The first step to becoming a real man is admitting that you aren’t perfect. It’s in our blood to ignore instruction manuals and maps, instead relying on raw instinct or hitting things with a hammer if they don’t work. However that feeling in your gut isn’t always right, and that’s why it’s essential to take a step back and actively acquire new skills that will last you a lifetime.
If there’s one thing you’ve learnt thus far in life, it’s that there is no easy route to manhood. It’s not something that appears overnight and it can’t be bought for any amount of money. However, each new skill you add to your arsenal takes you one step closer to becoming the very epitome of a real man.
The arrival of the internet has made this process significantly easier; there are an abundance of guides and tutorials on various man skills, whether it’s fixing a leaky tap or surviving a bear attack. We’ve spent hours scouring the internet and compiling a list of 50 Things Every Modern Man Should Know.
Basic survival skills are usually a good starting point. After all, the longer you survive the more things you’ll pick up along the way.
1. How to Survive a Bear Attack
Did you know that different survival techniques should be adopted depending on what type of bear is charging towards you? ‘Playing Dead’ is what most people assume, which is the correct course of action to take if you’re being mauled by a Grizzly Bear, however a Black Bear will happily continue it’s relentless assault regardless.
If it’s black, attack. If it’s brown, stay down.
2. How to Identify a Rip Current
The most dangerous aspect of a Rip Current is just how hard they are to identify. The average beach goer wouldn’t spot even the most glaring signs of a rip current, often being caught without even realising until it’s too late.
Rip Current identification clues include:
- A channel of churning, choppy water
- Deeper, darker water
- Fewer breaking waves
- Sand coloured water on the surface
- A break in the incoming wave pattern as waves roll onto the shore
3. How to Build a Campfire
Starting at around 3:45, Lonnie demonstrates the best method to construct a campfire that lasts all night long, with little to no maintenance. There are many different ways to build a campfire, but this Scandinavian method has stood the test of time.
4. How to Throw a Knockout Punch
Physical confrontation should always be a last resort. Unfortunately, there may be a time where you find yourself in a dire situation and the only option is to fight back. The only reason you should be fighting is because you can’t get away, as soon as there is an opportunity to leave the situation, take it.
We looked high and low for the best explanation of a knockout punch, and this rundown is by far the most effective technique in our opinion.
- Keep your fist tightly clenched and your wrist straight
- Keep your shoulder low by tightening your lats
- Aim down the center line of your opponents body, such as nose, throat etc.
- Punch straight, don’t wind up a swing, this will leave you open
- NEVER put your thumb inside your clenched fist, keep it on the outside
5. How to Climb a Rope
Perhaps to escape the bear, or someone trying to punch you?
6. How to Tie a Search and Rescue Knot
When it comes to tying knots it’s important to ensure you get it right, especially if you’re going to be dangling off of the end of it. Animated Knots is by far the most comprehensive resource on knots, with clear and easy to follow animations for almost every knot imaginable.
Man Skills are not something that requires a ‘manly’ man to carry out. They are the things that your dad knows how to do off-the-cuff, to your amazement, an things that your grandfather is most likely a master at.
7. How to Drink Whiskey Like a Sir
Richard Patterson, the Master Blender of Whyte & Mackay, is literally THE MAN when it comes to Whiskey. The above is not only highly amusing, it’s the best instructional video on how to drink whiskey like a man.
8. How to Cook a Steak
Everyone loves a nice cut of meat (unless you’re vegetarian), but far too many ruin a perfectly good steak by cooking it poorly. Gordon Ramsay talks you through the process.
9. How to Nail the ‘Do I look fat in this?’ Question
It’s the moment we all dread. When your other half walks into the room after spending 5 hours getting ready, doing an awkward spin on the spot before uttering those potentially life changing words:
“Do I look fat in this?”
It’s one of the hardest questions a man will face. Of course she doesn’t look fat, but explaining this is an extremely complex process. Stanley Colors has constructed the perfect comic for handling this situation.
10. How to Pick a Lock
Not to be used with malicious intent, learning how to pick a lock can be incredibly handy when you’re locked outside at 3am in just your underwear. You’ll need to get hold a decent pick and tension wrench, which might also be problematic in that situation..
11. How to Check Your Balls
Arguably also one for the Survival section. Jokes aside, make sure you check regularly. Warning, there is a penis and testicles in the above video.
12. How to Estimate Distance by Sight
Fun Fact: Your arm is 10 times longer than the distance between your eyes. Using this logic, it’s possible to estimate distances between you and an object.
13. How to Urinate in Public
Urinating against a wall in broad daylight is disgusting. Actually thinking about it and using everyday objects as tools, is totally acceptable.
14. The Different Nuts and Bolts
Because it’s important to know the nuts and bolts of nuts and bolts. Head on over to Bolt Depot for the ultimate chart.
15. How to Fix a Leaky Tap
This task will crop up many times throughout your life, so it’s best to master it as soon as you can.
16. The Difference Between Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch etc.
All whiskeys have one thing in common; they are a grain based mash that is distilled and left to age in wooden barrels or casks. The main differences between whiskeys is where and how they are made. This is an entire post in itself, so head on over to Reddit where the question as answered in depth.
17. What Knife to Use
If you want to know your way around a kitchen, perhaps to impress a date, a good place to start is mastering knife selection. This handy infographic will get you up to speed on which knife to use and how to grip them.
18. How to Open a Beer Bottle with a Lighter
You’ll be surprised how often you’ll need to use this trick..
19. How to Smoke a Cigar
There may be occasions were you’ll be presented with a cigar, or perhaps you wish to take them up yourself, and you’ll have no idea how to properly smoke one. It’s easy to look like an idiot and and ruin a perfectly fine cigar, so head on over to the aptly named The Smoking Jacket it for an in-depth primer.
It’s essential that every man learns how to drive, whether you opt for a car or motorcycle. There are some things they don’t teach you during lessons, which could save you a tonne of time or potentially save your life.
20. What to do as a Passenger if the Driver Passes Out
Bonus Tip: Don’t trust a ginger driver
It’s not a great situation to find yourself in; being the passenger of a car when the driver, for whatever reason, loses control of the vehicle. How you react can be a matter of life and death, so do the right thing and engrave the following into your brain:
- Push yourself over the armrest/centre console to give yourself a better view of the situation
- Don’t attempt to reach the brake pedal; you can’t
- Firmly grab the wheel with your left/right hand (dependent on country!)
- Actively check as many mirrors as you can to make yourself aware of surrounding vehicles
- Put the car in neutral and turn on the hazard lights
- Slowly guide the car to the hard shoulder/emergency lane/clear part of the road, constantly checking mirrors
- Ensure the car is going straight, and uUse the handbrake to slowly bring yourself to a stop, by gently pulling it up
- If the vehicle is moving too fast/about to hit something, slowly apply the handbrake on and off but never full on; this can flip the vehicle or cause it to spin
21. How to Change a Tyre
You may think you know how, but when put in the situation you’ll probably realise you don’t.
22. Motorcycle Hand Signals
Click for full graphic
If you don’t ride a motorcycle these aren’t too important, however some are undoubtedly useful to know.
23. How to Use Jumper Cables
It’s not rocket science, but it’s definitely handy to know.
24. How to Properly Adjust Side Mirrors
Those shiny things poking out the side of your car are actually pretty useful, you know.
Dress & Grooming
Every man should take pride in his appearance, whether that’s involves tying a tie correctly or knowing how a suit should fit.
25. How a Suit Should Fit
If you invest in a quality suit that fits properly, it should last you a good number of years. Not everyone has the chance to be properly fitted; the above video should give you some good pointers.
26. The Different Type of Suit Cuts
The Italian Cut to the British Cut, and everything in between. This gallery highlights the differences and touches on collars, ties, cuffs and lapels.
27. How to Tie a Tie
There are various ways to tie and tie, and ultimately it depends on how patient you are. This handy infographic covers the most common, including the infuriating but awesome Eldredge Knot.
28. How to Button a Jacket
If it’s something you struggle with, adopt the ‘Sometimes, Always, Never’ 3-button rule.
29. How to Roll Up Your Sleeves (The Right Way)
Not only are poorly rolled up sleeves uncomfortable, they make an otherwise smart shirt look messy. Master this technique and never have an issue with rolled up sleeves cutting off your circulation:
- Unbutton the cuff
- Grab the edge of the cuff and flip it over itself
- Drag the cuff slowly up your arm, allowing the sleeve to turn inside out along the way
- When the bottom seam of the cuff is at your elbow, fold the excess material upwards to lock in sleeve.
30. How to Shave Traditionally
A shameless plug, we already have a beginners guide to traditional shaving that covers all the bases, with some handy resources towards the end.
31. How to Tie a Scarf
The Chest Warmer to the Once Around (which sounds dangerously close to something completely different), there are many ways to properly to a scarf, and vary entirely on your outfit and the temperature outside.
32. How to Sew a Button
It sounds slightly trivial, but if a button fell off your favourite shirt moments before you are due to head out, would you really know what to do? Sewing It Up has an in depth illustrated guide to on how to react in this disastrous situation.
33. How to Iron a Shirt
You can wear the most expensive shirt in the world, but it will look awful if it hasn’t been properly ironed.This gentleman makes ironing a shirt look like an art form.
34. How to Tame Your Pubic Hair
Once again we refer to Reddit for an excellent explanation on how best to keep your downstairs department looking spick and span. It’s an area many men may not consider until it’s too late, and you find yourself stood in front of your companion with something that mimics a giraffe looking out from a dense African bush.
35. How to Tuck in a Shirt
Tucking in a shirt is quite a simple task, but doing it in a way that prevents it from becoming untucked is an essential skill to master. Servicemen across the world adopt the ‘Military Tuck’, that keeps the shirt firmly secure while removing excess fabric to give it a tailored look.
- Unbutton your trousers and let your shirt hang down fully with no scrunching up.
- Grab the excess fabric at both side seams and pull tight.
- Fold this excess fabric backwards, ensuring the shirt is flush against your front and back.
- Bunching indicates that you haven’t grabbed enough excess, and extreme tightness means you have grabbed too much.
- Fasten your trousers to lock-in the folds of excess
36. Which Sunglasses Fit Your Face Shape
Did you know that you should never wear aviators if you have an egg shaped face? Doing so will result in you looking dangerous like Dr. Robotnik. This illustrated guide helps you figure out which sunglasses best suit your face shape.
Personal Development &Everything Else
Our concluding section will most likely make the most difference to your life, covering essential knowledge on how to react during certain situations, as well as anything else that doesn’t fall under the above categories.
37. How to Shake Hands Properly
First impressions are lasting impressions, and nothing is worse than a limp handshake. Lead with confidence and maintain eye contact, with a firm grip. Save your bone crunching handshakes for people you don’t like.
38. How to Talk to Law Enforcement
It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to converse with the law, whether it’s a routine check or you had a heavy foot on the accelerator. There are are some obvious dos and dont’s that apply in these situations, especially if you live in a trigger happy country. This infographic is US focused, but contains solid information on how to react that can be applied internationally. For a routine traffic stop, common sense rules supreme:
- Safely pull over as soon as you can, leave your hands visibly on the steering wheel. Do not rummage for your license or other documentation, as this will immediately put an officer on edge. If it is dark, turn on your dome light.
- Remain polite and respectful, do not try and talk yourself out of anything or be a smart ass.
- Follow instruction and be as honest as possible, especially if you are in the wrong. You are an adult, accept responsibility; it may even get you out of a ticket.
- Be aware of your rights outlined in the above article
39. The Phonetic Alphabet
It will save you hours on the phone over the course of your life.
40. How to Gut a Fish
Nothing beats fresh fish, but if you gut it wrong you’ll end up in a very messy situation, and contaminated seafood.
41. How to Respond at Gun Point
A gun pointing to your head is not a great situation to find yourself in, and unfortunately it doesn’t just happen in the movies. You’ll must likely have a gun pointed to your head in one of the three following scenarios:
- A Robbery
- A Hostage Situation
- A Kidnapping
If it’s none of the above then you’ve probably made some awful life choices. The main thing you should do throughout this terrifying ordeal, is everything your aggressor tells you to do. Don’t attempt to be a hero and pull off a Steven Seagal weapon reversal move, as you’re unlikely to last long. There are several ways you can considerably increase your chances of escaping the situation unharmed:
- Stay Calm – Easier said then done, but staying calm will help you make better decisions, as well as potentially calming your attacker. Furiously panicking will in turn panic the person the person holding a gun to your head.
- Establish Eye Contact – Make an effort to establish eye contact with your aggressor, forcing them to acknowledge your humanity in this dire situation.
- Explain Everything – Be sure to telegraph your actions, explaining every tiny movement you are making. This not only keeps the attacker at ease, it may provide law enforcement with essential information.
- Attempt to Converse – It sounds crazy, but attempting to talk to your attacker, whether it’s their beliefs or motive, can help establish a social connection that they will have to overcome before decorating the wall with your brains.
- Keep Your Head Away from Theirs – Mostly applicable to hostage situations, sometimes desperate measures must me taken by law enforcement to.
To sum it up, remain calm, be compliant and maintain eye contact.
42. How to Make Scrambled Eggs
Because everyone loves scrambled eggs, but not many people know how to make the perfect scrambled eggs.
43. The Different Types of Wine
Having a vague idea of the different types of whine and their characteristics can prove to be handy in multiple situations, especially corporate.
44. How to Haggle
If you don’t ask you don’t get. It’s surprising just how much flexibility on price anything of value has; remember that most things are typically marked up by 100-400%. Art of Manliness has an awesome guide on how to negotiate like a pro. Just don’t forget Number 37 above.
45. How to Tell If Someone is Lying
Being able to tell if someone is twisting the truth is an invaluable tool to have, and believe it or not, it’s not that hard to identify. There are several tell-tale signs to watch out for including body language, speech patterns and hand gestures:
- Change of head position – Quickly changing head position when asked a direct question is one of the main indicators that they are preparing to spill some bull. This includes tilting, retracting and bowing.
- Instinctively covering vulnerable body parts – Subconsciously covering their throat, chest or abdomen indicates that a direct question may have hit a nerve.
- Covering/Touching of mouth – Covering or touching of mouth is a crude method of communication blocking, indicating that they do not wish to divulge the truth or answer a question.
- Cold, steady gaze – When it comes to eye contact, liars often maintain a cold, hard gaze in an attempt to control, manipulate and intimidate. Rapid blinking can also raise suspicions.
- Excessive information – Giving more information than requested and ranting on is a clear sign of deception. It’s an attempt at openness in order to gain trust.
46. How to Last Longer
The age old question, how can you last longer in bed. There’s nothing more awkward then a 30 second romp if you partner was expecting a lot more, but it’s important to remember that it’s all in your head. We wont go into detail on this sticky (sorry) subject, so once again we’ll let a highly informative Reddit post do the talking.
47. How to do Laundry
A few weeks after you move out for the first time, it may slowly dawn on you that you actually don’t know how to wash your own clothes. As pathetic as it sounds, go to any laundry room during fresher week and you’ll find a group of males clueless staring at a washing machine like it’s just slept with their mother. Although pretty crude, this handy infographic will tell you everything you need to know when it comes to washing your Y Fronts.
48. How to do a Proper Push Up
Push Ups are one of the most effective exercises you can do; they require no equipment, the engage several muscles, and they are highly effective at fighting off man boobs. Despite the technique being incredibly basic, a lot of people don’t know how to do a proper push up.
49. How to Play Poker
There are few Man Cave activities that are better than a game of poker. Nothing beats getting the guys round, setting a reasonable buy in to ensure a sizable pot, and wearing awful sunglasses and questionable hats. However, it sucks to go out early in the game, so brush up on your hands and basic strategies, and before you know it you’ll be bluffing your way to the pot. If you really want to take it to the next level, Moshman’s Sit ‘n Go Strategy will help you dominate your buddies.
50. Essential Psychological Life Hacks
We conclude this article with a link to an equally awesome guide for men, The Quintessential Man’s guide to Psychological Life Hacks. It’s packed full of juicy, actionable tips to give you an edge in almost all social situations. Master these, and they will be sure to serve you well throughout life.
And there you have it, 50 things that ever modern man should know. Have any suggestions? Or want to brag about how many you’ve already mastered? Let us know.