45 Manly Hobbies

by Brett & Kate McKay on January 6, 2010 · 235 comments

in Hobbies, Travel & Leisure

Back in the day, leisure time was not thought of as a chance to “veg out,” but as opportunity to pursue one’s passions and interests, an outlet for the sides of a man that were not stimulated in one’s career. Unfortunately, we now often spend our leisure time camped out in front of the TV or computer. We say that modern life has become too stressful, that when we have free time, laying on the couch is all we can manage.

The truth is that spending our leisure time in satisfying pursuits, “fun work,” will refresh us far more than a non-stop marathon of playing Call of Duty. Hobbies can bring you joy, increase your eye for detail, keep your mind sharp, expand your creativity, and help you meet friends and learn valuable skills. They add interest to your life and help you become a more well-rounded man. If you’ve been feeling depressed, restless, or apathetic, the problem may be the lack of having something in your life you feel passionate about, something that brings you needed fulfillment.

We’ve gotten several requests to put together a list of manly hobbies, and we decided that the start of the new year would be a good time to publish such a list. Many of you are thinking about what you’d like to accomplish this year. How about putting “start a new hobby” on your resolution list? Here are 45 hobby ideas; hopefully one will stick out and grab you. But of course there are many more out there as well.

Almost every hobby listed has a corresponding Group in the Art of Manliness Community. So if you have questions about how to get started in the hobby or if you’re already involved and what to talk shop with other enthusiasts, be sure to join in the conversations going on there.

Note: When we talk about “manly” hobbies, we’re defining manly in terms of activities with a manly history or traditions, activities that help you gain manly qualities or just make you feel manly, and activities that are generally enjoyed more often by men than women. If you’re favorite hobby isn’t on the list, don’t get your knickers in a knot. Rest assured, any hobby that you’re passionate about is manly.


Men have been playing chess for thousands of years in order to fine tune their concentration, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, and problem solving skills. AoM favorite Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay back in the 18th century entitled The Morals of Chess. In it Franklin argued that playing chess created “valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, [that] are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready for all occasions. For Life is a kind of Chess…” What better way to pass the time with a friend than to play a game that makes you a better man. If you don’t have anyone to play with, check out chess.com where you can play online. And be sure to join the AoM Community Chess Group.

Ham Radio

Looking to be a part of a tight knit community with a focus on radio and communication? Look no further than ham radio. While the internet has taken radio’s place as the dominant form of communication, a vibrant community of amateur radio enthusiasts still exists. Radio hobbyists enjoy communicating directly with people from all over the world while expanding their knowledge of radio theory. In addition, most ham radio operators provide a public service to their communities by acting as relays in the event of emergencies or natural disasters. Radio operation is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, so you’ll have to be licensed to use a radio. Licensing isn’t difficult at all. You just have to take a multiple choice test that covers basic regulations, operating practices, and electronics theory. And of course you’ll need the equipment. Buying new will set you back a pretty penny, but you can find good deals on used radio equipment on eBay. For more info about getting started with ham radio check out the National Association of Amateur Radio and stop by the AoM Community Group-The Manly Art of Amateur (Ham) Radio.


Men today just don’t read, but there couldn’t be a manlier hobby.  Theodore Roosevelt was a voracious reader and so were most of the great men of history. Reading allows you to connect with the great thinkers and writers of history and exposes you to new ideas, consequently making you a more intelligent and well-rounded man. If you have access to a library card, reading can actually be a completely free hobby. If you need some ideas on what to read, look no further than our awesome reading lists. And you can get even more suggestions on good books and also talk about the books you love in the AoM Community Book Group.

Playing the Guitar

Instead of spending your time playing fake guitar on Guitar Hero, learn how to play the real thing. It’s a skill that will provide you and those around you with years of enjoyment. Oh, and chicks like a guy that can play guitar. Personally, I’ve used my guitar skills to get myself out of the doghouse with Kate by serenading her. And later in life you can gather the family around for some awesome sing alongs. Learning to play any instrument is manly, of course, but guitars have the advantage of being relatively cheap and having an easier learning curve for beginners. There are tons of resources online that provide free guitar lessons. Be sure to stop by the aptly-named AoM Community Group: Guitar=Manly.

Ballroom Dancing

Your grandpa knew how to dance, so why not  harness your inner Fred Astaire by taking up ballroom dancing, too? Ballroom dancing can help increase your self-confidence, poise, and posture. It’s also a fun way to get some cardiovascular exercise in. And of course, ladies dig a gent who knows how to dance. Most cities have ballroom dancing studios. Just Google to find the ones near you and then go talk to the instructors to get a feel for their style and check on their credentials. Private classes go for around $50 a pop. If you’re married or have a girlfriend, ballroom dancing is a great date night activity. If you’re a bachelor, ballroom dancing is a great way to meet new women. Join other men with dancing feet in the AoM Ballroom Dancing Community Group.


I’ve always admired men who could take pieces of plain ol’ wood and shape them into something useful and beautiful. They’re the men who make their own Christmas presents instead of buying them and can proudly point to furniture in their house and say, “I made that.” You can be that man by taking up the wonderful hobby of woodworking. In addition to giving you a useful skill, many woodworking hobbyists report lower stress levels and increased patience. When you’re taking a chisel to a piece of wood, it’s easy to enter into a zen-like state. Many technical schools offer woodshop classes. Woodcraft stores also offer classes on woodworking basics for about $50 each. Interested? Be sure to join the AoM Woodworking Community Group.


Perhaps one of the most powerful manly images in America is that of the yeoman farmer- he’s the self-reliant man who cultivates his own land to provide for his and his family’s needs. You don’t need a homesteading plot to start getting in touch with the land; a small square in your backyard will suffice. If you have a job that keeps you cooped up in an office all day with artificial light and stale recycled air, gardening is a great hobby to pursue in order to get some exercise, sunlight, and fresh air. As you watch your garden grow from seeds to plants, you’ll find yourself becoming more in tune with the seasons. When you harvest your small crop, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that beats any high score on a video game. And when you make your first meal with vegetables grown in your very own garden, you’ll feel a surge of manly pride. If you’re looking to get started with gardening, check out this informative and well written article by J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly. And be sure to stop by the AoM Community Group: A Man’s Garden.

Classic Car Restoration

In days gone by, men would stay in their garages for hours at a time tinkering with their cars. As cars have become more sophisticated and reliant on computers, home mechanical work is going the way of the dodo bird. However, if you have an itch to become a grease monkey, you can always take up classic car restoration as a hobby. With classic car restoration you’ll learn a bit of engineering, improve your problem solving skills, and experience the sweet feeling of success when the engine you rebuilt purrs like a kitten. Car restoration is an expensive hobby to get into. Not only do you have to buy the car to restore, but you’ll need the tools, space, and custom parts to finish the job. However, the time and money can pay off as fully restored classic cars sell for a pretty penny (even though you probably won’t be willing to part with your baby). For more information about classic car restoration check out Second Chance Garage.


Metalworking has all the benefits of woodworking, except instead of the sweet smell of sawdust, you surround yourself with the delightfully noxious smell of burning metal. My brother-in-law picked up metalworking in high school, and it’s amazing the stuff he can make: cast iron headboards for that room your wife wants to decorate shabby chic, hanging pot plant holders, and garden archways are just a few of the things he can whip up. Your local vo-tech should offer classes on metalworking. Metalworking.com is a great place to find more info. They have a list of local clubs dedicated to metalworking.


If hunting isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the pleasure of shooting a gun by taking up a shooting sport and becoming an expert marksman. Marksmanship requires pure concentration and a steady hand. Shooting clubs exist all over the country that emphasize different gun sports. Take your pick among clay pigeon shooting, hand gun and rifle shooting, and even Frontier and Cowboy shooting. Shooting can get expensive. Guns are expensive and the cost of ammo has gone up dramatically due to increased demand. You’ll also need to find a place to fire your weapon safely, so if you don’t have property to do it on, you’ll have to rent some time at a gun range.

If you’re not sure about forking over the dough right away on a real gun, consider getting started with marksmanship with air guns. The basic principles and skills used with real guns are the same with air guns, except you can fire an air gun in your suburban backyard and a round of 100 air gun pellets cost just a dollar or two compared to the $10- $15 you have to drop for real ammo. Check out this informative article on using air guns as an alternative to getting involved with shooting sports (the article addresses the recoil factor).


Collecting things is something a lot of men love and most women just don’t get. Females are multi-taskers, while the male brain likes to single-mindedly zero in on something. We tend to get obsessed with things. Take this tendency and couple it with man’s primordial desire for the hunt, and there you have a man’s love for collecting. A man can spend a lifetime looking for that final item to complete his collection. It becomes his obsession. His White Whale if you will. Of course, completing a collection is usually anti-climatic. In collecting, the thrill is in the chase. Pick your poison. Duck stamps, baseball cards, antique typewriters, whatever. Just don’t get too carried away with it.


Modern man is restless and unhappy because he’s lost touch with the great outdoors. Every man should seek to regularly connect with nature for the sake of both his physical and mental well-being. He needs to break away now and again and sleep out under the stars. Leave your cubicle behind and spend a few days breathing fresh air and sitting around a campfire. In this recession, camping is one of the most economical ways to “get away from it all.” It’s a great way to hone your outdoorsman skills, reconnect with your buddies, and get some alone time with your significant other. We’ve done some articles on camping tips and backpacking tips, and you can also join the Camping Group in the Community.

Ship in a Bottle

It’s the classic old man hobby: putting intricate model ships in a glass bottle. Amaze kids with your ship in a bottle displays! They’ll spend the rest of their childhood trying to figure out exactly how you did it. Placing a ship in a bottle (or impossible bottle) is a task that takes dedicated focus, patience, and a steady hand. You usually build the model ship on the outside of the bottle with the mast down. After you insert the ship into the bottle, you raise the mast with a pair of long forceps. In addition to placing ships into bottles, you can create impossible bottles with other objects like a deck of cards or tennis balls. Find out more about impossible bottles here.


For millennia, a man’s role in his family was to provide. For most of human history this was done through tracking down and killing wild animals. The hunt was a way that many cultures and tribes initiated boys into manhood and provided men with an opportunity to bond and connect in a completely male setting. Fast forward to today. The way most men get their meat is wrapped in a piece of paper that says “Big Mac” or packaged in plastic at the grocery store.  And usually the meat is injected with hormones and antibiotics. There’s a huge disconnect between man, his food, and nature.

If you’d like to reconnect with the “Circle of Life,” it’s high time you go on a hunt. The benefits of hunting are innumerable, but here’s just a few. First, it gives you a chance to give you and your family a source of quality lean meat free from the antibiotics, hormones (and even ammonia!) that lurk in most factory farmed meat. Second, it gives you a chance to get back in touch with nature. Third, you’ll be supporting wildlife conservation as your dollars spent on hunting licenses and equipment goes to fund state wildlife agencies. And fourth, even if you don’t kill anything, hunting provides an opportunity for male bonding and friendships which is an important part of your overall happiness.


Maybe the idea of killing a deer or bear isn’t your thing. You can still enjoy the benefits of providing your own food and getting outside with fishing. Fishing is an iconic man hobby. It’s a great way for friends to bond (See Grumpy Old Men) and father and sons to spend time with each other (See Andy Griffith). It doesn’t cost too much to get started with fishing. A decent pole and reel will set you back about fifty bones and lures and bait are just a few dollars. Every state in the U.S. requires fishers to get a fishing license before they drop their line into the water. Check your state’s game and fish department for costs of licenses and information on the best fishing spots.


What if you want to start working with wood, but don’t have the money to get into real woodworking quite yet? Try whittling. All you need is a knife, a piece of soft wood, a rocking chair, a corn cob pipe, and most importantly, plenty of time. Whittling is one of those activities that can really help you relax and settle your mind after a hard day’s work. Stop by the library and pick up a book on whittling. You’ll find plenty of ideas and plans to help get you started.


Never grew out of your love for the game of hide and seek? Always wanted to go on a treasure hunt? Then the hobby of geocaching may be for you. People around the world hide objects or containers in all sorts of places and post the coordinates for the location online. People then go out with their GPS devices, seeking these well-hidden “treasures.” It’s a great way to get out of the house and explore parts of your town and area that you’ve never been to. For more info on geocaching and to find a list of geocaches in your area, go to geocaching.com.


Every man, whether nerd or meathead, should have some sort of physical activity in his life. The dichotomy between brains and brawn has always been a false one. Physical activity boosts your testosterone level (which men today really need since our T levels have been slowly dropping), keeps you healthy and in shape, staves off depression, and soothes your stress. Sports where a man’s competitive spirit can find outlet are particularly beneficial to one’s manliness. Tape part in pick-up games of football, basketball or soccer in your hometown, or form your own. I started playing weekly games of ultimate frisbee this year and absolutely love it. But solo activities-weight-lifting, running, bouldering-also have a lot of merit and allow you to space to think and get right with yourself. It doesn’t matter what the activity is as long as it gets the blood pumping and heart racing.

Model Building

Model building-building replicas of cars, planes, and ships-might have been something you enjoyed as a boy. But there’s no reason not to take up the hobby as a grown man. Model building helps you hone your eye for detail and will inspire you to learn more about the history of the things that you’re working on. Plus, you’ll end up with something cool to put in your office or man cave. Community Member Paul wrote up a great post about scale airplane modeling that is chock full of great tips and information.


The smell of leather always brings out the frontiersman in a man; the part of him who loved the stories of Davy Crockett as a boy. Leatherworking is a great way to get in touch with your inner-cowboy and learn an uber-manly craft. A skilled leatherworker can make a variety of manly goods- wallets, leather pouches, belts, gun holsters, and saddles to name a few. The downside? This can be a pretty expensive hobby. You’ll need all sorts of special tools to really make a go of it. To get started, try buying a starter kit from the Tandy Leather Factory. They include everything you need to make small stuff like a wallet and key fob. That way you can gauge your interest before plunking down big time cash to get into bigger projects. Be sure to read this thread in the Community for more info and join the Leatherworkers Group.


Fred Flintstone, Homer Simpson, Ralph Kramden, and the Dude. What do these iconic TV and movie men have in common? They bowled. During the 1950s, men flocked to bowling alleys to join league teams. It was a way for men to spend some time with other men, drink some beer, and smoke a cigar. The bowling alley became a refuge of masculinity in homes that were feminized by the constant presence of the stay-at-home mom. What’s great about bowling is that it’s a hobby you can share with your buds. Plus, it gives you an excuse to wear a kick ass, manly bowling shirt. So call up your buddies and put a team together.


While guns almost completely supplanted the bow and arrow in both hunting and self-protection, sometimes going back to the old ways can bring great satisfaction. A gun is to a sledge hammer as a bow and arrow is to a paintbrush. Archery allows you to connect with one of the most primitive of weapons; it works entirely on manpower. It’s the kind of quiet, repetitive, focused activity that can truly settle your mind. While the bow and arrow is rarely used for hunting anymore (although that’s certainly an option), great satisfaction can be found in target shooting, in training your skills to the point where you can hit an apple off someone’s head (metaphorically speaking, of course). Simple, beginner bows can be had for relatively cheap, so it’s a hobby you can start trying right away in your backyard (makes sure it’s a safe area!) There are also archery parks like this one, where 3-d targets that look like animals are scattered in the woods. Cool.
There’s another page of more hobbies! Click on Page 2 to see more!

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{ 231 comments… read them below or add one }

101 George Rosebush January 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I wonder what girls do with themselves without hobbies. Too busy with school, work, socializing? aren’t those the reasons to take up a hobby, to get away from all that and destress? It’s pretty disappointing when you can talk passionately about your hobbies, and she’s just like “uh-huh.” Personally, I wouldn’t mind if a woman had hobbies she enjoys.

What about playing the piano? or any instrument for that matter? Or making, composing music? Anything more active than simply listening to it. Girls are usually pretty impressed when I tell them I make hip hop beats (and I know that’s definitely not a traditionally manly hobby.)

102 Hayley January 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

Playing the guitar! Woot! Get’s my vote.

103 Joie January 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

these are not manly these are very homo spainiard

104 Nathan January 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Can you please do a post on how to knit?

105 Bob January 20, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’ve taken up restoring classic motorcycles, much simpler than cars, and riding classic motorcycles and newer cruisers. They are great hobbies, you can travel, take photographs, site see, camp, male bond, journal and blog about your experience.

106 Tas von Gleichen January 20, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I agree being in front of the TV all the time is such a waste. My favorite hobby on this list is reading. Just because I have been that kind of person who would only watch TV. But now I have find my new hobby which is reading books, magazines, newspapers, and the internet. Honestly I did not think that reading is a manly skill but now I know. I always fought that females read a lot more than males.

107 Rob January 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I’ve got two more for you guys. Fly tieing. and beer brewing.

108 Nick January 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

what about knot tying?

109 Cambias January 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm

You left out a very important one: Horseback riding. Sure, nowadays it seems to be the preserve of preteen girls on ponies, but for about five thousand years horsemanship was absolutely the definition of manliness. The manliest President of the past quarter-century put it perfectly: “There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.”

Riding’s good exercise, it has loads of tradition, it builds confidence with authority and gentleness, it develops your posture, and it’s fun. Whether you dress cowboy-style or in English riding habit you look awesome. And remember: women never quite grow out of their preteen horse-mania…

110 joe January 22, 2010 at 2:12 am

where is “riding motorcycle”? not manly enough for you?

111 Kenny January 22, 2010 at 4:46 am

Great list! Out of the list, l do 9 of them with my favourite one being magic.

112 Tim January 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Great list. Simply because your hobby did not make the list… so what? The hobby does not make you manly, You doing it WELL makes it excellent. Do it with heart and intensity and it will be manly enough. I need to find me some knitting needles!

113 Jack January 27, 2010 at 9:15 am

At the ripe old age of 50, I took up the Great Highland Bagpipe. Never played a musical instrument before that. Never wore a kilt before either. Need a manly pass time? Try marching down the street with a band of pipers and drummers. A man in a kilt is a man and a half.

114 Anthony January 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I was happy to see knitting on the list. I am 26, married with a soon to be 1year old boy. My grandmother taught me and my wife how to knit. It can be very relaxing and i like making hats, gloves and other things for family & friends.

115 Jamie Matthewman January 28, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Unless I am mistaken snowboarding isn’t in the list. I have just returned today from Banff, great people, good snow, spectacular scenery, fresh mountain air, lots of sun and plenty of fun. It surely deserves a place on the list doesn’t it? I certainly think so……there are a few pics on my blog if you want to see how it looks….

116 Brian January 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

looks like you all left out RC Modeling.

117 Rosser February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

This is an excellent post that has inspired me to invest time in interesting activities that lend vibrancy to my life. This is a website of quality and class, and I look forward to purchasing the book.

118 Matt February 5, 2010 at 12:00 am

The list is very good. However, I’m a little disappointed that dancing made the list and singing did not. What about Crosby, Sinatra, Martin, etc… They were VERY manly. I don’t have anything against ballroom dancing, it just seems odd that Danny Kaye’s hobby would make the list and Bing Crosby’s wouldn’t.

119 Sam February 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Video games are one of my greatest creative outlets. I’ve created RPG games that take 10+ hours to complete (which are more like writing a book than anything…I’ve yet to find another medium that allows me to let my storytelling out successfully), a huge undertaking that takes about a year total. It even turns out to be a great bonding experience when I create one for my friends, full of inside jokes. I also compose music for my programming friend to use in his games.

Of course, gaming isn’t my only hobby, I partake in many listed above. I just think video games unjustly get a bad rap. I know it isn’t typical, but you can be a gamer and an outdoorsman at the same time. I live on a freakin’ farm!

120 Andy UU1CC February 7, 2010 at 5:07 am

Great article, but how about a War As a Man’s Hobby? Just kidding, I’m HAM-Radio addicted :-)

121 Alex February 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I’m really quite pleased to see magic on here! I make my living as a magician and love the idea of it being manly.

122 Fen February 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I do boxing, but i workout old school, with a family friend who trained chilean champs like Fredy Shura
We don’t use weight machines, only a mirror, gloves and mitts
Everyone should try it

123 Bryan March 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Hi there. New to the site, but this is awesome. There are definitely a couple of hobbies I want to pick up here, but glad to see a bunch I’m already involved in.

124 Le Loup March 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm

My favourite hobby is 18th century Living History and Historical Trekking. It covers such a wide range of interests that there is something for everyone. It is great for involving families, and I think that is very important.
Regards, Le Loup.

125 gcb March 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I knit, but not with wool and needles – I make chainmail. Good article!

126 Suneth March 25, 2010 at 9:55 am

I started to collect stamps when I was 6yrs. I now have a remarkably large collection. Photography, Bloging, reading are my other hobbies.

127 Kyle April 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm

as a machinist by profession i find it entertaining to build things from scratch…even if its a little 2$ trinket i could buy at walmart…..theres nothing quite as satisfying as starting with nothing and knowing you produced a product of the upmost quality…if you have the time to try them i do – gunsmithing, dectorative metalwork, …stainless steel coasters for your coffee table (what guy wouldnt like a set of those)…knife making, luthier work (fixing or building stringed instruments), even still enjoy a model car or airplane now and then

there’s nothing more manly than telling your wife you’re a “jack of all trades, master of none”…..

128 Viktor April 25, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Daetan Huck mentioned Go above as a counterpart to chess, and I play both so I would agree. Go is fascinating. I try to play at least one game a day online, and while it may not be as popular over here as it is in China, Japan, and Korea, there are local go clubs you can visit for those interested.

For the U.S.: www. usgo .org/
If you want to play online, this is a friendly server: www. gokgs .com/
And the best resource online for go knowledge, although the layout is somewhat confusing is: senseis.xmp.net/

I encourage all that are interested in board games, and especially chess, to try going to a local go club and watching a game and having someone teach you the basics. The 19×19 board may seem daunting at first, but 9×9 and 13×13 are popular varieties, especially for those just starting out.

129 John May 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

In the vein of collecting something physical, postcards are just as good as stamps. As it happens, the Metropolitan Postcard Club of NYC (www. metropostcard. com) is hosting their show this weekend. The sellers are international, and are always willing to take time out to educate those new to the game, and being able to take an afternoon/weekend to sort through a few million worldwide images and letters certainly takes the stress off the hurried pace of the work week. Having images from across the globe on display in your house also provides a great conversation starter.

130 John R June 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm

My older brother was always into model rocketry and I thought it very manly of him. There’s nothing like meticulously assembling and painting your creation and then watch your hard earned money sail into the wild blue yonder and come down in an 80 year old oak tree. You must then become even more manly by risk life and limb climbing the tree. I always sat in a lawn chair sipping lemonade, it was fascinating.

131 Thyag September 20, 2012 at 4:35 am

For Genealogy, myheritage.com is an awesome site to start building your family tree. Good luck and let the souls of your deceased ancestors be proud you :)

132 Whatarehobbies.com September 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Forgot about being a fireman

133 Leon September 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I’m 65.. need something more satisfying than all this stuff that NEEDS doing.
Things I’m considering: Something artsy like sculpture using as yet undetermined medium; midget car racing; gyro-copter flying; long range ‘sniper’ target shooting; collecting something (!) if I can find the right thing; creating music tracks using loop-back technologies. My interests are wide.. skills, not always so much, but I think the skill aspect is irrelevant if you enjoy the doing. I’ve never had a hobby, but admire those who do whatever it might be. For me.. something with good ‘wow’ factor for me in the doing and for others in the seeing. What could be better? :)

134 Jordan September 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

How about model railways? Or would that be under model building?

135 Crash October 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

On the list or not .
Riding the Harley, Arm wrestling,
and target practice with assortment of weapons . Great way to relax after a long week at work.

136 Tim October 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

Not bad. Scored more passes than fails.
A few more plusses I would have liked to be included are. Motorcycle restoration, motorcycle riding, Rockclimbing, mountain and roadcycling, and surviving divorce and ex wives.

137 Philip October 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Since I get bored very easily I need a hobby that I won’t get bored with. There also needs to be a point in doing it. I like making models, but I don’t need the end result. I think I might like to learn the Guitar (again) but with no end benefit, other than my own sanity, I think i would get fed up with it fairly soon. I do play some golf, make wine and beer and belong to an outdoors club which is fine for the summer, but the winter weekends seem to drag so much.

138 Lilit October 17, 2012 at 1:29 am

I am very pleased that I found learning foreign languages as some kind of hobby. thank u a lot for loading into computer some kind of list of hobbies!!

139 Ashley November 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I needed a new hobby and found numerous sites for 20 something women that included painting, drawing, learning a language, photography and reading…all things I already do. None of these sites mentioned chess, archery, fencing, or astrology. Thank you for posting these Manly Hobbies…some of which will soon be my womanly hobbies.

140 wil November 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Someold time classic hobbies , that must be added along with many more.

Foosball and Ping Pong , games that require constant practice to master and understand .


141 Kevin November 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Another great hobby is bonsai. It does take a lot of patience, but it is very artistic and relaxing. It’s a great feeling to see your little tree blossom into a piece of art.

142 bj November 13, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I think scuba diving should be on here I love it so much I used to do it for a living! very manly aswell

143 Ron November 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

I have recently taken up two new manly hobbies. The first is firearm building. I have purchased a couple of rifle “spare parts kits” and built up a receiver for the parts to fit into. This has been great fun and very challenging. It requires the ability to do metal work, from sheet metal to welding to machining. I do not have any heavy metal working machines, just a vise, drill press and imagination.
The second hobby is working on stationary engines, more precisely, the so called Listeroid engines. These are single or dual cylinder low speed diesel engines. I have set one up to provide power to my garage, and I am working on a generator set to run my house on a vegetable oil powered engine.

144 Konrad November 29, 2012 at 1:15 am

Very good. Thanks so much! I added some of these to my list, and am going to try them.

145 Bob December 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

Great list. Already do several manly things on the list and recently added railway modelling. Wife looked at me a bit oddly until I discovered just how many top muso’s/actors/politicians etc are into railways. Still not sure she thinks it’s manly but who cares!

146 colum January 7, 2013 at 10:41 am

i like to combine 2 of my faves – guitar playing and woodwork = guitar making! it’s a great hobby. takes a long time to make a guitar but it’s all about the process not the product. takes a long time because you stand around a lot talking to other guys about tools and techniques. can’t get more manly than that!
excellent list btw.

147 w2edv January 7, 2013 at 11:04 am


For Amateur Radio licensing, visit the American Radio Relay League at:


this is the pre-eminent Ham Radio associaton.



148 Richard January 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Phew! For a moment there I was afraid you weren’t going to mention brewing one’s own beer.

Also, I second learning ANY musical instrument, not just guitar.

149 ced January 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

i tried cross stitch before and it stressed me out

150 Jason January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Several of these can be combined with the addition of teaching the future generations of men these great hobbies:
Boy Scout Leader.
Teaching Boys, building Men of Character.

151 EGS January 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Not listed but i’m sewing bags, dog toys and teddy bears. apparel is next.

152 Bill January 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Motorcycle riding?

153 ash January 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Wtf!?!? Where’s the most important, riding motorcycles?

154 Andrew January 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I;ve gotten into Geocaching, learning guitar, playing chess, fencing, paintballing, and building models myself. Which are all fun, and now I’m about to embark upon the trade of Tailoring as the opportunity has arisen. Guitar and chess have really stuck with me the most though. I’m going to be getting back into fencing this year as I now have a dueling partner in theater, and I used to help run a paintball field. That was probably one of the funnest jobs I had.

155 Ben January 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Building fireworks, safely and legally. It’s really something that can be done. Check out PGI.org

156 The Sundrian January 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Here’s a more unusual one that I’ve always been into, Railway preservation. It’s massive in Britain and is common enough in some other parts of the world, I volunteer putting in 12 hours a week into track work and general maintinence. Once our facilites get better we’ll start on overhauling and restoring our fleet of Diesel Mechanical Engines and keeping up work on our Steam Engine. It’s great because it’s not set to one age group, we’ve everything from 17 to 75, which leads to a great share of stories from years ago. Their is also friendly competion between engine crews. And it’s not just for anoraks. We’ve lads who have never even seen a steam locomotive who have fallen head of heels for it. It only has one flaw, and we’re alway’s short of volunteers. Here’s a video of ours(Irish) in action.


157 Joshua Ridenour January 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I enjoy doing MASSAGE THERAPY as a Hobby!

158 Tone January 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Short film making. Like photography, only with motion. It can be as simple or as complex as one wants, the subject matter could either be factual (perhaps a short film documenting another hobby or two), or a translation of some creative writing, such as a blog piece. You can get started with a cameraphone and whatever basic video editing software came with your computer. But again, like photography, it can get expensive quickly.

159 Greg January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

This list seems to be missing my personal favorite: sailing. There are few things more manly in my book. It’s an activity that makes me feel more like a human being; something that ties me to the great explorers and tough dudes of old. It’s ancient, it’s fast, you get to pilot something huge, and when you’re in the water on a good tack the whole operation is almost perfectly silent.

160 John M. January 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm

A saw a lot of this in my father who passed away two weeks ago. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, marksmanship, woodworking, blogging, and was an excellent cook. He was a very manly dude and I would do well to emulate him.

As an aside, Ada Lovelace is considered the first true computer programmer. So, technically, programming could be considered a woman’s domain.

161 Christian January 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Yes to chess, although I’m more drawn to the historical contexts of wargaming: http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.ee6ded8/

162 Kevin January 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I agree with Matt: don’t forget singing. Join a choir and flex those vocal chords!

163 Jake January 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I think rugby should at least be mentioned in the sports category. Few sports are as manly as rugby union. Not only is rugby a highly physical full contact sport with continuous play where 30 men (15 vs 15) go at it for two 40 minute halvs – rules and traditions rooted in Victorian notions of manly honor, respect, and discipline are incorporated into the game (i.e. only team captains are aloud to talk to the reff who must be adressed as “sir”, opposing teams drink and sing traditional songs with each other after matches etc.,). There are men’s clubs all over the country, and these clubs are very good examples of what were referred to in Manly Honor VII (perhaps my favorite article on here) as honor groups.

164 Nick January 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

What about golf? I know its a sport, but its a unique compared to other sports out there and manly tradition.

165 Ken January 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I just set up a forge yesterday as I have been wanting to start blacksmithing for some time now. Hammering glowing iron is a thing of beauty and a great workout.

166 chinsy January 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm


167 Curtis January 8, 2013 at 1:50 am

This may seem a bit more exotic than it actually is: Biohacking. Hobbyist genetic engineering is quite comparable to hobbyist electronics or computer programming in expenses, and the learning curve, though steep, isn’t as bad as you may think.

168 Leslie Curtis January 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

Mountain biking is the hobby I took up about a year ago and I really enjoy the challenges of hitting the trails and downhills

169 MJ January 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I would add soap making to the list. Nothing finer than a fresh cake of pine tar soap.

170 David Bextel January 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

If you are thinking about getting serious about model trains – I can not recommend this enough

171 JonMarc Grodi January 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Join a barbershop quartet or chorus!

172 Bill January 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

You totally missed the manliest hobby – Highland Bagpiping!

173 Eric de Koster January 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

This is a brilliant website, I’m working away from home and am looking for hobby to pass the time in the hotel or outside.
For the first two years working away from home I did take up the hobby of alcohol connoisseur, not only is it an expensive hobby, one can end up as an alcoholic connoisseur and find one selves visiting AA , I don’t understand why there is no AC for connoisseur alcoholics that appreciate a 40 year old malt instead of a three litre bottle of cider.
Anyway, this site has given me some ideas for hobbies to pick up, this site is what was missing on the internet.
I think I will start collecting bottle tops

174 Sumeet Soni January 12, 2013 at 1:40 am

How can you forget Motor-Cycling???

175 Justin January 17, 2013 at 12:15 am

Umm you left out racing. particularly motorcycles, especially flat track or isle of mann. What about drag racing?! Especially front engine dragsters where your manhood sits directly atop a chrome differential where 1000 hp at 8500rpm is the norm and 3500hp at 10,000 rpm is pure music. Two words; NITRO-METHANE.

176 Bryn Walsh January 21, 2013 at 9:15 am

Where’s Spelunking!?

177 biskut January 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

My Halo Mega Bloks UNSC base using set from Mega Bloks Gantry & Sabre, 2 Falcons, Flood Siege & custom made Front gate. Currently waiting for my new 4 sets of Halo Mega bloks versus assault on high ground to arrive to build the base left & right side wall.


178 Susan Everett January 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

This was a great list, plus what other contributors wrote was good, too.
TSD rallying could go on this list. You need a driver and navigator, and a car plus orienteering skills on public roads.
You often get to see great scenery, and rally stories are always fun to share.
Good website!

179 Rami February 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I’m actually surprised, many good ideas here. Thanks for the great article!

180 Tom February 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Great list! Only one problem though, what about music? Sure there’s guitar, and dancing, but what about singing? Or listening/studying/writing music? Perhaps other instruments? I’m a drummer myself, but ya know, whatever you’re into!

181 John Sabolich March 1, 2013 at 7:07 am

Well, I just spend two hours submitting the most exciting and satisfying hobby of metal detecting until I accidentally hit some wrong key and erased the whole thing two hour long exciting project. I was so sad for about an hour, but finally pulled myself together to put together a small piece.
It’s really a shame because it really brought out the wonder and excitement of what one might find under the ground and the thougts that run through ones mind about the person or child that lost the particular treasure or valuable object. Or the person who just forgot where he buried the big treasure. It is sort of like fishing for treasure both big and small without having to clean the fish. I am so sorry because I really put my heart and soul into the many different stories of our adventures as serious treasure hunters of both small and large treasures, and of course as with most hobbies men fine the gizmos and gadgets that come along with the hobby exciting and fascinating. Well, I guess someday, when I have a couple of hours to spend I will again try to tell of the many adventures of the past and the possibilities of the future of the fascinating hobby of metal detecting. Where excitement and wonderful exercise and friendship, comrodery and plane old fun come together in a wonderful montage of deep thought and adventure among men of a common interest of a wonderful and most unusual hobby that would not normally cross ones mind. That is until you see a guy with two pockets full of silver coins and gold rings come walking toward you swinging a metal detector with a big smile on his face who is half way trying to hide his excitement as I did in an old park in Oklahoma city in 1974. I guess I am An old timer now, but was a young sniffeled nosed kid when I ran into the old timers of the past that were kind enough to take in a ego filled 23 year old kid among their midst and make me teachable through some hard knocks and their abundant wisdom. I have to tell you I really, really loved those old guys. They were the fathers of the past that I never had. Yes, I will always think about them and our incredible adventures and just keep loving them, and loving them. And doing that feels so very very good indeed. I just guess that it i possible for a group of young and old timers to get together now days and do it all over again. Now that is an interesting possibility is it not.

182 carel March 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Mix martial arts and piper knife figting (traing with real okapi knifes), like we do it in south africa you can’t get manlier than that!

183 Brendan April 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

In addition to fishing, fly tying is a pretty manly hobby as well.

184 Max April 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Gardening. You totally forgot about the satisfaction one gets out of small-scale horticulture.

185 Chris W April 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm

What an awesome list! The best part of this article are the submissions in the comments of additional hobbies that I would have never thought of. Now if I can just figure out which one I want to start!

186 mahmoud hatem April 19, 2013 at 4:02 am

really I always want my hobby to be a compouter progeamming person

187 Raj May 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Computer programming actually started as a job for women– it was considered to be easy as compared to actually making the computer itself.

188 Savrogin May 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

To listen to music

189 Steven R May 13, 2013 at 4:01 am

Technically I already do some of those things in an indirect way.

I build and paint Heavy Gear miniatures, which covers model building and painting. As it’s a miniatures game it then shares the quality of chess.

But as others have noted, why is not listening to music here. Though I suppose it depends on the type of music.

190 Justin Comyford May 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm

There is one that you left out.

Scottish highland athletics…

because Caber tossing is F’ing Manly

191 Leo May 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

How about playing video games?

192 Robert June 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I have been drawing all my life. That is part of what made me better. No one starts out painting or drawing masterpieces. Some basics of drawing: These are the basic elements: Line-work (if your lines aren’t clean then your work will suffer), shading, light-source, harmony or disharmony of colors or other elements (ask yourself how this feels.. too much or too little), perspective. Also it can be ideal to make something people want to see, or that has meaning to you at least. Since you are creating whatever can be imagined, why not create something awesome that you normally don’t see in reality rather then something which if you saw it in reality you wouldn’t give it second glance? It is just an idea and I’m sure there are good reasons for not doing this, so take it or leave it. Remember all larger forms come from basic shapes: Cones, cubes, spheres. Focus on the smaller basic shapes and the larger will come into place. I SUGGEST SEARCHING FOR THE TERMS WHICH ARE UNFAMILIAR TO YOU ON THE INTERNET TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THEM.
Remember, unless you know someone who can do miracles or you did this in a past life or something, practice makes perfect.

193 Austin June 10, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Want to feel manly? Build something! Or have a useful skill. I spent alot of time at my grandparents house and my grandpa could build, repair, or invent whatever was needed. He can sew, do electrical work, plumb, and has built several houses, barns, and cellars; also he keeps a very large garden and raises cattle and cuts his own hay. The list could go on…..and here’s a couple more, he built a general store/gas station for our community, a volunteer fire department at great expense, and owned and operated his own upholstery shop for many years. Being around such a provider and self-sufficient entrepreneur nearly my whole life has given me a great example of how a manly man should be.

194 Carlson July 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Interesting to see widdling on the list, really gave me something to do.

195 Robert July 3, 2013 at 2:01 am

I forget which comment that said that u can’t get more manly than that but the first thing that popped in my mind When i read that was shark Diving or cage Diving. phew. scaryyy.

196 Sarah July 13, 2013 at 9:30 am

Wow…. Just wow, this is the first time I’ve seen a men’s website that’s actually teaching other men to actually do something USEFUL.

All other websites are about impressing rich, and or attractive girls.

I’m really impressed. I think more of men now…. Well just the ones that actually do live a life instead of watching girls on T.V or the Internet.

I’m a girl, and I have most of said hobbies, INCLUDING collecting things.. I collect: buttons, seashells, seeds, cards, metal scraps, magazines, and bottles.

So yeah…. I don’t think this gender thing really applies, I mean I didint learn hunting yet, I’m not even 18, however I’ve been fishing, hiking, diving, camping, treasure hunting, writing, drawing, crafting, speaking two languages, taking pictures, playing music, cooking, baking, tailoring, reading, and practicing yoga for many years, heck I would love to be Geoscientist one day.

197 thijmen July 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

i’m from holland and i can say half of the things liusted here are near impossible to do: campfires are forbidden, hunting requires a licence which is you’ll never get and both archery and markmanship: good luck trying to find a shooting range without licence again.

anyone has any ideas where i can migrate to?

198 Chris Welch July 23, 2013 at 7:34 am

Great ideas, but what if you’re disabled? I struggle with finding things to do that I enjoy that don’t either use all my energy just getting there, or get destroyed by my kids!

Any suggestions for alternatives greatly appreciated!

199 Jody O. DoH August 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Bryn Walsh:

Spelunking is exploring caves.

200 James August 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

Don’t forget trapping. It is not exactly the same as hunting and has been a huge part of wildlife control since the settling of this country.

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