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Being the grey man
10 October 2011, 09:50,
Being the grey man
My take on being a grey man.

In any situation that threatens your or your family's security it will be critical to keep your head down and avoid making yourself a target. In survivalist speak this is referred to as being the grey man.

To be the grey man you need to think intelligently. It's not simply a case of maintaining a low profile. First and foremost, the grey man needs to maintain a facade, a multi-layered facade that takes some time and effort to maintain. He needs to be aware, alert, knowledgeable and he needs to know the limit of his capabilities. This facade covers every aspect of his life including;

Clothing - the grey man has to fit in. Dress appropriately for the situation. The grey man will be wearing clothing that will lead observers to believe that he is also just like them, unprepared, a victim waiting to happen. He will not wear anything that will arouse suspicion. He may be wearing thermals and be concealing enough supplies to make it home or to his bolthole, but nobody but him will know.

Actions - the grey man will maintain his manners and lead observers to believe that he is just another joe bloggs going about his business. Nothing will stand out. He will hold doors open, be polite and be disarming. Little do the observers know that the grey man is constantly assessing the situation and his surroundings to ensure he is always one step ahead.

Transport - the grey man will always drive a car that is inconspicuous. It will look just like any other car on the road. It will probably be white or black, it will probably be old and rusty. It will be meticulously maintained and have supplies stored in the boot to deal with any situation that might come up. He will always obey the rules of the road, not giving the police any excuse to pull him over and find his gear.

Behaviour - the grey man will not be known as a survivalist. His neighbours, friends and possibly even family will not know that he has months worth of food, supplies and equipment stored in the shed. They will not know that he is carrying a small pack that will allow him to confidently survive in all but the very worst scenario. His stash is his pride. In a survival situation nobody will have any reason to suspect that he has enough food and water to supply a small army.

The grey man can be dismissed by everyone. He slips under the radar and may appear to be confused and confounded when presented with a challenging situation. In reality he is always alert, always assessing, always thinking tactically, always being invisible.

Come the time the grey man will be overlooked as irrelevant. He will be anything but. Being the grey man now and practising it may someday save your life.

10 October 2011, 14:14,
RE: Being the grey man
It will be difficult to wear good clothes while looking like you've got the same as everyone else (poor clothes for the conditions).
Especially for women in the office, shoes in particular (for women) are either fashionable or practical, rarely do the two come close (let alone overlap).
Skirt, tights and heals are 'appropriate' for the office but totally inappropriate for a cross-country hump.
I think I need two bags in the office/car a get home bag and a second bag with a set of clothes to change into for the trip home, the second bag gets left at the office (with my office clothes in it).
Doctor Prepper: What's the worst that could happen?
10 October 2011, 15:01,
RE: Being the grey man
I guess being the Grey man goes hand in hand with making your home look like it may have been ransacked, raided or abandoned.
I already drive an old banger that looks fairly knackered but I get it serviced every year before Winter sets in and over the last two years it has only failed its MOT on a dodgy number plate and knackered windscreen wipers, so fingers crossed it will be overlooked by the masses as they rampage through the streets.
There's no Justice, There's Just Us.

11 October 2011, 13:05,
RE: Being the grey man
I'm not quite sure about the Grey Man strategy outlined here.
It's fine keep low and blending in but WTSHTF I'm certainly not going to be hanging around looking confused, that's when plan A (or B,C,D etc) comes alive and if I have done my prepping well I am one step ahead of the majority. I think it depends on whether your personal plan is BO or BI and how extreme competition for supplies has become, but in the case of the BI if things become serious being seen at all is bad news let alone holding doors open for others.
The Grey Man approach probably works in the pre-event or early stages of the deterioration of law and order but when things get nasty he should step-up a gear and switch modes to active concealment and defence, be that BO or BI.
Advice is what you seek when you know the answer but wish you didn't
11 October 2011, 14:52,
RE: Being the grey man
As I understand it the strategy is to just blend into the background and not attract any attention before, during, and after an event. That applies to your home, appearence, garden, vehicles, everything.

Having active defence plans in place for if/when you do get noticed should also be part of the strategy but better to go unnoticed than have to fight everyday. You only need to be unlucky once in a world without healthcare and drugs which is why some of the more gung ho comments on some US sites always amuse me (or worry me, i'm not sure which)

What i'm trying to say Smile is that being "the grey man" should be the first layer in a number of layers of security. I don't think any one particular stategy is ever going to be the complete answer but a combination of them all should help
11 October 2011, 17:30,
RE: Being the grey man
As JD said. Part of a strategy and not the strategy.

I'm with him on the US comments. It is why I set this site up. I think most of the people are being realistic but some of them are in for a big shock if an event occurs. In saying that I think they have many advantages that we don't in the UK and they can easily modify their approach if it is pointed out to them whilst we will still be subject to arrest for preparing to defend ourselves.
Skean Dhude
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin
11 October 2011, 19:06,
RE: Being the grey man
It's absolutely part of a strategy, a fluid strategy that will change with the situation. If you don't adapt you will be dead. For now, whilst prepping, being the grey man is sensible.
11 October 2011, 19:18,
RE: Being the grey man
I agree up to a point of being a 'grey man', especially whilst in the midst of prepping and maybe the early stages of a scenario, but it may come a time when you have to become extremely overt in nature to the point of being outwardly aggressive or non-friendly to strangers.

This is more true if your survival group becomes a largeish group as they are hard to hide ..... think Tribal.
British by birth, English by the grace of God.

Every morning, I wake up and thank God I am an Englishman!
11 October 2011, 22:33,
RE: Being the grey man
The whole point about staying under the 'radar' is not to draw attention to yourself - to be grey - it takes practice - it is a skill that one can develop over a period of time - it demands both flexibilty of mind and discipline. To those who practice this way of life, instinctively or otherwise, evaluating the current 'knowns' becomes the norm. None of us really knows what lies ahead although we can make some educated guesses and this is the main part of the challenge. You have to assess whether you go solo or as part of a small well organised group. There will come a time when groups may have to amalgamate. Open and candid discussion is required - decisions made in a non provoctive fashion.
I could go on - and on... but the point I wish to make here is that 'if you can't beat them, join them'. I would definitely prefer to survive well rather than have to suffer unnecessarily.
However, should the event be really serious and probably not man made the grey man might just have to change a shade or two.
13 October 2011, 00:47,
RE: Being the grey man
the gray man has his place when there is law and some kind of order but you can't keep hiding forever.
i read about people growing their own food and small scale farming but WTSHTF how can you hide all you crop and live stock ?
sometimes you have to fully arm and defened whats yours and be ready to scorch the earth if you loose.
i really feel that a lot of people can't grasp what it could and more likely would be like, people would still be there and when hungry would turn wild and group together in little gangs armed and violent look at are streets in the cities at night take the plod and army out and it's a free for all.
next you have army and police that have gone on their own full armed and kit you haven't got along with real know how all these people have just become raiders with no fixed place just like locaste.
we can all talk about killing someone to save whats are's but unless you live with violences and aggressive people then could you really do it, look at are troops when they have been in active combat most suffer pdsd.
i know what i can do, and you should know what you can do before you are put to the test and find you have just lost everything. after an event it will be like a trible wars.
to win the war, you must be willing to die

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