There are few things that make a man feel more manly than heading into the outdoors with a heavy pack on his shoulders. Whether it’s to hunt, fish or just camp out in the woods, spending time in nature under some trying conditions is a great way to get in touch with your innate male instincts.
It seems obvious, but scientists last year specifically found that hunting activities fueled men’s “love hormone” and makes us more attractive to the opposite sex. So if for no other reason, it pays to be an outdoorsman.
There are many ways to be a manly mountain man besides wearing plaid, growing a beard and drinking your own urine. Here are 10 of the manliest things you can do in the outdoors.
Climb a mountain
There is nothing more manly than conquering a grueling physical challenge for no practical purpose whatsoever. Mountain climbers are fond of scoffing at anyone who questions their pursuit. But the real reason they do it is because it’s manly.
As scientists pointed out last year, hunting makes you sexy. It increases testosterone and a man’s sense of accomplishment. There’s nothing really as manly in the most original sense as slapping a dead carcass on the front doorstep to provide for your family. It’s the way ancient men did it and it’s about the oldest form of manliness on the planet.
Cook over an open fire
Cooking with fire was an adaptation that allowed human beings to evolve from our more primitive ancestors. It’s ancient and therefore manly. Today, barbecuing is largely a manly duty, which makes cooking over an open fire even more so. As we’ve pointed out before, cooking with wood is a great way to impart rich flavors into your meat. And you can’t help but feel a little more manly in the process.
Clean your teeth with charcoal
Believe it or not charcoal is a great way to clean your teeth. Not only does it provide an abrasive needed to remove plaque, but it also helps whiten your teeth. And who can deny grabbing a piece of charcoal from the fire and rubbing it into your chompers isn’t the manliest thing you’ve ever seen?
Catch fish with bare hands
Fishing is a pretty manly activity on its own, but catching a fish with your bare hands? Now that’s off the charts of manliness, though the name begs differently. It’s called noodling, and it’s when you stick your hands down into a hole in shallow water and wait for a fish to grab your fingers. Most of the time it’s a catfish, but you can’t always be certain what might take a liking to your manly fingers.
Build a shelter
Before there were lightweight tents and hammocks, men built their own shelters. The next time you head into the woods, consider leaving that tent behind and constructing your own survival shelter. Choose a debris shelter, tripod or a lean-to. You’ll earn big manly points. For tips on building shelters click here.
Drink spring water
A mountain man always knows where to find viable drinking water. Dipping your cupped hands into natural spring water and taking a big drink will make you feel about as manly as Paul Bunyan.
Smoke a pipe
To create the air of manliness on your next camping trip, consider smoking a pipe. The great explorers of the ages like Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed smoking a pipe on outdoor expeditions, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t either.
Carve a wooden utensil
Self-sufficiency is of course an inherently manly activity. When you get settled into a camp site, consider carving your own wooden spoon. You’ll save space in your pack, give you something to do and it’s sure to impress the ladies.
Shit in the woods
You knew we would get there eventually. Yep, leaning against a tree or a boulder and dropping a deuce in the woods is very manly.