Build a Strategic “War Chest” of Man Tools.

A man’s “war chest” is his strategically chosen set of man tools, products, skills and resources to tackle life’s challenges. It’s his kit, his arsenal, his rigging.  This is what separates the men from the boys.

Liam Neeson famously intimidated his daughter’s kidnappers by growling, “I don’t know who you are. … But what I do have are a very particular set of skillsskills I have acquired over a very long career. ..”   You know why that speach resonates?  Its because that man had a frighteningly huge “war chest!”

Most big box stores today fill their shelves with mediocre flimsy items.  Few, if any, of the products you see are recognizable for quality and durability.  Affordability is the main selling point and I can’t blame hard working folks for buying average products.  Its not like we’re made of money and can afford every top of the line product.

Unless your Mr. Mega bucks, you can’t have the best of everything.  However, you should be intentional and methodical about building your “War chest” one solid product at a time.  Strategic quality purchases win the war.

Build Your War Chest

Re-rigging your life is a process played out in stages. You’re going to intentionally refit your life one  man-worthy tool at a time.   This requires self-discipline, patience and focus.  Its a rewarding process as new tools and resources come on board.

Take and Inventory

If quality and durability matter to you, you already have a number of man-worthy products in your arsenal. These are the “for life” products you love.  Congratulate yourself for a good start on your war chest!  List those items and add more as your plan unfolds.

Assess your Needs

Make a list for each of the following. Some items may overlap. That’s fine. Just write them down again. If an item shows up in more than one list…you’ve got a major candidate for upgrade.

List the mediocre products you already have and use frequently.(Think, razor, ratchet sets, bikes, gloves, tooth brushes, snow shovels, knives, mattresses)   Highlight the ones that fail and frustrate you regularly.  Also,  pay special attention to the products you replace often.  These will likely be your first candidates for “re-rigging.” (socks, shoes, shirts, pants,)   Highlight the most important ones to you.

List lifestyle specific needs.  Where do you live? Hot, cold climate, dry or wet?   What are your hobbies? Is your work physically intensive or mainly office?   For example,  a computer programmer living in a flat downtown does not need a proper axe, a chainsaw or rugged snowblower.  On the other hand an outdoors enthusiast, with a Toyota Echo would be wise to get a Subaru Forester.  Your lifestyle is probably the greatest influence on what you put into your war chest.  Again, highlight the most important ones.

List non-tangible needs.  Don’t forget personal training, physical exercise, coaching, language learning, spiritual care etc…  Think of the items that would make life so more healthy and efficient. Don’t forget to highlight a few of the most important ones.


Combine the Lists Take the three lists of needs and blend them.  Begin with the items you highlighted in each list.  Whether you know it or not you’ve already pretty much prioritized the first items to get for your War Chest.

Be Reasonable. Arrange the list in an achievable way. Don’t shoot for a new Toyota Land Cruiser to replace your Chevy Cavalier as your number one priority right off the bat.  Unless you have mega bucks, you’ll get discouraged and give up.

Pick away at the smaller things that bring the biggest payback and satisfaction first then build toward the Land Cruiser.  (By the way, Toyota Land Cruisers are the most man-worthy vehicles ever made.  Your chest hair will grow three inches if you buy one!  I guarantee it!

Keep your list visible  Its a well proven fact that goals written down are far more likely to be reached.  So see to it that this list is kept safe and visible.  Post it in front of your desk, or on your fridge.  Keep it before your eyes.


This is where I am here to help you most.  Read independent reviews and cross reference them with other reviewers.  Handle the items in person if you can. Aim for quality and durable man tools. Look for lifetime warrantees from reputable companies. Don’t be swayed by cheaper prices. Choose the bulletproof option on critical items high use items. (examples: heat pumps, shoes, tires)

Execute the Plan

  1. Pay for it in cash.  DON’T BUY STUFF ON CREDIT! Be a man, live within your means! Real men pay for man tools with money they actually have.
  2. Pat yourself on the back.  You just out performed the majority of men out there.  And yes, your beard just grew an extra inch! You equipped your “war chest” with a proper man-product that will pay you back in dividends.  Enjoy it.  Every time you pick it up you’ll congratulate yourself on your conquest.  You’ll also take better care of it, because it matters to you.
  3. Rinse and repeat.  Check off the top item with satisfaction then take another look at your list, revise if necessary and set your sights on the next item.

It’s not about having lots of stuff, its about have quality man tools that fulfill critical roles well and efficiently.  I’m here to feed the minimalist in you and see to it that you are well-rigged.

For more on why you should build a war chest check out my article on The Well Rigged Man


I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Get the very best "Buy It For Life" recommendations and benefit from thousands of hours of unbiased research for free!
I hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.
Powered by Optin Forms

Don Longworth

Don was born and raised in sub-saharan Africa. Now based in Canada, his extensive experience in non-profit work has served him well over multiple deployments in Africa. Don's experiences have made him a practical "to-the-point" type person. He is a no-frills, low-key guy who appreciates quality and simplicity.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts