“You have to be a man before you can be a gentleman.” - John Wayne
A man becomes a man the day he learns to prepare. Gear and accessories may not be the ultimate meaning in life, but they sure as hell help us smoothen the road ahead. You can tell if a man has come of age from his gear and EDCs. A man with the right toolbox is a man who lives with purpose. And by that, I don’t mean just carrying an automatic knife in the backcountry - it’s the man who’s prepared from moment to moment, from survival situations to day-to-day living.
If you’ve ever felt there are a few bows missing in your quiver, this list should help fill in the gaps.
Yes, I heard you. You’ve got a precision clock ticking on your smartphone. That’s great. Now try to impress a woman with it or better, go swimming. When it comes to survival, you need a dependable watch that’ll sit on your wrist 24/7 - whether you’re slicing tinder, setting a campfire, fishing, or swimming. Plus, a good watch is a magnet for the ladies. Ask a woman, and she'll confirm. A friend of mine once admitted that she finds it hard to resist men wearing quality timepieces.
Man’s oldest tool is still a man’s best friend. A good pocket knife not only makes everyday life more convenient but can save lives. Get a pocket folder or automatic knife that’s easy to fire open and boasts a quality steel blade that can hold its edge after brutal use. Try to get one with good aesthetics that's less threatening to look at. The Amber is one of the best pocket knives money can buy. It offers stunning craftsmanship - a rosewood handle and a razor-sharp double-edged chrome blade that jumps out with a silky-smooth action.
If you’re a khaki and tee guy, this will save your day when you need a quick transformation from angler to a gentleman. It instantly sharpens your appearance. So, don’t skimp on this. You can still wear your jeans and get away with 'casual smart’ looks. Try to wear a shirt beneath. A white round-neck tee will cut it too.
Now don’t get me wrong but life does take a lot of twists and turns, and you never know when you might need a swig of something stiff to smoothen the road ahead just a little. It’s also the message it communicates when you drink from a flask instead of a bottle. The steel, the leather, the whisky. It’s the man-image that 70s Hollywood couldn’t get enough of.
Sometimes a pocket knife, even the best folder or automatic knife is not enough for the job. To survive in the woodlands, you need a sharp imposing cutter with no moving parts. This will allow you to cut, chop, hack, slice, trim, pierce … you name it. Out there in the wild, you’ll need a high-profile fixed blade that’ll help you with food and shelter.
We’re not asking you to start smoking - no man in their right mind should. However, every man should carry a lighter. It comes in handy when you want to light the dinner candles or quickly start a campfire. It also gives out the image of a man who’s prepared for life situations. Best, carry a Zippo.
Who carries a handkerchief these days? Take out a one from your pocket and hand it to a lady when she’s about to wail. Women say it’s the ultimate mark of a gentleman. On top, they are so much better to have at hand when venturing in the wild. Use, wash, rinse and keep going. It can be your best friend. And you save the environment.