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Above, Special Forces Operator and author Roy Shepard discloses how to think like the gray man. This could be the single-most important part of the gray man.
Step #5: Ensure Advanced Preparation. Being prepared to take a split-second decision could save your life if you have the know how of advanced preparation. In the important video above Roy Shepard, a prepper who is formerly from the Israeli Defense Forces, shares the mindset of someone ready to be the gray man. As he explains it, there are four colors representing levels of events to give you the advanced preparation you need as a gray man...
White zone: The white zone is when you are unaware, preoccupied. Sometimes you may have a distracting text or phone call. Get out of this situation as quickly as possible so you can be aware.
Green zone: Aware of surroundings. This is actively looking for something that's amiss. For example:
a UPS driver has a Fed Ex package (seems suspicious)
It's a hot day and someone is wearing a heaving trench coat.
Yellow zone: In this zone you are aware something is out of place and in this altered state you're taking steps about what to do. Get the tools in your hand, have a plan for route of escape, look for barriers or a cover so that in the event something happens you're able to avoid it.
Red zone: Danger is when you see a weapon or an active shooter, you activate your pre-existing plan from the yellow zone.
Anyone can be a gray man for a day and this is a good survival skill to practice. In the book, Anti-tracking, pictured right, the goal is in maintaining a low profile and evading capture. It's an intuitive and revealing resource that demystifies the art of creating the illusion of invisibility. It's also a good lead-in to our other article on how to disappear.
Happy endings... Being a gray man is about being boring and avoiding stimulus. Aim for average! If you're interesting or memorable, you're not succeeding on the gray man concept. Get out your jeans and T- shirt and get ready to be a gray man or woman, but go beyond the gray man concept and have a clear decision making process in place, so that you're ready to put the grayman strategies and tactics into play when you need them.
Prepare to live happily ever after with us at happypreppers.com - the emergency preparedness Web site of prepping, survival, homesteading, and self-reliance.
Above, Antifa rioters in black bloc (dark clothing) effectively send a message of strength in numbers, but are able to conceal their identities.
Create a non-threatening appearance. While the Antifa collectively are intimidating in black bloc, and while it's a good example of effective use of color, it's really the opposite of what you want to do as a gray man. The gray man is not just invisible, but also an expert at looking less tactical or threatening. The demeanor of the gray man is always non-threatening.
Don't wear jewelry and watches. If possible avoid wearing jewelry and hide tattoos because they are identifying markers. It's just another layer of individuality that could make you a target of an assault. Jewelry also can make an impression of your social class or help identify you in a lineup.
Hide anything distinguishable. Is your hair extra long? Are you bald? Do you have bright red hair? Put a cap on it! Have a bushy beard or distinguishing moustache? Shave it off. You'll blend in better if you have less distinguishing features. There's not much you can do about your height, weight or features like freckles. Control what you can. Blending in and assimilating is about being forgettable. Matthew Dermody's Grayman: Camouflage for crowds, cities and civil crisis, is a book to help you accomplish assimilation and give you a good foundation for vanishing in any urban environment in part by avoiding individual expression.
Step #3: Integrate (have a baseline movement). Immerse yourself in the environment so that it looks like you belong. This means knowing the social norms and following them, and using intuition and having a baseline movement.
Here's how to move about to avoid conflict.
Be boring. The Grayman theory is about never making a first impression. This concept is an advantage to a homeless person who wants to undetected to get some free heat or use the bathroom. He or she will ditch the gear or hide it to walk undetected into a mall.
Pay attention to cadence. The modulation or inflection of your voice is important. Think about how you might behave in a library for example, which is the polar opposite of how you'd behave at a sporting event. Do what the crowd is doing. You may need to keep your voice down.
Walk with purpose and confidence. Once way to avoid conflict is to look like as though you know where you're going (even if you don't). This could mean walking briskly, but it might mean walking the pace of the crowd. Use your intuition.
Avoid sudden movements. Control your movements. Remain calm and have the body relaxed and not show any stress. Depending on the situation you may not want any sudden movement at all. You may need to use reflective surfaces on the street to watch what's going on around you instead of looking suspiciously to the left or right.
Avoid eye contact. When someone connects with you visually, this eye contact can draw you into their sphere and you'll make an unwanted impression as a gray man. If this happens, try brush it off with the wave of a hand so as though to say, "not today" without opening your mouth. Another tactic for the gray man is to just look aloof. If you're engaged in thought or walking with purpose, you can avoid such unwanted eye contact.
Minimize interactions with people. If someone asks you for directions, just tell them that you're late for an appointment or talk to an imaginary person on your cell phone. When someone asks you for spare change look preoccupied in thought. Keep the interaction to a bare minimum.
Keep a show of hands. The gray man hands should be open and not in the pockets ~ this is because hands provide visual clues about a person. When you're not concealing your hands you're also not holding a weapon. This makes you appear less threatening and noticeable. When your hands are relaxed they're also not it a position to strike. This can build a level of trust in you. However, when you are in an awareness of danger, this is when your tools are ready.
Know that smell is a factor. Don't wear perfume or Old Spice deodorant to trigger an olfactory connection to you ~ smell of any kind can help form an impression of you. If you're homeless, for example, excessive body odor can be a giveaway. If you're nervous you'll perspire more and this could trigger someone to think suspiciously of you. Less information about you is better.
Step #4: Maintain a situational awareness. You can eliminate the chance for danger when you know how to maintain a situational awareness. It's about having a threshold of information about a situation so you can respond. If something happens then you can follow through with a plan of action.
Think like the gray man. When you have the gray man mindset you are prepared mentally for what is to happen. This is the most under discussed, but most important part of succeeding as a gray man. You can get yourself out of a dangerous situation. Have a cultural awareness, and have a baseline about how the locals look and behave. You'll mimic this and
Understand Situational Awareness. Make a proactive awareness of the world around especially when in "gray man" mode. The Situational Survival Guide, right, helps you know your threats and develop your personal action plan to manage your exposure to threats to help you avoid catastrophe. This is "Standard Operating Procedure" for the military to control the outflow of sensitive information. There are many techniques, strategies and tactics that can help you with situational awareness. Below is an excellent summary from a Special Forces Operator on the general concept as it applies to preppers...
Gray Man Survival Skills and knowledge for going unnoticed to stay safe
How to become a Gray Man for survival: What's a gray man? It's military and prepper jargon for not drawing attention to yourself. It's a kind of survival psychology and urban camouflage technique to go under the radar. Becoming a "gray man" is reducing awareness of your presence, so that others may dismiss you or not even notice you. That could be a good thing in a survival situation!
Going unnoticed can enable you to slip away and avoid dangerous conflicts. In short, the gray man concept can keep you out of harm's way.
Are you ready to be an urban ninja? Learn how to avoid conflict using the five gray man survival skills below...
Develop "Gray Man" Survival Skills! Everything you want to know about gray man tactics ~ how to blend in, disappear, avoid harm, detect lies and much more is available in a new book called Gray Man Tactics, right. It's a highly detailed book on how to be use the gray man theory. What follows is an overview about gray man survival skills.
Knowledge weighs nothing as they say, and having the right knowledge and skills to become a gray man could save your life. Below are the strategies of being the unseen and unknown.
Here's how to be a gray man:
Step #1: Establish a baseline. You can become a "grayman" in a survival situation by first observing others and then developing a set of skills and mannerisms to camouflage yourself under those terms. The key is establishing a baseline for how people are acting, how they're dressing for the occasion, how they are moving and talking in the situation. Establishing a baseline is an observation you make about what's going on...
Watch and observe:
How do others appear in the setting?
How are these people talking?
How are they moving in their environment?
How are they behaving?
Establishing a baseline is a part of situational awareness (another whole discussion). Your goal in being a gray man is to appear, talk, move and behave as others do. It's a way to go undetected, unnoticed, unchecked and unharmed! Establishing a baseline is about knowing the norm. The baseline norm will be different depending on whether you're at the beach, in a neighborhood, in a crowd during civil unrest, or during Martial Law.
Step #2: Learn to be invisible in appearance. Be "invisible" to others in part by wearing non-descript clothing for the situation and on your person. This goes back to your baseline observation. Ultimately, your goal as a grayman is to avoid creating a stimulus. A stimulus is something memorable and that creates an impression.
Some ways to be invisible:
Wear muted colors. Someone who wears a gray sweatshirt will be less noticeable than someone who wears neon orange, but the concept goes beyond just wearing muted colors and it's not just about dressing like the others either. It's about integrating and looking like you belong and that you're not out of place.
Skip the prints, stripes and embellishments. To be a gray man you don't need to wear gray, you can wear navy, muted green ~ as long as it's a solid and muted color. Avoid camouflage prints, Hawaiian shirts and stripes, for example and any over the top fashion statements. Go natural, neutral and classic. Don't be flashy.
Avoid military-like clothing. Your favorite tactical hat could make you appear like someone with knowledge. Incidentally, pack your bugout clothes without any such paraphernalia either. It causes unwanted attention for the same reasons.
Shun the branded clothing (for the most part). Branded clothing will build an impression and give someone a description about you which you want to avoid: "He was wearing a Nike shirt and shoes." Logos or T-shirts with words provide an impression in which the gray man or woman wants to avoid. It's okay to wear a U.C. Berkeley sweatshirt if you're trying to blend in at U.C. Berkeley, but you'll stand out if you wear the same shirt at rival school UCLA. It's a stimulus, which you want to avoid. Refrain from having things on your person that look out of place.If you want to fit in at a Steeler's game, you can wear a "Terrible Towel," but no where else or you'll stand out!
Choose the same style of clothing as others in your baseline. Wear clothing that's indistinguishable. In some parts of the country a cowboy hat is the norm, in others it stands out. The same is true of camouflaged clothing.
Be cognizant of the color range to fit in. The Antifa wear Blackbloc, which is the collective element of wearing black clothing, such as scarves, sunglasses, ski masks, hoods, heavy boots and other gear to make an impression and intimidate, yet remain anonymous individually. Collectively they make an impression! It's with purpose because individually you can't describe any of them. Should an altercation happen it will be difficult to hone on the individuals responsible. They are like human zebras ~ safety in numbers, actively defending the herd and adding a layer of confusion by wearing similar clothing.