Becoming The Gray Man

August 30, 2018 4 min read

Becoming The Gray Man


In today’s modern society, many of us are looking for that survival edge. That leg up on the rest of the world who increasingly seems to be out to get us. Sometimes we find this in state of the art technology and gear, and sometimes we look for it in tactics and strategies. One of those strategies we’d like to explore is the theory of becoming “the gray man”.

Yep. It sounds super clandestine and assuredly conspiratorial, right? Does this involve back channel communications or government collusions? Nope. It does not. But, I think it’s going to pique your interest nonetheless. Let us quickly dive into the world of becoming the gray man.

First off, let us give a quick, uncomplicated definition of what we think being the gray man means to us. To us, being the gray man means that you develop a way of conducting your everyday life, as well as in specific situations, where you become one of the crowd. The key point of becoming the gray man is to never leave an impression and to blend into your surroundings. Never give anyone a reason to pick you out of the pack.

Now that we understand what this is, why do we care? Well, we care because there are some very specific advantages to practicing this skill. Let’s lay out a few.

  • You should be able to move more quickly in a time of crisis. Without causing undue attention, you should be free to control or leave a bad situation.
  • By blending in with the crowds, you are much less likely to be targeted for any reason.
  • You’ll unlikely be approached for assistance. If nobody knows you are prepared, they won’t consider you as a lifeline.
  • You will be less likely to be “mis-remembered” as an offending party to a crime.
  • You can prepare and survive on the DL.

These are just a few of the advantages you will gain as you become the gray man. Now that we know the “why”, let us look at the “how”. Below are a few tips to becoming just another face in the crowd.

Becoming the gray man

Being the Gray Man At Home

  • Don’t broadcast to the world, especially your neighbors, that you are prepared. OPSEC(Operational Security) is key.
  • Talking politics can be dangerous, especially if you have any fringe views.
  • Don’t dress like “Mr. Tactical” Keep it casual.
  • Be careful about what you load in and out of your car. For example – firearms, tactical gear, food storage.
  • When SHTF hits, look for the handouts like everyone else. Even if you’re prepared, head to the Red Cross water handouts, grab the FEMA goodie bags, be one of the crowd.

Being the Gray Man Away From Home

During any major crisis we would all prefer to stay home, safe and away from harm, nestled comfortably against our armory of post-apocalyptic goods, unbeknownst to the world around us. Unfortunately, items will run out, or you will be away from home when SHTF or the location will be compromised. You will then be stuck to survive amongst the living. Those illogical, unprepared folk not reading these articles. Staying alive and unharmed is crucial, and being invisible will greatly increase your chance of doing so.

Becoming a Gray Man away from home may be easy for some. Naturally, they are neither ugly or attractive nor tall or short. Easily forgotten and unnoticed. It will be easiest for this type of person to go overlooked, but you may not have control some of those natural features. Either way, there are several things you do have control over. Let us look.

  • Appearance
    • Clothing can be customized. People can be identified and stereotyped by what they wear. Tactical gear is awesome, but it may lead to others looking to you for their safety, or taking you out for their safety. Bright colored and flashy clothing is easily noticed and remembered. Depending on your town and location, wear something similar to everyone else.
    • Tattoos are easily identifiable, cover them if possible.
    • Hats, hoodies and sunglasses are easy recognizable and should be avoided.
    • Backpacks should also be simple, dull colors, and common appearing.
    • Be boring. 
  • Behavior
    • Remaining calm is very important in SHTF, but too calm or casual may appear suspicious. Again, look to the crowds and respond in a similar fashion.
    • Avoid eye contact, but don’t stare at the ground. That’s weird.
    • Avoid confrontations and emergency response personnel if possible
  • Gear
    • EDC gear, get homebag’s etc. are encouraged, but be as discrete as possible with these items
    • Bags should be simple in appearance
    • Knives, EDC gear should be disguised with tape and inconspicuous.
  • Smell
    • Very strongly tied to memory
    • Avoid smelling heavily of deodorant, cologne, or perfume. But also, just as easily, a person is remembered by their pungent smell of sweaty armpits and other body cavities.
  • Other
    • Try to avoid being a lone wolf. You are planning to get to safety, but stay with others as long as possible before breaking away.
    • Keep situational awareness. This can be done without looking paranoid and suspicious.

There you have it, the ins and outs of become the gray man according to the Casual Preppers. So, tell us, how will you become invisible when disaster strikes?

To learn more about becoming the gray man, click here.

Casual PreppersAbout the Author: Casual Preppers consists of Cameron Hardy and Coby Coonradt. These guys are out to spread the prepping and survival word direct to your dirty little earholes. You can find their podcast wherever podcasts exist, as well as YouTube and STAY SURVIVED!

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