David In Israel on “The Gray Man” Survival Approach

In a survival situation you must clear the military mindset from your head, since you are not backed by 300 million citizen western economy and trillions of dollars in supplies. Walking about the land with a AR-15 and BDUs could be one of the best ways to be shot on sight. To the causal observer you will be instantly branded as both clearly dangerous as well as covered in priceless gear.   What is the “gray man”? The gray man mode operates much like a spy, a recon team, or a sniper does. If the gray man is noticed he has lost much of the game. His best tactic is hiding in plain sight, while letting others be noticed. Tactically speaking, gray man is used when you are outnumbered and when a straight fight would be foolish. Dress is important, a fine suit may say rich, BDUs say maybe I may be armed, raggy means maybe I am homeless and likely desperate. Attitude is important, avoiding eye contact without being obvious is a good idea, aggressiveness will be taken as a challenge, stay cool but not so cool as to be cocky. The best gray man is exactly who people expect to see in a given setting: a UPS man in an office, or a mailman or meter reader walking through your neighborhood. Gray man works best when there are other people around to take up the attention of trouble makers. Let the hysterical woman or the angry man take the attention of the terrorist. Don’t let them even worry so much that they bother to search you. If you are carrying a weapon, then gladly surrender your wallet if asked, to avoid being searched and hence disarmed. What I am trying to get across is that in a survival situation you are not the big man, rather go to guerrilla mode wait until the battle can be fought on your terms,–sort of like when the police get a hostage taker in the middle of the night when he is less vigilant–and then escape. Assess the setting you are in. By blending in you will have a better chance of tipping the odds on a superior enemy and living to tell the story.