Gray Man Concept and Philosophy

Are you a gray man? Do you drift through the world unnoticed? Does your presence trigger a reaction in the majority of people you meet? The concept of the Gray Man is crucial to understand and implement into SHTF type situations. In this post I’m going to break down who the Gray Man is and how you can cloak yourself in his mysterious aura when the time comes to do so.

The concept

The concept is this. In a fully blown SHTF situation there will be people desperate for resources. Around you, a desperate hoard of men and women who have no idea how to survive in the chaotic environment. Desperate men become violent and violent men become scanners of “opportunity” – always looking around for someone with resources they can steal. As a prepper and survivalist, you have gear to survive. In fact, you’ve been prepping for this moment for a good amount of time.

The last thing you want is to get your gear jacked. This is why you must go Gray man. In other words, you must go under the radar and unnoticed.

Who is the Gray Man?


The Gray Man is everyone and he is no one. He blends in with his environment to the point where people gloss over him. He is the ordinary man, a product of his environment. The Gray Man knows his survival depends on his ability to become part of the herd. If everybody is panicking, he appears to be panicked. If everybody is running, he is running. If people are dressing or behaving a certain way, he adopts the same style and mannerisms as to not stand out and draw attention to himself. The Gray Man is Joe Blow.

In the suburbs, he has a house, a white picket fence, and a Toyota Corolla. He waves to his neighbors with forced glee and is always in a cheery mood. You can see him wheel out the garbage containers on trash tuesdays along with the rest of the neighborhood. Hidey-ho neighbor! Here the Gray Man knows dressing like a hood rat will only draw attention to himself.

In the Ghetto, he has a beat up car, he dresses in rags too big for his body, and he neglects his outward hygiene. Here the Gray Man knows appearing upper class will only draw attention to himself.

So you can see, the Gray Man is not simply a static entity. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the Gray Man. The Gray Man adapts to his environment no matter what is thrown at him. You have to prepare for everything.

Gray Man philosophy in an SHTF scenario

Needs more shit


If shit has hit the fan and your environment is quickly reducing to a scene out of planet of the apes, it’s important that nobody knows you have the skills or the gear to survive. This can lead to you becoming a target for the alpha ape who decides you have something he wants. This ape will stop at nothing to take anything he wants from you. He’s probably stronger and well armed. That’s why he’s the alpha.

Sure, you might be packing heat too. But, the philosophy of the Gray Man is conflict reduction and avoidance. Nobody gets any points for being a badass. You do not get points for putting your life on the line. Going Gray Man means blending in and not rocking the boat (unless everyone else is rocking the boat.)

Even though you are a wolf, you must make your bed with the sheep. I’m not saying you have to assimilate into a group. I’m saying you have to adopt the behaviors and appearance of those around you. At least until you get to your bug out location or until order is restored.

Practical advice for going Gray Man

Clothing choices – I used to think dressing like you were homeless was the ultimate path to Gray Man. I don’t recommend this anymore for a number of reasons. For one, it’s hard to pull off the body language and mannerisms required to look truly homeless. Savvy street smart people will know something is fishy about you right away. You dress homeless yet you aren’t projecting the “aura” or “vibes” of a homeless person. It’s much better to wear regular clothing. Think about the clothing you normally wear when you go out in public, chances are your day to day clothes are Gray Man enough. Going commando and decking yourself out with camo is a good way to draw attention to yourself.

Your bug out pack – if you’re bugging out with a pack then there’s the age old discussion of whether or not you should go with a military or civilian BOB. The thing is, a backpack is going to draw attention to yourself either way. Especially if it’s fully loaded with a ton of stuff lashed to the outside. I don’t think your choice of BOB matters as much as the survival and prepping community has led us to believe. There could be small benefit to going civilian because it’s obviously going to blend in more than a military ruck. However, either way somebody is gonna wonder what kind of loot you got in there. Do yourself a favor and try not to put any gear on display outside of the pack.

Avoid eye contact – looking at someone directly in the eyes is sub conscious communication. A lot can be deduced from a simple glance at a stranger. The eyes give away everything. The eyes give away that you have a bunch of awesome shit in that backpack of yours. Especially if you are nervous, the eyes will give you up. There is no hiding your emotion from someone who’s intuitive and out to score some loot. Do as the other sheep will no doubt do in an SHTF scenario – avert your gaze. Get to your bug out location and stick to the SHTF plan.

Avoid scented fragrances – Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory and a serious trigger for some people. Ever had someone dislike you for no apparent reason or vice versa? It could be you wear the same cologne as their ex boss who treated them like shit for 10 years of their life. Sounds crazy but being human is a crazy thing.

Observe your surroundings – when you go out in public be sure to observe those around you. See how they react to you being in close proximity. Are they staring at you? Are they giving you funny looks? Do you have remnants of that Carls Jr burger all over your face? You could be someone who naturally commands attention which is not ideal for the Gray Man. Observation will lead to insights about yourself and how others perceive you. Be careful though, observation is a double edged sword. People can tell when you are observing them. Try not to stare but do you best to take in a peripheral understanding of the people and events going on around you.

Final thoughts

Going Gray Man is not difficult. In fact, many of us unconsciously fall in line with whatever our surrounding tribe is doing. This psychology harkens way back to the times where we lived in small tribes. That same unconscious desire to assimilate into a tribe will serve most of us well. For you tall poppies, well, you better start toning it down unless you want to get chopped! Do your best to blend in but don’t be afraid to pistol whip anybody who takes a crack at you. Stick to your SHTF plan and get to the BOL at all costs.

Remember. you are here today because you come from a long line of survivors. Have confidence in your ancestral blood and soldier on.




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