a terrific way to spend time outdoors without being distracted by gadgets, and it can be done with any number of people, making it a fantastic social activity. You may start adding some acrobatics to your routine after you’ve mastered the ropes and can easily make it all the way across a line. It’s really simple to get started; all you need is a slackline and a couple of trees.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: every guy should be able to cook. Knowing your way around a kitchen has numerous advantages: it gives you independence (you won’t have to rely on others to feed you), it saves you money by eliminating the need to go out to eat or buy pre-packaged foods, it impresses the ladies, it keeps you healthy (ever read the nutrition information for fast food? ), and it’s just plain fun. You’re going to have to eat a couple times a day, so you may as well enjoy it. It’s also a low-cost and easily accessible pastime. You can purchase finer foods and gadgets later, but you can send your HungryMan meals packing with the essentials existing in your kitchen, some groceries, and a few cookbooks.
Men like Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, and Wiley Post, who conquered the air, were among history’s most manly men. Even if you’re not breaking any records, you can still fly like an eagle. The expense is, of course, the largest deterrent to taking up flying as a pastime. It’s not cheap. The cost of pilot instruction may be several thousand dollars, while license costs a few hundred dollars. In addition, you’ll need an aircraft. Some guys combine their passion for mechanical labor with their love of flying by designing and constructing their own prop aircraft. Even so, you’ll need a location to keep it, which will almost certainly need a monthly leasing cost. Many amateur pilots I know say it’s entirely worth it simply to experience that sensation of pure freedom up in the air, regardless of the expense.
To amaze friends, win girls, and thrill youngsters, every guy should know at least a handful of decent magic tricks. Few activities are as enjoyable as practicing magic; the payoff of having people begging you to share the secret will keep you smiling for days. It’s the type of effort that doesn’t seem like work when you’re practicing a technique over and over until it’s completely fluid and flawless. And every guy understands that the only form of shopping that is enjoyable is shopping in a magic store. Finally, magic may be a low-cost pastime; all you need is a decent book of magic tricks and a deck of cards to get started (a magic deck of cards never hurts either). You may gradually progress to more difficult techniques until you’re cutting your mother-in-law in two in the living room.
Studying a Second Language
Learning a foreign language is one of the few activities that is undeniably beneficial. How many times have you wished you could interact with a server/student/parent/victim but were unable to do so? When was the last time you visited overseas and wished you could speak the original language? Learning a second language might be challenging, but when you think about it, being able to communicate in two different languages is really impressive. You may take a language course at a community college for a reasonable fee, or you can use an at-home approach like Rosetta Stone. If you don’t practice often, you’ll never improve or remember what you’ve learned. Weekly get-togethers are held at several libraries where individuals may practice speaking a foreign language with others. It also helps to watch movies and television shows in the language you’re learning, as well as listen to music in that language.
Of course, writing is a masculine pastime in and of itself. However, blogging adds a unique twist to this time-honored hobby. A blog may be a great way to share something you’re passionate about and know a lot about with others. You may meet individuals from all over the globe who share your interests, which can lead to amazing debates and online friendships. You may also use your blog to keep your friends and family up to speed on what’s going on in your life (moms like their children’s blogs). Alternatively, you may use your blog as a personal diary, creating a lasting archive of ideas and images that you can revisit in the future. Your blog may also be used to further your professional career, network, and establish your own brand. Whatever motivates you to create a blog, it may also educate you about technology, such as how to upload photos and videos, web design, and internet marketing. It’s the type of thing that you may not understand the attraction of before you start, but once you do, it’s hard to stop.
Remember playing war with your pals with toy grenades, bazookas, and bullets when you were a kid? You can still play war now that you’re a “big guy,” but this time with the added thrill of being fired at with 100 mph paintballs. It certainly adds to the thrill element, believe me. Paintballing is a reasonably priced activity. At a paintball course, you can hire a gun, CO2 cartridge, safety mask, and enough ammunition to last you the most of the day for about $30. If you’re serious about paintballing, you can always purchase your own gear and just pay for the expense of renting a field.
Keep an eye out! What are the similarities between The Three Musketeers, Zorro, and Luke Skywalker? Of course, he has insane sword fighting abilities. This is a gentleman’s sport that has been practiced since ancient Greek and Roman times. Participate in a custom that was formerly taught to knights and lords, a final remnant of legitimate dueling. Learn the ancient skill of parrying with an opponent to improve your balance, coordination, flexibility, and attention. The foil, the sabre, and the épée are the three kinds of weapons used in fencing. Each one has a distinct weight and is utilized with various guidelines. To acquire a better understanding of what fencing is like, do some research and view a video of a bout. It’s not like the movie version, when swords are constantly colliding; instead, most of it consists of bouncing about, waiting for an opening and a chance to thrust at the opponent.
It’s 7 a.m. on Saturday. You’ve invited your pals around to see your favorite team play on College GameDay. What kind of beverage are you going to serve? Sure, you could buy a 12-pack of Miller High Life at the store, but wouldn’t it be cooler, nay, even manlier, to give a cold one that you brewed yourself? You certainly can if you start producing beer as a hobby. It’s inexpensive and simple to get started with home brewing. Trent at The Simple Dollar walks you through the process of making your own beer with photos and a cost analysis. Trent was able to make seven 6-packs of beer for $35 in supplies and equipment. It’s not bad. After you’ve mastered the brewing procedure, you may begin experimenting with the beer’s taste and creating your own limited edition to offer as presents to friends.
Painting and Drawing
Winston Churchill loved to paint. While smoking his cigar, he would spend hours painting in his yard or inside studio. It was his technique of warding off depression’s dark hound. He recognized the positive impact that having a creative outlet may have on a man’s well-being. Many guys give up on painting because they believe they lack natural skill; this may be true, but lessons and practice may help you improve significantly. Drawing is the easiest art to learn. A moleskine and a few art pencils will keep you occupied. Depending on the sort of painting you want to undertake, it will take a little more time and money to set up. Oil painting is more expensive (and more difficult to clean up) than watercolor painting. Drawing and painting lessons are available at most hobby and art shops. If you’re on a budget, you can always watch Mr. Bob Ross, the guy with the best white-man fro in history. He’ll show you how to enjoy painting. That’s a cheerful little tree…
Astronomy for the Amateur
The last frontier is space. While you may not be able to go to space, you may still experience its grandeur and majesty from the comfort of your own home. With a modest telescope or even a pair of high-powered binoculars, you’d be astonished what you can see in space. If you truly want to view far into space, you’ll need to invest in a high-powered telescope, which will cost about $1,000. However, the payout may come when you detect something in your backyard observatory that even NASA’s big dogs have missed; amateur astronomers have produced a number of significant discoveries. Remember that astronomy entails more than simply peering through a telescope; it also entails studying as much as possible about our amazing cosmos via books, television broadcasts, and lectures. You may begin without a telescope by familiarizing yourself with the constellations and their origin tales.
Genealogy is a fascinating subject. It’s the type of pastime that seems to be quite uninteresting from the outside. However, if you get into it, it may completely engulf you and turn into something you like. Although the fruit does not fall far from the tree, how can you know what sort of apple you are if you have no idea where you came from? Every guy should be aware of and comprehend his ancestors. You’ll have a better understanding of why you are the way you are, and why your parents, and their parents, are the way they are, and so on. You’ll have a clearer understanding of the folks that enabled your existence. You’ll be astounded by the long lines that lead to you once you start constructing your family tree. You’re not an isolated individual; you come from a long line of ancestors who are all a part of you in some manner. Start by chatting to relatives who may have already begun a family tree and looking for free sites like Family Search.
Knitting? Knitting?! What is it that your grandmother enjoys and your great aunt uses to make you a Christmas scarf? Knitting, to be precise. Knitting was developed by men, not women, and it’s past time for us to reclaim our position in knitting’s history. During the sixteenth century, men were the first professional knitters in Europe. The other original knitters were seafarers. To stay warm, they would build fishing nets and sweaters. Knitting for guys is making a resurgence these days; it’s both practical and soothing. Cameron, one of my closest friends, learned to knit while serving on a mission in Bolivia, and he was the only guy in his law school knitting group. And his manhood is undeniable. Make sure to see this video about males and knitting.
Programming on a computer
Computer programming is today’s equivalent of ham radio in the 1950s. Many men have earned a profession from this expertise, but there are millions more who work full-time and code in their free time simply for fun. These are the individuals who create amusing internet games, helpful open source programs, and interesting web projects. You may learn a number of different coding languages. Personally, I like web development and have found W3Schools to be a fantastic free resource for learning PHP, SQL, and CSS.
Obstacle and adventure races are two types of races.
Obstacle races sprang from the world’s military’ basic training courses, and they’re the ideal activity for runners who find 5 or 10k road races too monotonous and pedestrian. Running for kilometers, climbing over walls, and crawling under barbed wire will put your strength, aerobic fitness, and agility to the test, as well as your mental and physical stamina.
Try adventure racing for a new type of challenge. Adventure races extend all day and include a range of sports; for example, you may be required to run/hike 10 miles, kayak down a river for 10 miles, and then mountain bike for 20 miles through a forest. Along the trip, you’ll have to halt at checkpoints that you can only find with the use of a map and a compass. Physical exercise combined with the great outdoors and orienteering equals manliness. To discover an event in your region, go to the United States Adventure Racing Association’s website.
Perhaps killing a deer or bear isn’t your cup of tea. You may still get the advantages of preparing your own meals and spending time outside by fishing. Fishing is a classic manly pastime. It’s a terrific method for friends to get together (see Grumpy Old Men), as well as dads and sons (see The Andy Griffith Show). It is not prohibitively expensive to begin fishing. A good pole and reel will cost you back approximately $50, while lures and bait will set you back just a few bucks. Before casting a line into the water, every state in the United States requires anglers to get a fishing license. For license prices and information on the finest fishing sites, contact your state’s game and fish department. (It’s also an excellent idea to learn how to unhook.)
The “man with no hobbies” is a person who has no hobby. They are the definition of boredom, and will never be happy. The “75+ Hobby Ideas For Men” will give you ideas on what to do when you’re bored.
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