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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2018, 11:04 PM
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Default Anyone else incorporate the "gray man" concept?

I'm curious who else has learned something about the gray man concept and to what extent has incorporated the idea into preparedness considerations.

By way of explanation, when I was in the market for a sporty car in the 1990's I thought I might avoid traffic citations if I had a "stealth" silver paint job versus fire engine red. Radar put an end to such fantasies. About the same time I visited a relative in New York City who, to lower the odds of my being mugged, advised me to wear some black clothing made of wool or cotton, walk like I lived there, etc. So when I read an article several years ago about the "gray man" concept I realized I'd already been using some of the ideas about not being a fly on the wall, but being more like the wall itself.

This realization had me interested in making some simple modifications to my "readiness" profile. My pickup was already a fairly neutral color and I didn't have any cigar smoking Woody-Woodpecker decals on the windows, so it was simple to draw less attention generally by removing all bumper stickers and using plain license plate holders, and so on. The hair and whiskers became shorter, the logo clothing disappeared, some old faded tattoos got the laser, I could go on and on.

Has anyone else done similar?
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Last edited by Joe Kidd; 03-19-2018 at 11:06 PM..
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Old 03-20-2018, 1:34 AM
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I had gray flames painted on my truck instead of the typical bright red/yellow flames that get all the attention. Is this what you are talking about?

I'm kidding, but not about the flames. I did it many years ago, but now realize the benefit in being more of a "gray man". I moved to a small town a few months ago and now my truck sticks out like a sore thumb everywhere I go. Many times its better to blend in and attract no extra notice or attention.
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Old 03-20-2018, 3:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Kidd View Post
Has anyone else done similar?
Yes. ( I am trying to keep a low profile on the subject. )

The Gray Man Concept is a mindset and where you want to take it is up to you. Beyond the obvious items you have already mentioned about color of cars and logos on clothing, consider the following:
No facebook accounts, No twitter accounts, No instagram accounts, no "real" online profile to speak of (including Calguns). Pay for purchases in cash. Limit use of credit card to only paying for minimum items (hotels, booking car rentals, and airlines tickets.). No on-line purchases. No electronic access to banking (electronic debit and credits for paying bills like water, power, internet, etc.). No smart phones (no apps, or maps, etc.). Old fashion GPS. etc.

Best regards,
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Old 03-20-2018, 4:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 870classic View Post
Yes. ( I am trying to keep a low profile on the subject. )

The Gray Man Concept is a mindset and where you want to take it is up to you. Beyond the obvious items you have already mentioned about color of cars and logos on clothing, consider the following:
No facebook accounts, No twitter accounts, No instagram accounts, no "real" online profile to speak of (including Calguns). Pay for purchases in cash. Limit use of credit card to only paying for minimum items (hotels, booking car rentals, and airlines tickets.). No on-line purchases. No electronic access to banking (electronic debit and credits for paying bills like water, power, internet, etc.). No smart phones (no apps, or maps, etc.). Old fashion GPS. etc.

Best regards,
That is extreme for a majority of people. Most fortune 500 companies require a social media account. Almost all Ivy-league MBA programs require it also.
Success at the higher levels requires constant networking, most of which is done through social media.

Your advice is fine if you're older and retired, or if you flip burgers at McDonald's and are content with that. But if you are chasing success, especially in a competitive field, that advice will harm much more than help in the real world outside of TEOTWAWKI fantasies.

Be careful and don't overshare online, but don't be some weird recluse.
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Old 03-20-2018, 4:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterb;
Be careful and don't overshare online, but don't be some weird recluse.

This is a good rule to follow.
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Old 03-20-2018, 5:04 PM
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Maybe I do
And maybe I don't.
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Old 03-20-2018, 7:46 PM
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It’s harder than it seems. Some people have a more LEO/military look than others. I’m neither but get side eye from people even dressed like a surfer. I just look like the guy that would have a gun in their pocket.
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Old 03-20-2018, 8:12 PM
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Maybe I do
And maybe I don't.
This
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Old 03-20-2018, 9:10 PM
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Old 03-20-2018, 9:32 PM
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Is this a thread about vegans? They're grey?
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Old 03-21-2018, 1:56 AM
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It's an excellent idea to minimize one's electronic profile. Outside of shrinking one's public footprint, I guess I was thinking in terms of successfully getting to the truck (where the get home bag is) during some very unpleasant natural or human caused event, and then from the truck home, whether driving or having to ditch the truck and walk. I stopped wearing cammies or any military related items except where those are commonly worn; left the vest behind, started wearing only plain ball caps without my beloved military unit "bling", and the backpack I keep in my truck is generic without very many exposed zippers or other attention grabbers. And I picked a well worn but not tattered change of clothing and other gear for the truck, except the few necessary brand new items which are tucked away. I agree, the gray man concept is a state of mind above all. When someone comes up with a gray man Harley Davidson, I want to know.
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Old 03-21-2018, 2:32 AM
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The old dark man becomes the grey. There is of course the OD man who has too much information...
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Old 03-21-2018, 7:31 AM
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Minimal footprint, minimal signature.

Not so much "camoflage" as becoming forgettable. Many people like attention and dress to attract it not deflect it. Flashy car, nice truck, beautiful home. They "peacock" strut all over social media in an endless quest for external validation.

The "grey man" does not try to hide because people trying to hide look suspicious thus paradoxically attracting the attention they were trying to evade. He simply focuses on being forgettable which usually means looking like there's nothing to draw him to anyone's attention.

For instance one might think not having a FB account would be "grey man" but if you are under 60, NOT having one makes you stand out. A better grey tactic would be to have one that you update once a week with some article of interest to folks in your career field, or a pic of a dog... something neutral that nobody cares about. Have all the privacy settings so only a select few people can see it. Sign out of it when not in use.
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Old 03-21-2018, 8:43 AM
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I live in a small town where everyone knows everyone. I think its a asset. Strangers stick out like a whore in church.

We all know the bad guys and the good guys.
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Old 03-21-2018, 8:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpage View Post
The old dark man becomes the grey. There is of course the OD man who has too much information...
But he's played every Call of Duty title ever released, including DLC. So you know, he's basically a MARSOC SEAL Black Beretman Jumper TAC-OP.
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Old 03-21-2018, 1:42 PM
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Posting on a public website known to be scoured by govt agents while taking about grey man ... isn't.
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Old 03-21-2018, 2:14 PM
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Becoming the veritable needle in a stack of needles has value.
Privacy is dead in our current iteration of liberty & freedom, but thats another thread topic altogether.
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Old 03-21-2018, 3:08 PM
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Its been real easy going gray, in the genetics I think. Seriously, having low profile is almost always prefered way to live life. Besides being old, decidedly unhip, and at 5 foot somethin tall keeps me low profile as well.

No tats, no loud exhaust, no NRA sticky, no Hillary Sticker, no Trump sticker, No Tread on Me stickers, no pro gun stuff. I am just so blah its embarrassing.
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Old 03-21-2018, 4:48 PM
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Imho there's definate value in the gray man notion; as others have said mostly just be forgettable. My truck is nice, but nothing too out of the ordinary, I like those built-out bug out type vehicles, but they've got to be a thief or bullet magnet in a bad situation. I'm in my 50's and I've never been on any social media. At work I have to wear office type stuff, but it's pretty basic. When my wife and go out on the weekend we're never out late, and our clothing is nothing crazy, especially mine which is always some sort of dark plaid shirt and jeans semi-grunge style. I have very few clothes with any logos on them, off work I almost always have a baseball hat on, plain dark color with no logo. When jogging I always have a sort of dumpy look, mixed dull colors with sunglasses, rarely does anyone say anything to me. Posting on Calguns once in a great while is about as crazy as I get, I guess boring to most of you ballers but that's the way I like it.
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Old 03-21-2018, 8:33 PM
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When I'm off duty I try to be low profile. Drive a common car without stickers, trying to blend in helps most of the time.
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Old 03-21-2018, 9:09 PM
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I walk my dog through town every day, a few years ago I started wearing my "yard work" clothes on these walks. Not dirty, smelly, or stained, just drab. I look like a cross between a laborer and/or a homeless guy (2 years ago at Thanksgiving time I had a homeless guy offer me a cigarette and direct me to where the best free meals were being served). That plus acting like you belong wherever you are and not drawing attention to yourself goes a long way, especially in a society where people have been trained to not pay attention to their surroundings or to remember people. I feel like having a dog gives you an edge because: 1. if you are walking a dog you always have a clear obvious reason to be wherever it is you may be, 2. many people are intimidated by a medium size dog without consciously paying attention to the source of their intimidation, 3. my dog wont let anyone sneak up on me. I also wear earbud headphones plugged into my phone - but don't have anything playing; it helps blend in and people will talk around you assuming you cant hear them (its kind of an interesting social experiment).
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Old 03-21-2018, 9:30 PM
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Do you mean the de-barked assault chihuahua and assault wheelbarrow approach?

Let me tell you, I blend at any of the many entrances to Home Depot. People actually pretend I'm not there.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Anyone else incorporate the "gray man" concept?
Not intentionally
It just sorta happened as I grew older.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
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Not intentionally
It just sorta happened as I grew older.
Good one.
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Old 03-25-2018, 8:20 PM
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The type and color of your car has everything to do with if you get pulled over by a cop or given the right of way (vs. cut off) by other drivers.
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Old 03-26-2018, 4:10 AM
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Just did a search on my name (private window, of course), and I have been doing well.

I can't seem to find myself in pages of non-social media, and not one of the tops in Social Media (as I use an alt-name in social media, nothing like my real, even named as different ethnicity and gender ). Alt-email used for all purchases, and not the same as Gmail acct. on my phone. Never sign into Gmail w/out a private window, as those cookies track, and Chrome seems to remember (even if incognito, as I recall).
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:19 PM
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Something happened yesterday that rang my alarm bells and reminded me of this conversation. While at home just before dusk my dogs started barking, I went to the window and looked out and saw a guy in a black hoodie (hood up), sunglasses, hands in hoodie pockets, dark pants, and dark sneakers walking down the sidewalk. He seemed to be trying to pretend that he was looking down and forward, but his head was slightly tilting one way, and then a moment later the other way - I think he was checking out the houses on both sides while trying to be sneaky about it.

I thought; I wonder how many people think that is the "Grey Man" concept? it is not. If you dress in all black, or like a burgler, you produce the opposite reaction that you are trying for. Whether he was up to no good or not, he did not go unnoticed, he made himself memorable, and I even went to my camera system and saved a couple still shots to have to help ID him if anything happens in the neighborhood.
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Old 03-27-2018, 3:16 PM
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Default IF ya got it.... FLAUNT it !!!

But stay within the LAW... Many LEO's noticed... BUT :-)
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Old 03-28-2018, 3:36 PM
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Default Anyone else incorporate the "gray man" concept?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
I thought; I wonder how many people think that is the "Grey Man" concept? it is not. If you dress in all black, or like a burgler, you produce the opposite reaction that you are trying for. Whether he was up to no good or not, he did not go unnoticed, he made himself memorable, and I even went to my camera system and saved a couple still shots to have to help ID him if anything happens in the neighborhood.

True. Being the gray man means you are inconspicuous. You blend in. You don’t stand out. There is nothing out of the ordinary. You are where you would be and aren’t where you wouldn’t. You do everything in the realm of normalcy and nothing outside.

That doesn’t mean a bland boring life. Nor does it mean you conform. Quite the opposite. One of the problems with all this data collecting is that pretty much everything you do is recorded. However, the fact that there’s so much data on everyone for everything, it swamps any type of analysis.

Thus not having any “data” is in itself a flag as much as having certain data. It’s impossible to remove oneself completely. Doing so would be a cause for alarm since there’s already significant trail behind you. A sudden stop would peak interest.

The key is moderation. No large cash withdrawals. Buy ammo with cash but not all. Buy some with a card. Like hunting ammo, shotgun shells, maybe a box of 22. If you’ve purchased guns, a couple of bolt guns, a couple of pistols. Big deal. You’re one of dozens and dozens of millions. It’s ok to buy a hunting license. It’s ok to go to the range. Basically anything that is ordinary and somewhat common.

Don’t buy 10 AR’s before the next round of laws. Don’t buy 10 cases of 556. Buy prep gear, some card some cash. A backpack and a couple of odds and ends is just disaster prep. Normal in SoCal. But don’t buy a year supply of MRE’s on a card. Or full molle tactical gear outfit. Cash yes. Card no.

That’s blending in. Not vanishing. Vanishing sets off as many flags as the opposite. Blending in, the gray man, as gray just blends, is disappearing. As in not appearing on anyone’s radar.

Remember the low hanging fruit theory. Blending in makes them dig deep and search. That’s work. Don’t have a YouTube channel that makes you look like a crazy. No social media though. If you have it, out of necessity or not, nothing political on it.

The key is to not draw attention. Remember, the gray man isn’t invisible, just innocuous. He doesn’t hide, he just isn’t noticed. Of course that doesn’t mean he isn’t ready. Because he is. He just Knows how to not be observed.
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Old 03-28-2018, 3:42 PM
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No gun stickers on the car and I don’t fly any flags at my house. I can tell who owns guns on my street just by their Gadsden flag or service branch flag flying.
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Old 03-28-2018, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterb View Post
That is extreme for a majority of people. Most fortune 500 companies require a social media account.
Citation needed.

Also, I'm set, I have at least 6 FB accounts. API testing and whatnot, not a scrap of real personal info attached.
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Old 03-29-2018, 1:21 PM
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Most folks will need to lose their 511 clothing and gear if they don't want to be noticed.
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Old 03-29-2018, 2:02 PM
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I recently read the profile of an 'average' gun toting person. Older, white male, beard, unkept hair, cargo pants, baseball cap with logo (usually gun related), baggy shirt worn untucked and so on. I thought to myself, "Hole crap, that's me!", then I realized I'm in Prescott and fit right in.
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Old 04-01-2018, 7:43 AM
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I drive a grey car.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epaphroditus View Post
Posting on a public website known to be scoured by govt agents while taking about grey man ... isn't.
I was thinking more in terms of avoiding unwanted thug attention while: using public transportation; getting from point "A" to home during natural disaster or civil unrest; being in a bank during a robbery (been there, done that); etc. In these cases the presence of "govt agents" might be welcome additions.

Meanwhile, I'm still pondering how to make a Harley Davidson a gray bike besides losing the Easy Rider helmet and the Mr. Horsepower artwork on the fuel tank.
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Old 04-15-2018, 2:44 PM
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Here’s what I do:

Don’t wear anything “tactical”

Carry a leather messenger bag or REI backpack

No gun or knife logos on clothing or car stickers

Don’t post anything about guns, weapons or politics on social media

Don’t carry a knife clipped to my pocket anymore- I either drop it in the pocket or clip it to my waist band out of sight. If I need to use a knife in public, it’s usually the SAK classic on my keys.
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  #37  
Old 04-15-2018, 3:05 PM
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71MUSTY 71MUSTY is offline
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Yep I even bought urban camouflaged tires so my car would blend in.
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We already have the only reasonable Gun Control we need, It's called the Second Amendment and it's the government it controls.
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  #38  
Old 04-15-2018, 9:15 PM
Nacho_Eater Nacho_Eater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruss01 View Post

For instance one might think not having a FB account would be "grey man" but if you are under 60, NOT having one makes you stand out. A better grey tactic would be to have one that you update once a week with some article of interest to folks in your career field, or a pic of a dog... something neutral that nobody cares about. Have all the privacy settings so only a select few people can see it. Sign out of it when not in use.
I understand what you're trying to say but I know many Gen X, Gen Y, and Millenials who don't have (or deleted) their Facebook and Twitter accounts. It's not that unusual for people in their 20s-40s to not have social media. Especially in this day and age when Facebook and Twitter are both under scrutiny for privacy concerns, it's understandable when people delete their accounts.
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