May 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm #14683
Being survivalist is cool for you, but others can have some different ideas about you being survivalist. It can be dangerous.
Being different in hard times is dangerous too.
What do you do to blend in?May 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm #14691
THE ‘GREY MAN
The Grey Man is totally aware of his environs, his own capabilities or lack thereof, his weaponry and his levels of competence with that weaponry. He constantly strives to improve upon both his capabilities and competence. In public, he is always respectful to the point of obsequiousness if the situation calls for it. He always appears to be just a little confused by what is happening around him, while in reality he is alertly doing a tactical assessment.
The Grey Man NEVER draws attention to himself by word, dress, action, or mannerism. The Young Grey Man is dismissed as a wimp, the Older as a doddering old fool. The Grey Man derives great inner satisfaction from having this portrayal of himself accepted by all he meets, for it means he is succeeding in his disguise of his actual persona.
The Grey Man is a private man. He practices with his weaponry in private, or only with his fellow Grey Men, always in a secluded location. If he must resort to use of a public facility, he schedules his practice for times when he is likely to be the only one there. At such times he would probably wear bright clothing, to be remembered only as ‘that guy in the red jacket and sunglasses’, a quite different person from his usual persona. If right-handed, he would always occupy the leftmost station on a NRA bullseye pistol range, with his back to an observer, or the rightmost one for riflelry or combat pistol practice. He would not have his name emblazoned on clothing or equipment, nor would he have any noteworthy affiliation proclaimed on his cap. “He’s just a guy. Comes every Wednesday morning for his coffeebreak. Always pays cash.
The Grey Man does not drive a pink Cadillac with steer horns on the hood, NOR does he drive the biggest mutherin’ 4X4-with-all-the-bells-and-whistles BOV in the lot. The older his vehicle is, the rustier, the less likely it is to draw attention, or to be stolen, for that matter! This vehicle is, under it’s exterior, scrupulously maintained and in excellent running order. If pulled over by authority on the basis of appearance, it can be shown to meet or exceed all requirements under licensing laws, and an obsequious co-operative manner precludes a search under the seats. The Grey Man does not speed on the highway: cruise control is his friend. So is the Highway Patrol: he waves to any he sees. If he travels the same route constantly, at the same times, The Grey Man becomes a ‘fixture’ and can be dismissed from conscious observation.It helps the Survivor to build up this persona of The Grey Man gradually and over time. The anti-gun sheeple neighbors will quickly rat out the ‘Patriot’ who is always loudly declaiming about his ‘Rights’ and ‘what will happen if they try to take my guns’.
The Grey Man goes far out of his way never to offend anyone, imitating the duck which appears calm on the surface of his pond whilst paddling like hell underneath it.Be seen as conservative in all you do. A Survivor is a Grey Man, and that little old grey man alone over there in the corner is probably a Survivor! And that young guy next to him? Just another wimp? You could say they were watching each other’s backs!
HABCANMay 23, 2014 at 4:20 pm #14706
1. First and foremost, never let anyone see your preps, especially weapons & ammo.
2. Never talk about your preps.
3. I dress to blend in (or, at least very un-tacticool). I basically look like an old cowboy.
4. I do not have anyone over. Never in the house and rarely in the yard. I talk to the neighbors usually in their yards or over the fence.
OK, now all-y’all forget what y’all just read (see #2 above)
Big Bears Don't TreeMay 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm #14707
I am really bad at blending in and would like your suggestions on how to correct what I did. Also, this will serve as an example to everybody here of what NOT to do for OPSEC.
Three years ago, I started a permaculture garden in my backyard for extra food. It had a micro-pond for fish and two silent Muscovy ducks for fertilizer and pest control. I made sure to keep the yard clean and tidy. I tried to hide the food crops with flowers and shrubs, but the garden still attracted unwanted attention.
Our next door neighbours have three teenagers. I argued with them about throwing garbage over the 8-foot-high fence onto my crops, stomping on my fruit bushes, and poisoning my fish and ducks by feeding them cigarette butts. The animals died and I had to replace them. The kids’ behaviour continued, so I spoke to their drunk mother twice, and then sent her a warning letter. After they threw fire crackers in my face as I was gardening, I had to call the police. In retaliation, they called Animal Control and my illegal ducks were arrested. I stopped counting the damage they did to my garden when it reached $2,000.
The oldest teenager openly sells drugs in the parking lot next to us. Buyers come to their house at all hours of the day and night by taxi to buy drugs, and they park in front of my house, waking us up. On two occasions, I yelled out the window at them to be quiet. Soon after, the oldest teenager was arrested for possession with intent to sell and put in juvenile detention for a month. All my neighbours think I am responsible for his arrest, but I had nothing to do with it.
So, if SHTF, I will be the first one on their list to attack. They have been calm for the last 6 months, only threatening my family through the fence. But I know they will ramp up eventually. Suggestions?May 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm #14710
Openly selling drugs? Video them and send a copy to the district attorney’s office if the PD won’t do anything.
Video record the cars driving up and leaving, same as above.
Threatening you? Video and audio record them, again contact your local DA’s office if the local PD won’t do anything.
Honestly, make it so difficult for them that they move.May 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm #14712
Whirlibird gave few good suggestions. I do not think your problems have too much with you being prepper or survivalist. You simply have nasty neighbors.
And you are probably right, when SHTF, they will pay you visit very soon.
But being “not interesting” is first layer, second is that you show them their attack will cost them a lot.
I would simply be ready (however wrong may sound) to eliminate them on quick and efficient way, when SHTFMay 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm #14713
“The first rule of SHTFshool is…”
Seriously, though, blending and pretending to be one out of a dumb sheeple type is getting easier, the more I learn about _real_ stuff. There is some, very dangerous, element of “Machismo” to all these survivalist topics and amount of irresponsible showing off was the reason I stopped frequenting shtfplan.com and similar sites (Alex Jones, Rawles etc etc). I do not believe it is completely possible to blend in, without actually watching those dumbifying TV shows, eating junk foods and rooting for Nascar Because “they” will question you on those “important” topics and will realize _you_ are faking. The easiest, probably, would be, as the times are getting detectably worse, to join some kind of local church community, read and “meditate” on their “Holy Books”, so that it will be much easier to explain, that yours (and theirs) current Deity of choice does not recommend or just plain prohibits particular activities (watching TV, rooting for Nascar etc) :-))))))
Lack of machismo was the reason I mostly spend time at Selco’s and Ferfal’s portals these days.
I used to have a comparably expensive charger for rechargeable batteries, after few years of reliable service a pair of inexpensive NiMH batteries unexpectedly put an end to it. I was lucky to be in the room at the time and to sense that nasty toxic smoke of a melting plastic. I cannot repair that La Crosse Tech charger, and suddenly I realized I do not want to buy its expensive replacement anymore. I’ll go ahead with a cheap Harbor Freight (or WalMart) one, and also use regular batteries more frequently from now on (and will frequently check, that they do not leak).
I plan to simplify my life (and thus blend more with those people who may not have those expensive or hard to find electronic toys for survival) and I am also thinking about, that instead of preparing materially and hoarding stuff which may break pretty soon, I would have to invest in learning new skills (tying numerous types of useful knots is on my short list). Despite of what I just said, I’ll continue buying small useful items w/long shelf life from time to time – inexpensive lighters, flints, condoms, nail trimmers, quality underwear and socks (that I can wear myself), in line with Selco’s recommendation for barter trade during SHTF.
In short – I do not think there is an easy and effective way to “blend”… To hide and pretend for sometime – perhaps, earlier or later everybody prepared will have to face the merciless intruders and it will be time to act or suffer and or/die. Or to act and still suffer and/or die, as Yogi Berra would say: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
P.S. I pretend to be your next neighbor cheap redneck by putting out small handful of empty bottles and/or cans from cheap beer for recycling each and every week (that I actually drink, it’s not that bad!)May 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm #14716
Depends who you’re trying to blend in from.
If you want to blend ‘greyman’ style hiding from govt. then you shouldn’t be here, unless you are accessing through a VPN tunneler via tor . . .
I take it as given that I’m on a list somewhere, or that at least anything I have said could be found and linked to me with enough work/CPU power.
Thusly, I maintain an active wb presence that paints me as a moderate leftist with mildly pacifist hippy tendencies (which is not entirely inaccurate) and am careful not to write anything extremist (particularly nothing racist or religious) on the more ‘out there’ sites like this that i visit.
My auction site buying trail, is possibly mildly odd, but much more prepper/camper/bushcrafter rather than survivalist (which is is what I believe a govt would target, though our govt? I don’t know; we’re not as bad as the states yet)
As far as not sticking out in my community goes, I subscribe to the ‘People need a label’ idea. By this I mean we all try to label people we know, or know of (knowingly or sub-consciously), so through my everyday interactions and social media I provide people with the label that I want them to use for me; namely, “The scruffy/poor looking eccentric who counts every scrap of change and loves books”.
This ties with my survival/thrive-al plan of being an information/skills fixer when TSHTF is past the initial shock stages.
The best disguises don’t blend in – they have something fake that sticks out like dog’s balls that people can’t ignore (but ideally want to ignore as it’s slightly disgusting or unsettling!), then when it is removed you are effectively unrecognizable as people only remember the fake distinguishing feature (wart on nose, blue hair, fake facial tattoo, prominent disfiguring birthmark etc)
In summary, don’t try to hide (not exist\ unless you plan to be perfect at it.) Better to have the ‘mask’ you want the world to know clearly displayed so people mentally file you as ‘just X’ and think no more about it.May 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm #14718
My family and relatives live ‘homesteader’ lifestyle. Hunt, farm, fish, canning, reload ammo etc. We’re not called ‘survivalist’ but just what rural folk do/live. When traveling I adopt bit of ‘grey man’ approach.May 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm #14719
I don’t go by Hillbilly because I live on the top story of an apartment building. Most my neighbors are at least 308 distance away,but I do have to frequent the big town, Costco and doctors office and whatnot. Redding is the redneck capital of the west coast anyway.I don’t know what I’d do if I had to fit in somewhere like a big city. It’s probably safer for everyone that I not go someplace like San Francisco. Around here blending in generally requires camo…I’m actually a people person, I was a retail butcher/meat cutter about 1/2 my life.May 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm #14731
My kids. I don’t use them as human shields (though there are days!) or make them lie or anything, but just letting them do normal childhood things makes me look like a normal member of the community. Nothing says I’m just like all the other dads than sitting at your son’s baseball game, or coaching a soccer team. Just that, some friendly small talk and smile, have gotten us invited to a lot of social get togethers.
I also only speak about things with people I know are doing the same thing, mostly family. I once made the mistake of mentioning offhandedly to a good friend when the AR prices went crazy after Sandyhook that I was thinking of selling mine. The look on his face told me he couldn’t believe I was one of those “people” who would own something like that. This confirmed to me that I was doing a good job of blending in, but also that I should not let my guard down even around good friends.May 23, 2014 at 9:06 pm #14744
Sorry, had to remove after re-reading it because it had advice that I didn’t think was personally appropriate.May 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm #14749
I sometimes joke to my wife that we should wear our “cammo” to town to blend in. Usually it’s “forest” cammo , and it is common to see “blaze” red… or lately blue. Lot of hunters in the local community.. but sometimes I think it is just “cool” to wear it.. or it maybe the only warm clothes they have. We shop in a rough part of town where the cheap “no frills” supermarket is. There is a high proportion of Maori in the local area. ( Perhaps compare with native American in the USA… ). Most parts of NZ are not like this.
My son was returning from a week hunting trip with some city friends, and they were desperate for a beer and decided to stop at a country bar. The city guys thought they should take off their blaze red.. but my son said it would be OK. They were shocked (amused) to find that they blended right in.May 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm #14766
The age old problem, surviving and thriving while all those around you are losing everything including their minds.
First, don’t stand out. That may mean wearing a three piece suit for some, denim and flannel for others.
There are things that may or may not “fit” regardless. For those who like tattoo’s, some people and areas are never going to be ‘tat’ friendly. Especially many of the modern tats. A good friend of mine, now gone to his reward, had a single tat on each limb, but then he was getting ready to go to vietnam and wanted all his appendages to be identifiable if the worst happened. But even he took pains to hide them in polite company.
A couple of friends/former coworkers had some work related tats, one had his badge put on his shoulder, the other had her gunbelt tattooed around her waist. When she got out of LE work, I don’t know how she felt about it anymore. Personally, even as a cop, I didn’t want any identifiers that would give it away.
Same for ‘body modifications’ such as piercings. You can be a Rhodes scholar and I’m still going to look at you funny with those guages in your ears.
In the movie “Red”, the main character steps out to put the trash out. He looks around the neighborhood after a neighbor greets him and notices that his house is the only one without Christmas decorations. So he then goes out and puts up Christmas decorations, to not stand out.
If all your neighbors have “Illinois” flags out, you better think about a flagpole. All the neighbors have bars on the windows, well when I was a cop, we called that a clue.
That’s safety, not just fitting in.
And it’s not just ‘keeping up with the Jones’s, it’s often a practical reason also.May 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm #14768
Lots of good discussion here – How do I blend in? I don’t really – I wear what I want to wear (jeans, t-shirts, baseball hat) and act like I want to act. What I do though is I keep to myself – that is my blend I guess. My neighbors know me as that guy who talks to me every once in a while and offers to help out when needed (fixing the fences, projects, etc.). I’m a military veteran, but other than the required base stickers on my vehicles I don’t advertise. I ALWAYS keep my garage door closed so no one is driving by and eyeing my stuff. When they do catch a glimpse it just looks like a bunch of junk/boxes/bags. My wife an I are naturally anti-social so we are both at home not having guests except family about once a year or so. When I go out shooting I keep all the weapons in rectangle cases and I load them in the dark early. When I come back, I leave them in the truck until dark. I do have a couple BOV’s, but the jeep is older and the paint is faded and chipping off and the Ford Expedition is just like the soccer mom’s SUV of a few years ago. I’ve talked to all of my kids to not talk to their friends about any of the preps. If they come over and look in the shelves, it looks like it’s just well stocked. I don’t think that gangs would pick my house over any other, probably less since I have a 100 lb. dog in the backyard. Anyway, that’s how I do it – low profile. I just look like a normal DIY type of guy – and I am.
Patjoe – That sucks what happened to you. I had a nasty old woman that lived behind me when I moved in. I tore the back fence down because it was rotted and moved it toward her yard because that was where the property line was. She thought I was stealing her land and called the cops on me. I was prepared and gave the cop the map of the lots and that was it. The next time she came out when I was working we just started talking and I offered to take a pile of rubbish away from her yard because I had some going already. After that she was fine and always came over to talk. The other neighbors were not nice to her and she was not nice back, but to me she was…Probably not an option in your situation. Agree with Whirli – as long as you have proof of them doing stuff to your property you should be able to get them. Might want to pick up at game camera – they’re like $30 or so. They will snap a picture when the motion detector goes off and will take one every second if you program it such. You can paint them camo colors and hit it in places not to be noticed. If you pay a bit extra and get a night version it will take pics in the dark too. The pics go on an SD chip and you just pull them after you find your property disturbed. If they didn’t find it (you can lock them to tree or other also), you should have some pics of the perps. Good luck.
HABCAN – good points for if you live around undesirables or a large population. My area is a bit more rural so I don’t have to go that far, but I like the way you think.
Vadim – man, you must really live in an area saturated with those types. I’d never consider going to those lengths to try and hide my real identity (at least at present), but I’m guessing you feel you have to do it. I’ve done a couple tours in both Carolina’s so I know what you’re saying, but I never paid attention to NASCAR or any of that. When I met one we just didn’t talk about that, but about something else like deer hunting that I figured we both had in common. I hear you on the macho image some are out there to portray and I agree that is stupid. It just draws unnecessary attention. I’ve got some buddies that hang out on ARF.com and I like this much better cause it doesn’t seem like anyone is out to “out prove” anyone else on here – just help if they have the knowledge to chime in. Simplifying you life is a good plan – I’m doing the same. Hand tools instead of a huge collection of electronic ones. Agree with you – if it’s long enough, we’ll all eventually encounter miscreants that want what we have – like Selco says, you don’t have to be Mr. Tactical, you just have to show them that it will cost them more than they’ll probably be willing to pay.
FT – agree on the .gov spying. The only way around that would be if you never had an email, credit card, bank account and only paid cash for everything, a near impossibility in today’s age. Same with me on internet purchases – they could be aligned with something the Boy Scouts would get. Anything that appears out of the norm is purchased a few at a time over years or from different local stores, of course with cash. Great points on the “blending” – I’m not a good enough actor for any of that, but I agree that most people only focus on one or two things about a person when they meet unless you make yourself a spectacle which keeps them glancing over at you and picking out something different each time. You want them to just glance at you and go “whatever”. I try and think of how I look at people and tailor myself accordingly as “unremarkable” which isn’t hard as I’ve never been into overpriced name brand stuff.
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas Paine
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