When men are just starting out in life—whether that means they’re in high school, finishing college or grad school, or somewhere in between—there are some essential things they all need. Some are obvious and some aren’t. Get a young man any of the gifts on this list, because they probably won’t get them for themselves until they have to.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a manual to life. At least there is in the case of young me. This book is filled with real, practical information that gives a young man a leg up on the competition. It includes essentials like how to change a tire, cook a steak, and talk to girls.
One thing that just won’t do is a grown man checking his phone five times a minute like a middle-schooler. Sure, he’ll want to keep tabs on everything going on in his life, like emails, text messages, social media hullabaloo, and sports scores. This way he can do it at a glance, and maintain a sense of manly dignity.
The Gerber multitool is a Swiss Army knife on a wicked combination of steroids and crack. It’s gold for a young man who likes to camp, fish, hunt, or do anything outdoors at all. Or anything around the house or apartment, for that matter. The Gerber is like a toolkit in his pocket.
The last thing a young man wants when he’s starting out in the world is to become a victim of identity theft. These days the crooks can steal your debit and credit card information right out of your pocket. Not when you have a wallet that blocks them, though—like this one.
This backpack does it all. It can go from the city streets to the wilderness without skipping a beat, and looks cool to boot. A young man won’t want to show up at a job interview with this, but he will want to use it every other day of his life.
A rice cooker is a godsend for a young man. It takes years of practice to learn to cook rice just right—with a rice cooker he can skip all the trial and error and cut right to perfection. This model is digitally controlled and cooks up to six cups of rice. It’s also great for steaming veggies.
A great way to make a smashing impression in life—at work or out on the town—is a pair of swanky shoes. Wing tips are the classic, timeless answer. They never go out of style, and they’re perfect for countless occasions. And Rockports are so comfortable they can be worn all day and still feel great.
Thermarest pioneered inflatable sleeping pads and they’ve dominated the camping industry since they first came on the market. They’re lightweight, roll up easily, and they’re unbreakable. They keep you warm by keeping you off the ground, and legend has it that you can even use them—in an emergency—to cross rivers.
If he’s never cooked for himself, this is the books he needs. Some guys go right from high school, when mom does the cooking, to college, where they eat at the student union or out of a cardboard pizza box. This cookbook familiarizes young men with that mysterious room, the kitchen.
It is possible to make it all the way to age twenty-five or so without owning a tie, as many men can well attest. Then they’re faced with job interviews, and after those, perhaps even jobs where they have to show up wearing a suit and tie every day. These ties will get him headed in the right direction.
Keep him safe, keep others safe, and keep him out of trouble with the authorities by giving a young man his own personal breathalyzer. While you’re at it, take his phone for a minute and download one of the new taxi apps, then show him how easy it is to use, if it ever comes to that.
A cast-iron cooking set is eminently practical, but it also gives a kitchen a classic look and feel that can’t be matched. This indestructible five piece set includes a griddle, a small and a large skillet, and a Dutch Oven with a cover. A young man starting out will never get this for himself, so you should.
Young men need gear. When they meet a likely partner who says “let’s go on a camping trip” they need to be ready to go. And they can’t show up with a brand new pair boots that aren’t broken in. They need real boots. Not just to impress the potential mate, but for themselves—every man needs to go on a good walkabout at least once.
Guys love tools. No one knows that better than guys. But guys don’t want to get tools from their parents or girlfriends, because they always feel like they’re expected to become an instant handyman once they get them. Give your bro his first set of tools without the strings attached.
Obvious, huh? Well, to young men some things are not so obvious. Like this: you absolutely can’t show up at a job interview wearing athletic socks, even if they are short and black. Can’t happen. Get the young man prepared. He may never wear them, but then again—he probably will.
Young humans face a lot of things during their twenties that they never thought they would. This New York Times bestseller is filled with the kind of advice a close older brother, hip uncle, or slightly senior mentor at work might dole out. It’s like a book of life hacks for that challenging third decade of life.
Carhartt makes the most rugged, durable, practical work clothes for men on the planet, hands down. From loggers to fishermen to auto mechanics to contractors, Carhartt comes through for hardworking guys everywhere. Working guy or not, every young man needs a Carhartt.
Like we said above, young men need camping gear. They need to be able to get away from it all on their own, and they need to be able to take a romantic weekend with a sweetheart. This compact, lightweight, all-in-one cooking system that makes it easy to prepare gourmet meals while on the trail.
$134.95 – $139.95
When you’re on a construction site, you can tell the craftsmen from the dilettantes by three things. Their tools, their tool belt, and their tool bag. If he’s a working guy, don’t let the young man in your life be a tool. Buy him a real deal Gatemouth and he’ll have an automatic in with the old-timers.
Every kitchen needs an excellent set of knives. The eighteen-piece set of high-carbon stainless steel knives includes a paring knife, a utility knife, a chef’s knife, a partoku knife, a santok knife, a bread knife, an eight inch sharpening steel, and a set of steak knives.
One thing men need to learn from the father figures in their life is how to shave properly. If all goes well, he’ll get training in how to do it the old fashioned way. This kit includes pre-shave lotion, shaving cream, a brush, and after-shave. All he’ll need next is a re-usable safety razor.
This three-season sleeping system from North Face will keep you comfortable all the way down to twenty degrees above zero. It’s made from 30% recycled material, has a roomy foot box, and a half zipper to keep cool on warm summer nights.
Chrome sets the standard in messenger bags. They’re simple, understated, and uber-cool looking. Forget the laptop sleeve, the briefcase, or the typical book bag. If your teenager is going out into the world and he’s going to carry anything at all, give them this bag, and they’ll turn heads.
There comes a time in every man’s life when he needs real shirts. By that we mean shirts with buttons. Not just two or three like a tennis or golf shirt. Buttons that go all the way down the front of the shirt, buttons on the cuffs, and maybe even on the collars.
A posh leather shaving bag is a must for any traveler. A young man needs more than a ziplock bag for his toothbrush and toothpaste. He needs a kit big enough for all his manly essentials, from shaving needs to cologne to travel-sized hair products, fingernail clippers, and all his personal grooming essentials.
Every young man must have an emergency flashlight toolkit in the trunk of his car. It’s got everything he’ll need if he gets stranded by the side of the road, from a hammer, to screwdrivers, to a flashing emergency road light. And it all comes in a handy case with a built-in flashlight.
Another piece of essential gear for the young man. The Kelty three person is a standby in the camping industry. It’s light enough for one person to take on a personal trip, and big enough to sleep three people easily—but just right for two.
While it’s true that the current hipster obsession with “Beard” may soon go the way of the 70s mullet, the bearded man still needs to keep his facial hair looking sharp. This kit contains all the essentials he needs to stay on point, and avoid the Grizzly Adams/Revenant look.
What young men really need is a crash course in how to use a map, compass, and the stars for navigation—just in case the grid goes down. But you can leave all that to the doomsday preppers, and in the meantime, buy this GPS for the young man so he never gets lost. And better yet, he’ll never have to ask for directions.
The Goretex rain gear his parents bought for him is great for many occasions, but there are times when the man needs to look like a gentleman, even when the weather his cold. In some circles, it’s better to look like a banker than a mountain climber—get him ready for those circles when you get him this sharp overcoat.
Yes, the classic umbrella. It’s not something a young man often considers. He’ll need one of these when he needs to be polite and keep the rain off a date, when he needs to keep his suit or dress shirt from getting drenched—in short, for those occasions when he needs to present as a fully grown man.
6 DIY Gifts for Young Men
He may balk at designer products from the salon. He might think he can handle the beard without any product at all, but when you take the time to make this homemade beard balm for him, he’ll get the idea. He’ll put it to use and have that beard looking proper in no time.
This eight-step DIY shows you how to make a swank looking magazine rack with only basic materials and tools. It’s perfect for a young man because this is the kind of thing they never think of to get for themselves, and they end up with piles of magazines all over the place. Do him a favor and help keep the place tidy.
Keep it simple with this manly beanie. You’ll need a little crocheting skill, but this tutorial includes links to online tutorials for all the stitches involved. Once you have those down, this project should take you no time at all—and he’ll have a nice, warm noggin!
Get out your needle and thread and get ready to make him a one-of-a-kind tool roll that he’ll be able to use for years. He won’t need to carry around a bulky tool box when he’s going over to a buddy’s house for a small project. This could also be used for an on-the-road bicycle tool kit.
You don’t need to give subtle hints any more. Once he’s a man, he can, well, take it like a man. But if you follow this simple DIY, you can give him a hint and make him smile at the same time, because this one is made from one thing all men love: beer.
This is a perfect DIY for an outdoorsy-type guy. It’s a sturdy keychain made from paracord. All you need to get started is about ten feet of paracord, a simple circular keychain, scissors, a lighter, and a ruler. The tutorial shows you exactly how to tie the loops so nothing is left to chance.
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