Men need hobbies. But choosing a new pursuit is tough. Luckily, I put together The Best List of Hobbies for Men. These 20 fresh endeavors will have you feeling invigorated in no time.
When I was in fourth grade, some pain-in-the-ass kid in my music class complained to the teacher that he or she was bored. I can’t remember the details or who it was, but it was friggin’ whiny. My music teacher said something that stuck with me my entire life:
“Only boring people get bored.” Damn, Mrs. Duncan. That’s some deep, philosophical stuff.
But it’s true. Getting bored is totally avoidable, and it’s just laziness that allows life to bore us. My advice? Stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick up a new hobby!
Connecting to something outside of work or the same ole’ day-to-day is good for the soul.
Hobbies renew us. They breathe new, exciting life into a would-be passionless existence. Even if you love your job, putting your eyes and hands on something else keeps your work from consuming you and becoming just another thing you do.
Need some inspiration? No worries, we all do from time to time. To help, I put together the best list of hobbies for men to check out and try something new. Many of these hobbies are forgotten pastimes with which our generation should try getting back in touch.
List of Hobbies Entry #1: Collecting (of any type)
Men love collecting things. Whether it be books, watches, guns, tobacco pipes, pocket knives, stamps, or coins, it’s in our blood. We do our best to learn every reference number, all the significant dates, limited editions, and anything else we can learn about a specific subject.
Collecting high-dollar items can get expensive, but there are different approaches you can take. For some guys, it can be creating the perfect collection, which could mean owning just a few items rather than an entire run. It’s not really about the items, but the pursuit of perfection.
List of Hobbies Entry #2: Photography
“The art of chasing light,” or so they say. Photography isn’t inherently manly, but it’s an incredible hobby for men to pick up. Learning the camera’s ins and outs, noticing opportunities, and delivering a moment in time in such a way that someone who wasn’t there can understand it is a fantastic skill.
The best thing about photography is that you don’t need to spend any money to do it. If you have a modern smartphone, you’re pretty much equipped to get the job done. Some free or low-cost photo editing software will be enough to get you hooked on editing your shots — another hobby all of its own.
As a side note: if you get good at this hobby, you can make a bit of extra money, as well.
List of Hobbies Entry #3: Hunting
Getting in touch with your inner hunter-gatherer can be all it takes to breathe life back into a mundane existence. Tracking an animal through the woods, waiting for the perfect opportunity to take your quarry; that’s animalistic and primal.
Now, maybe you don’t want to take a shot at Bambi (that’s probably because you’ve never tasted venison, but I digress). That’s fine. Combine hunting with hobby number two on this list, and you’ll still get some of the primal benefits of hunting without having to draw a bead on any woodland creatures.
But seriously, try venison.
List of Hobbies Entry #4: Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is one of the most zen ways you can spend your time in the great outdoors. The dance of casting a line through the air and your fly landing without the slightest splash is enough to make your cares melt away, if only temporarily.
Factor in all the knowledge that goes into becoming a fly fisherman, from flies and hatches to species and characteristics, and the “sport” becomes more of a religion. It’s definitely a lifelong pursuit.
List of Hobbies Entry #5: Autocross
If you’re less about zen and more about burning rubber, check out autocrossing. This affordable form of motorsport allows amateur drivers to take all sorts of vehicles (literally whatever you drive will do) across a course of cones in an empty parking lot. From tight turns to straight-away bursts, it’s a great way to get into motorsport.
There are lots of great affordable cars that will excel at autocross. Miatas, older 3-Series BMWs, any Honda Civic, Volkswagen GTIs, and Mini Coopers are great at throwing their relatively lightweight frames around the cones with surprising agility.
List of Hobbies Entry #6: Woodworking
I sort of trashed woodworkers a bit in my last blog post, but I only did that because I knew this post was coming shortly after. The truth is that I love woodworking — I’ve been known to partake.
Building cabinetry, custom pieces of furniture, or a basic set of shelves is a great way to spend a weekend in the garage. If you really want to take the pursuit seriously, learn how to take a log from a tree and turn it into a cutting board without once stepping foot in the local home improvement store. That’s some hardcore stuff.
List of Hobbies Entry #7: Painting
Building and creating are so crucial to man’s souls. Guys that might not be great with a hammer and nails might be incredibly gifted with a canvas and a brush. And, the sense of creating something that wasn’t there before you made it can be empowering.
Painting can be pretty affordable, too. While high-end paints and brushes are expensive, you can get started with inexpensive tools, paints, and canvas. You might even consider taking a class at a local community college.
List of Hobbies Entry # 8: Reading
A great adventure book or documentary can sweep you away to another world without ever stepping outside your own front door. Immersing yourself in another world will not only ensure you’re not bored, but it’ll also expand your horizons, strengthen your brainpower, and improve your creativity. Isn’t that exactly what a hobby should do?
If you don’t mind reading books on a tablet, there are no limits to the different books you can escape into this very minute. Personally, I’ve always preferred to hold a copy of the book in my hand, but that’s just me.
List of Hobbies Entry # 9: Pipe Smoking
Hey, I didn’t say all these hobbies were going to make the health-nuts jump for joy. But, there are some awesome benefits to pipe smoking. For one, smoking a pipe takes up to 40 minutes, which means once you sit down and light yours, you’re forcing yourself to slow down. On top of that, there is something relaxing and contemplative about smoking a pipe. And, nicotine can improve focus and creativity.
Plus, who doesn’t want to look like a wizard?
List of Hobbies Entry #10: Playing Music
Ah, there’s no denying that we’re big fans of learning to play music at The Graying Area. Whether you’re learning to play an instrument for the first time, getting back in touch with the instrument you haven’t played since high school, or simply curating a fantastic vinyl collection, music can certainly soothe the beast.
One of the best things about playing music is that there’s a genre or style for any mood. And since it requires constant improvement and effort, your chances of becoming bored are slim.
And, let’s be honest: shredding an electric guitar is a badass skill.
List of Hobbies Entry # 11: Spirits
Now, wait a minute. I’m not suggesting that you spend your boredom in the bottom of a bottle. What I’m saying is that there is a lot to learn about the creation, consumption, and appreciation of fine spirits.
Whether you’re a cocktail man or you prefer your booze straight, there is as much to learn about the different spirits, years, recipes, and pairing as there is with any of the deepest, most involved pursuits. It’s basically like going to Professor Snape’s Potions class.
List of Hobbies Entry #12: Marksmanship
If you can put the violence aside, almost anyone can appreciate the skill and ability it takes to send a tiny piece of lead hundreds of yards for it to touch upon a small object the size of a textbook. The knowledge, technique, and control it takes to do it is easy to admire.
Shooting is another one of those hobbies that can be a real rabbit hole. Once you start becoming confident in your skills, you’ll want to reach out and touch further targets. You’ll upgrade your scope, start hand-loading your own ammunition, and learn calculations that account for the curvature of the Earth’s surface. It’s all very addictive.
List of Hobbies Entry #13: Overlanding
If you want to mix your love for nature with your passion for cars, overlanding is the hobby for you. This casual sport involves outfitting your vehicle to go hundreds of miles off the beaten path, getting back in touch with the great outdoors.
There are some vehicles that lend themselves better to the sport than others. The Toyota Land Cruiser, for example, is one of the most durable overlanding vehicles ever made. On the other hand, your old Kia Sorento might not handle the rigors of the trail so well.
List of Hobbies Entry #14: Journaling
Collecting our thoughts is a skill we should all strive to master. The ability to write your thoughts clearly and in such a way that you can look back and relive those feelings can be a hobby worth pursuing. It might seem strange at first, but I promise, you’ll get better at it.
Here’s the fun part: You can upgrade your journaling gear just like any other pursuits. High-end fountain tip pens, quality notebooks, and luxury desk lamps make the hobby of journaling a truly personal, enjoyable experience. But to start, a ball point and a pocket notebook is all it takes.
List of Hobbies Entry #15: Cooking
If there’s one hobby on this list that will have your friends beating down your door, it’s food. Whether you learn to cook like a Culinary Institute graduate, or you become your social circle’s go-to on the best restaurants in your region, learning the ins and outs of a great meal is a hobby worth checking out.
In my opinion, the best way to start your culinary journey is by mastering a delicious sauce that you can use for both pizza and pasta. Be sure to subscribe for notifications, as I’ll be sharing my recipe in the next few weeks. It doesn’t hurt to find a go-to sandwich, as well.
List of Hobbies Entry #16: Mountaineering
If you’ve ever wanted to stand on the peak of a mountain and look across three states at a time, you might want to give the hobby of mountaineering a try.
Mountaineering isn’t just hiking. It often involves climbing, skiing, and map navigation, and other necessary survival skills.
The sights you’ll see as a mountaineer will be second to none. After your first climb, you’ll be burning for another summit.
List of Hobbies Entry #17: Beekeeping
Humans have been keeping bees for over 9,000 years, and as far as hobbies go, it’s as immersive as any other on this list. From learning about different species of honeybees, honeybee behavior, and how to care for them, you better make room in your noggin for a whole lot of new information.
There’s also a phenomenon that occurs when you keep and learn about bees. You’ll immediately start to see the world through a different lens, taking note of new flowers, pollen flows, and other pollinators. Pair this hobby with photography, and you’ll have enough gorgeous landscape prints to decorate your entire home in bee-utiful pictures.
Oh, you can’t forget the puns. They’re bee-yond plentiful.
List of Hobbies Entry #18: Travel
Right now might seem like a strange time to mention travel as a hobby worth considering, but hear me out. You don’t have to go to a different country to see something new. Traveling to different cities and areas within your own state can still yield some incredible sights.
When traveling to other countries does become safe, this hobby will truly pay off. You see, it’s not just the week that you’re gone that counts as part of the hobby. It’s also the planning, the navigating, the organization, and the contacts you make along the way that make this hobby so sweet.
List of Hobbies Entry #19: Writing
Some of the greatest men in history have tried their hands at expressing themselves through the written word. You should join them by doing the same. Whether you write poetry, non-fiction, adventures, or blogs like The Graying Area, expressing your thoughts and creativity with well-crafted sentences is an excellent way to pass the time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if your first few attempts aren’t the literary goldmines you thought they’d be. You don’t have to be published to be a writer. You just have to write. You’ll get better over time, and there are lots of programs and apps that will help improve your final drafts.
List of Hobbies Entry #20: Leatherworking
Guys looking for a useful hobby that could actually make them some cash should consider checking out leatherworking. Taking a hide from a natural raw material to a finely-finished leather good is an accomplishment the likes of which will make you proud. You can try making wallets, knife sheaths, guitar straps, and many more projects.
Leatherworking tools are relatively inexpensive, and you can buy lower-quality hides to practice with. After some time honing your craft, you’ll be able to upgrade your gear and try out high-end hides.
If you get really good, you’ll be able to sell your wares and be your own boss. Not bad for a sweet new hobby.
So, what would you add to this list of hobbies? What’s a pursuit that you’ve been longing to try but haven’t yet? Leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to my blog. I’ll be covering all of these topics in-depth in the future, and you don’t want to miss that.