How to be a "grey man" in a SHTF scenario

(15 Posts)
DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 16-Sep-16 15:58:53

I recently been hearing a lot about appearing as a "grey man" blending into the background so as not to attract any attention in a shit hit the fan scenario. Is this realistic? Do you plan on doing this? If so how?

OP’s posts: |
BiddyPop Fri 16-Sep-16 16:10:04

Not having all my emergency prepping stuff in bags that shout "hiking, prepared, good gear in this" - having more battered looking bags, not filled to bursting, and no signs of good gear hanging off it.

Keeping my stocks hidden away in my house, not open in the sitting room but in bedroom wardrobes upstairs - that kinda thing.

Is that the sort of thing you mean?

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 16-Sep-16 16:24:56

Yes that's the sort of thing. I wear quite loud looking clothes most days, I wear a lot of colourful dresses and vintage accessories and I'm wondering if I should carry a black pac a Mac and a hat or something with me.

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flagnogbagnog Fri 16-Sep-16 16:41:12

The point is to not look 'organised' and look like you might have anything someone might like to steal for themselves. Bright clothes might draw attention to you of course but shiny new outdoor gear is the opposite of 'grey man' iyswim?

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 16-Sep-16 16:58:18

That makes total sense. I might just work on battering up my bright clothes a bit grinwink

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AnyTheWiser Fri 16-Sep-16 17:34:24

I think it would only work for single people. Kind of hard to do stealth mode with small children.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 16-Sep-16 18:01:15

But what if you needed to just get home from work or a big city for instance? You can deal with the rest once you're home/have a longer term plan with family but if you have gone to work as normal and need to get home on foot without being too obvious.

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cozietoesie Fri 16-Sep-16 18:34:16

How far do you have to go? And what shoes do you normally wear?

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Fri 16-Sep-16 18:47:29

About 6 miles sometimes up to 30. I feel confident in walking 6 miles with no problems. I wear decent shoes, usually brogues. I occasionally go to gym from work so often have trainers in my bottom work drawer too.

OP’s posts: |
cozietoesie Fri 16-Sep-16 19:01:07

You should try the 6 miler one evening then.

MarwoodsTrenchcoat Sat 17-Sep-16 11:13:02

I hadn't heard the term before but get the concept. To an extent I think it's something some people just have. I think do, I simply don't recognise the stuff some people say about street harrassment as something regular, worked in some dodgy areas and never got bothered. I'm not very well at the moment so wouldn't be able to do this kind of trek were there the need for it - but this is the sort of stuff I would do if I could and had to.

Agree that noisy small children may unfortunately make it more difficult.

Flat shoes or boots you can walk /run in easily goes without saying.
Don't carry so much it would slow you down (yeah, awkward.)

Would also avoid bright colours and also dress in ways that are normal for the environment. Full hiking gear on show in the middle of the city perhaps not a good idea. Dressy or fashionable urban stuff in a country lane likewise attracts attention. That bright jacket or rucksack that's good for visibility now might not be the best thing then. Preferably nothing with visible logos of expensive / fashionable brands, including the outdoor gear brands that are in as streetwear, like Helly Hansen. Likewise more feminine colours best avoided IMO. But also full camo or whatever on someone who isn't a tough looking guy will stand out.)

Don't show too much skin.
I'm not massively into this stuff but have seen a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers. There was one where a woman planned to do a long walk to her car and rehearsed it wearing short shorts and a tight vest - okay, the right stuff for keeping cool in the gym - I thought that was a really poor choice for the scenario though. I also think long hair can look grabbable.

That idea of walking in the road or because it's easier to avoid being grabbed - but not right in the middle because then you stand out more. Where you can, balance stuff like that. If you have to cross that big empty car park or field, maybe you just have to, but it will make you more visible.

Have answers ready in case dodgy looking people ask stuff, like directions, or what's happening. Is it the kind of place where a quick, "dunno, sorry", or just saying nothing, whilst keeping walking will do, like in a busy city. Don't engage with people if you can avoid it. In a more sparsely populated area where not knowing where something is may make you sound more vulnerable, perhaps confidently making something up might be better (though in movies that kind of thing doesn't tend to go too well).

This not particularly well-titled summary of studies on body language criminals look for might also be of interest:
But it's not a good idea to be so hung up on acting confident that it dissuades anyone from doing stuff like doubling back, or crossing a road, to get away from dodgy looking people - having the confidence to do that and listen to instincts is really important too.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Wed 21-Sep-16 19:34:06

Great post ^! I don't know if I can blend in, I always seem to attract the bonkers people on the buses, the shouty people and the aggressive folk in pubs. I'm going to have a big think about trying to become more unassuming in emergency situations.

OP’s posts: |
cozietoesie Wed 21-Sep-16 20:10:51

Take up karate properly if you can. Control of your body goes a long way in any difficulty. (And you'll be able to get the physique of your dreams as a side benefit. wink)

WeArePregnant11 Wed 26-Oct-16 00:07:41

I think I'm a bit of a grey man, in this case. Although I've never heard of that term,,, and now that I'm pregnant. Well, as soon as I'm showing people would probably think I'm easy prey.

However, my best advice is to wear good shoes. I was once assaulted when wearing heeled boots, never felt this helpless. cant really run, don't have a secure stance etc.

DesolateWaist Wed 26-Oct-16 00:12:18

Watch Hunted on Channel 4.
There is a guy on there at the moment who is doing extremely well, not because he is better than the others but because he is a 'grey man'.

He is a white, middle aged man. He wears ordinary clothes and just doesn't draw attention to himself.

Not much any of us can do to change age, gender or race but we can learn something from it.

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