In this ultimate guide, you will learn exactly how to become the gray man with no BS.
In every populated environment, whether sparsely or heavily populated, there will still be elements of humanity present interested in who stands out. Their motivations differ.
If they are a common thief, they could be searching for possible victims or individuals who can lead them to a big ranking. If they are involved with organized crime, they may be doing counter-surveillance or keep an eye out for investigators or others.
They might simply be starving survivors searching for a way to end their plight in a post-SHTF situation by robbing you of your supplies.
It is in your best interests, your “task,” to not look like candy, regardless of who they are or what they are looking for. Candy stands out in both countenance and action to ambush and opportunistic predators as confused, injured, afraid, confused, or simply unknown to both ambush and opportunistic predators.
By blending your “target profile” with the natural and underlying appearance and pace of a place, you will become just another antelope in the group, unlikely to be picked out or heard by any possible predators.
This is what it means to become a “gray man”:
In this post, we will discuss why you should become the gray man, what benefits becoming the gray man has, how to become the gray man, essential rules, gray man gear, and the science of how it all works out.
Let’s dive in.
When tragedy hits, there are many benefits of fitting in with the crowd. For instance, by not attracting attention to yourself, you will be able to maneuver more rapidly and comfortably through the crowd without alerting anyone to the fact that you are qualified to tackle the crisis.
Often, through fitting in and pretending to be among the unprepared, you are less likely to become a victim of those in need who might want to take your gear from you by violence.
Becoming the gray man is just about defending yourself and your families by concealing the fact that you are indeed trained to succeed in the face of crisis.
Benefits of Becoming the Gray Man
In a real emergency scenario, the primary goal would be to get yourself and your loved ones to a secure location as soon as possible – whether it be your house or a bug-out location.
In a crisis, everybody around you may have the same intention – to get somewhere safe – but others will lack a solid strategy, leading to hurried action and desperate attempts at survival.
In this case, blending into the crowd and not attracting attention to yourself or your preparedness level will significantly improve your odds of survival.
Since most people around you would be preparing for a tragedy, you would certainly be compelled to assist others in distress.
However, the first goal should be your own life, and you can only help others if you can do so without jeopardizing your own safety.
By fitting in, or being a gray man, you would be less likely to be confronted by those needing help and, most importantly, less likely to be pursued by opportunists trying to prey on others who have the desperation to steal vital survival items from you.
How to Become the Gray Man (or Woman)
The easiest way to avoid making a permanent impression is to make no impression at all. This is the idea behind the gray man principle, and although it seems straightforward enough, putting it into practice can be difficult.
This guide would cover the fundamental principle of the gray man theory and some key tips and strategies for successfully rendering yourself ‘invisible’ in a survival scenario.
Steps to Become the Gray Man (or Woman)
The primary objective of being a gray man or woman is to blend in with the crowd to deter anyone from seeing you as a possible gold mine of supplies or knowledge.
By displaying confidence and preparedness, you will attract opportunists who will want to use your resourcefulness to your disadvantage.
To hide the fact that you have survival gear and skills from others, you can concentrate on four main areas: how you behave, how you move, how you dress, and how you handle your gear.
How You Behave
The trick to representing a gray man is to look ordinary and unthreatening. Be cautious about what you say and about whom you say it to; being known as highly antagonistic or too vocal about your political views will lead to people making conclusions about you and labeling you as a prepared person.
Keep discussion subjects within the group’s standard. If small talk seems to be the rule, communicate with others to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
Although having a clear understanding of the surroundings is critical in a crisis, be sure to downplay any efforts to scan locations for potential escape routes or security issues.
This form of conduct can be detected, which will cause people to wonder what you’re looking for, or worse, what you’re attempting to protect.
Maintaining your anonymity without being too intimate or obviously standoffish is a valuable skill to master when adopting a gray man persona.
Keep eye contact to a minimum when dealing with someone, and someone is more likely to recognize you if they look in your eyes. Even a fleeting exchange of glances while walking down the street will establish a bond, making you more memorable than anyone around you.
How You Move
Knowing the surrounding environment can be a huge benefit because the more you know the streets and landmarks, the more you will navigate them and change your route to avoid problem areas.
When running, I seem to be going with the flow as far as possible, walking with intent but not urgency. Every sudden movement will attract attention to you and raise questions about your intentions.
Often tend to follow the crowd until it jeopardizes your own safety. For example, if someone around you turns and gasps at an explosive sound, join them.
You never want to be the only person who is untouched by an unusual occurrence.
Be as discrete as possible when studying the surroundings. As you survey the field, use your peripheral vision and decoy objects, such as a piece of paper, to show that your attention is fixed on the target.
Wear reflective shades to shield your eyes if necessary, helping you search quickly without attracting yourself. If you do partake in movements that may create noise and attract attention, aim to use predictable sounds to help hide the sound of any breaching you will need to do.
Wait for a noisy bus to leave before climbing into a dumpster, for example, or synchronize breaking a window with a loud siren.
Choose a door near a loud HVAC condenser if you need to enter a home. This arrangement may take a little extra time to carry out, but a few moments of persistence will guarantee that your efforts go unnoticed and may save your life.
How You Dress
It goes without saying that camo prints or other outwardly tactical-looking garments are not the ideal options when attempting to seem less prepared than you are, unless you are in a position where that style of dress is the standard, such as a hunting trip.
Though you do not have to dress in gray from head to toe, discreet color choices blend best into crowds and allow you to pass unnoticed. Any military equipment should ideally be kept hidden. This entails carefully lining the pockets and bags to allow for easy access to important things.
Reflective artifacts and vivid colors can attract scrutiny, so keep things like your knife hidden inside your clothes or purse, not hanging from your belt.
Avoid wearing clothes and shoes with metallic fabrics or highly conspicuous colors, as well as some big text or memorable insignia.
Any focus points will attract attention to you and make it difficult for you to fit in. Bring an extra thing with you that will easily alter your appearance, such as a hat, sunglasses, or scarf, if possible, as this can be very useful.
How you Handle Your Gear
Finding a discrete everyday carry bag that perfectly fits your normal work schedule is the easiest approach to bringing your gear unnoticed. Backpacks and messenger bags commonly used on commuters are excellent options because they are less visible.
Pocketbooks with compartmentalized interiors are also available, making it simple and convenient to access your gear. Another decent option for mixing is a jacket or vest with a streetwear look on the outside but concealed storage inside.
Pocketed pants, especially cargo pants, are great for carrying gear but may not be the best option for people who work in an office with a formal dress code.
If you want to be a gray man, the gear you take with you regularly should also be discrete. You might use a defensive pen or a discrete folding knife for self-defense, such as the Boker Subcom folding knife, which can also double as a money clip.
A lightweight flashlight, such as the Fenix E05, is so small that it can be held on a keychain without drawing attention.
Essential Rules & Tips
1. NEVER tell someone you’re prepared. They should not be aware of your excess food, water, or equipment. They should be unaware of the protection and protection. All should be well shielded enough that even the nosiest neighbors have no idea what you have on your house.
2. Keep your out-of-the-ordinary political or world views to yourself while engaging in political discussion with people.
3. Don’t wear military gear daily. SIMPLY SEEM AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE.
4. After making big orders, carry them home in a discrete manner. And when you have orders delivered to your house, this is much more critical because it is more difficult to do.
Neighbors will be alarmed if they see piles of MREs. When the bulk of people are away from home, try to take care of them (such as work for the day).
5. Using a package cutter, take off packaging labels from deliveries. It’s best not to make the names of the firms you’re purchasing from visible in the recycling pile.
6. When the SHTF, it will take a few days for people to realize what is going on and even longer for them to get desperate. Every day, the gray man is out there, answering the same questions as the neighbors. What is going on? When will help arrive? Have you been able to obtain gasoline or money?
If aid does not come soon, we will run out of food. The trick is to seem as desperate as anyone else so that they don’t suspect you’re going home to good food, shelter, and relative comfort.
7. If the electricity goes out at night, leave your house as dark as anyone else’s. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself.
8. Don’t let the scent of cooking waft through your house at all hours. This will warn people for miles around that you have food. Several cooking methods contain very little odor. Boiling water, for example, may be used to steam up and hydrate freeze-dried ingredients.
9. Do not post your arrivals and departures on social media. Allowing the online community to know you’ll be away from home for an extended period of time might set you up for robbery or looting.
10. Learn how to disconnect from the internet. This includes putting down your mobile, disconnecting from social media, and paying for transactions with cash or gift cards.
If you must be online, use HTTPS to encrypt your link, a virtual private network (VPN), and a hidden email address. All passwords should be changed on a constant schedule. Make use of Proton Mail! Learn essential cybersecurity tips here.
11. Often plan ahead of time for the type of people, history, and whether you are expected to encounter. Plan the overall look around that. Keep in mind that remaining concealed does not imply wearing a hoodie in the middle of August in Florida.
12. Wear neutral shades so you can schedule ahead of time. You want to blend in as much as possible with the local city colors and inhabitants. People will see you, but you would not stick out and draw interest in the same way as anyone dressed in bold colors will. And there would be no tactical gear.
13. The same is true for your backpack. This should be a neutral color, nothing so flashy that it would draw attention to itself in a crowd. The less noticeable it is that you are carrying a bag, the healthier.
14. Keep a get-home bag on you. Since the risks of being trapped away from home or a meetup point are high, you must have supplies on hand to ensure you arrive safely.
15. A rain cover for your backpack is your best friend. Many preparedness enthusiasts own military backpacks. When it comes to utility and resilience, these are unquestionably the better option, but they stick out too much—especially in the region.
As a result, a rain cover is best. This makes it easy to hide the tactical features by concealing the backpack. There should be no military clothing or accessories noticeable.
16. Hide military gear in pockets on your clothing and in your backpack. Nothing gleaming or conspicuous should be noticeable.
17. Extra camouflage is never a bad thing. Scuff up your raincoat or backpack to make it seem less appealing. Put duct tape, mud, or something else on it to make it seem less appealing.
18. Carry an object or two with you that you can use to alter your appearance easily. This may be a new scarf, a cap, or a wig and sunglasses.
19. Avoid deodorants and perfumes with heavy odors. Smells will draw people’s attention. The interest may seem harmless at first, but people may find you have more than they do.
20. It is important to use behavioral camouflage. This is the same concept as when you were at home, answering the same questions as anyone else. To stop attracting attention to your unnatural level of trust, act as though you are just as lost and confused as the rest of the audience.
21. At all costs, confrontation must be prevented. Keep your head down and go on as if nothing were wrong. If someone seems to be hostile, try to avoid them.
22. Avoid making eye contact with others. And if you behave panicked like anyone else, your eyes will reveal the truth. Furthermore, if you make eye contact, it will be much more difficult to neglect those who require assistance, and it will be much more difficult for them to forget you.
23. Maintain the appearance that you are actually going with the rhythm of the crowd. Go as natural as possible and eventually find your way in the desired direction.
24. If anything unusual occurs, behave as surprised and terrified as anyone else.
25. Be very careful what you say if you do talk to someone. Antagonism is not on your side. Maintain a consistent tone of voice for what you hear around you.
26. And though you’re doing anything boring, make things as mundane as possible.
27. Maintain situational awareness, but keep it hidden. You may seem to be behaving like everyone else, but in fact, you should still be judging who and what is around you.
28. Perform a risk assessment for any possible travel destination. You will not be allowed to get safely. Perhaps you should get shelter or get off the sidewalks. Still, before you go out, make sure it’s safe and easy to get to.
29. Be as familiar with your surroundings as possible, including streets and landmarks. This will help you to handle the crowd more effectively while still looking normal. It would also assist you in avoiding places where there is a higher likelihood of trouble.
30. If you have to leave the main crowd, try to mix in with a smaller number of people. Get near enough to seem to be with them.
31. If you do something loud, try to time it with some natural background noise. Breaking a window, for example, maybe achieved as a siren or bus passes by.
Understand when to go from being the gray guy to not being seen at all, to just not existing. Overall, there may come a time when being “part of the crowd” will work against you.
Perhaps they are being attacked or restrained by the military. At this phase, you must disguise and absolutely vanish.
It’s a smart idea to put on a poncho quickly. It’s a smart idea to get out of sight as soon as possible. It’s a smart idea to use chaos as a diversion. You’ll have to assess the situation and make the most of what you have to execute your disappearance.
In this article, you learned exactly how to become and the gray man with tips that may save your life. Now, here are a few good resources I would recommend checking out.