How to Be a Grey Man or Woman

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How to Be a Grey Man or Woman

One of the most critical and yet overlooked urban survival skills is learning how to hide yourself in a crowd. If disaster strikes and you find yourself in the middle of the chaos, the last thing you want is to advertise yourself or your valuables to others around you. This is why you should learn how to become a grey man.

What’s a grey man? A grey man is someone who can blend into a crowd seamlessly and avoid attracting attention . 

Becoming a grey man (or grey woman) is absolutely essential to safely escaping an immediate urban disaster situation. However, the same principles can also be applied to staying under the radar in an extended disaster scenario in general. 

In this guide, we’ll dive into exactly what a grey man/grey woman is. We’ll then outline and discuss the specific tips you must implement if you want to become a grey man.

What Is a Grey Man?

A grey man, or grey woman, is simply someone who blends in with their surrounding environment. They do not attract attention to themselves or the valuables they may have on their person, which enables them to move faster through a crowd undetected. 

For example, you could be going about your day in a city and suddenly a major disaster strikes you didn’t expect (such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or sudden civil unrest) that causes uncontrollable public disorder. This is when knowing how to become a grey man or grey woman could literally save your life.

While many preppers believe the term ‘grey man’ is mainly applied to urban disasters, the truth is the concept exists for any kind of a disaster scenario. For example, even if you live out in a more rural region away from densely populated areas, you still don’t want to advertise to anyone else that you’re a prepper or have anything worth stealing. 

Ultimately, becoming a grey man is about hiding in plain sight. It’s about learning the proper grey man skills like we’ll discuss later, dressing in common attire that makes it easier to blend in, moving in a way that does not draw attention, hiding valuables so you aren’t targeted by robbers, and perhaps most critically of all, having a plan. 

When disaster erupts around you, your primary objective must always be to move yourself (and your loved ones) out of a hot zone and to a safe location as quickly as possible. Granted, virtually everyone else stuck in the same situation will have the same goal. But the difference is that 95% of those people will not have a plan. 

This will inevitably only add to the chaos, but as a grey man you can escape to a safe location without getting swept up in that chaos. Rather than running around frantically, you must have a firm idea of how to slip under the radar to get to safety. This mindset alone will greatly increase your odds of survival. 

With that in mind, here are some fundamental principles of becoming a grey man or woman that you need to know:

  • Always have a plan for escaping any environment you walk into (look for exit points and the routes for getting to those points)
  • Wear grey man clothing that enables you to more easily blend in
  • Always appear and act in a non-threatening manner 
  • Never display weapons, money, electronics, jewelry, or other valuable objects that draw attention 
  • Never act antagonistically or confrontationally with anyone else around you
  • Always move with the flow of the crowd rather than against it, while also moving in the direction of an exit point to escape the dangerous environment
  • Only lend assistance to others around you if doing so would not automatically endanger yourself or draw attention to you
  • Always practice good situational awareness 
  • Avoid making eye contact with others in a crowd
  • Never walk into any environment or situation that you suspect could become dangerous

In the next section, we’ll dive into the specific steps you must execute to apply these principles and become a true grey man.

How To Be A Grey Man

Understanding the concept of the grey man is fairly simple. But actually turning into a grey man is much more difficult. It encompasses everything from how you prepare to how you act in the moment to how you dress to how quickly you can get away.

Here are the top grey man skills to learn:

Do Not Announce To Others You’re Preparing

First and foremost, you should never announce to the rest of the world that you’re a prepper. Don’t advertise it on social media, don’t tell anyone except close friends and relatives who you deeply trust, and keep your preparations hidden.

If you do, you’ll immediately have a big target on your back when the grid goes down. Word will spread that you’re a prepper, and people will come to you for supplies. If you refuse to give anything to them, they could become more demanding and forceful. 

In an immediate urban disaster, the same concept applies. Anything that gives away that you’re prepared and puts a target on your back must be hidden. Don’t wear tactical clothing or carry a tactical backpack in public, and keep any weapons or survival gear you have concealed.

Look Normal

Above all else, strive to look as normal as you possibly can. The fundamental concept behind grey man clothing is to wear what will best help you blend into your respective environment. Think carefully about what other people wear in the area you’ll be heading and dress in a similar fashion. 

Also be careful not to wear anything too colorful or that contains lettering or images that stand out or could help people remember you. Avoid wearing anything tactical-related and stick with neutral colors.

If you’re a woman, you need to be careful about jewelry, purses, makeup, or nail polish that could set you apart. Consider wearing loose fitting clothing that gives you more mobility and hides your curves. Additional tips to help yourself blend in including tossing your hair up in a cap and avoiding wearing smell-good lotions or perfumes. 

Always Have An Escape Plan

There’s an old saying that you should never walk in somewhere you don’t know how to walk out of. Make it a habit to always identify one or two exit points when you walk into somewhere new, whether it be a building, city plaza, or a street block.

Know Your Surrounding Area

Having an escape plan is always easier when you know the area beforehand. If you don’t know the area because you’re headed somewhere new, research it. Specifically pay attention to which roads and streets lead away from the area and how to access them. 

And of course, know how to make or use a compass.

Think Twice About Carrying A Backpack

The problem with carrying a backpack is that it instantly communicates you most likely have valuable items (such as a laptop) in your possession. That’s also not to mention a backpack makes it harder for you to blend in the first place and could potentially slow you down.

If you do need to carry an EDC bag, go with something smaller and in neutral colors. Keep both straps around your shoulders as you meander your way through a dense crowd, and get a lock for the zippers. 

Move With The Crowd 

Always move with the flow of the crowd rather than against it. The trick is that you also need to move in the direction of an exit point so you can make an escape. 

Move along with the crowd while staying on the lookout for potential exit points that lead away from the danger, such as a street or an open door to a building. 

Avoid Confrontation

Don’t argue with or antagonize anybody. If someone attempts to do the same to you, rather than yell or argue back try to descale the situation by agreeing or apologizing and continue on your way. 

Don’t Make Eye Contact 

Avoid making eye contact with other people when you move through a crowd. Making eye contact could cause some people to become confrontational, or give others in distress the permission they need to walk up to you and ask for aid. 

It will always be harder for people to forget you if you make eye contact with them as well. If you do end up making eye contact with someone, break it off first and keep moving. 

This is precisely why wearing a hat could be to your advantage. Just avoid wearing a hat if few other people are, since it could make you stand out. 

Be Aware

The trick here is to be situationally aware without making it obvious. If you need to glance around yourself, do so quickly. Rely on each of your senses. What you hear could sometimes be more valuable than what you see. 

Minimize The Things You Can’t Control 

There are certain aspects about yourself that could make you stand out but that you also can’t control. For example, if you’re a naturally tall person, there’s nothing you can do to make yourself shorter. But you can try to keep yourself low as much as possible while moving through a crowd. 

Another example is if you have a physical disability or injury that makes you look more vulnerable to potential robbers. The best way to minimize this would be to stay in the middle of a group (if possible) so you’re less visible. 

Be Careful About Lending Assistance To Strangers

In a major disaster, there will be dozens if not hundreds of other strangers around you in need. And you will feel the urge to help them. Just make sure that in doing so you don’t put yourself in immediate danger. 

Be on your guard, and keep in mind thieves or people with bad intentions will take advantage of the generosity of others. If something feels off, trust your intuition.

Act Confused 

Even if you know where you’re headed, act just as confused as the rest of the people around you. Walking with determination in a chaotic environment is a surefire way to stand out to robbers and the authorities alike. 

Keep Moving 

Last but not least, stay on the move and don’t quit walking. Slow down or quicken your pace as the crowd slows or quickens. Again, always move in the direction of the crowd rather than against it. 


For one final piece of advice, observe the way people are dressing and acting as you go about your day. What blends in, and what stands out?

Take what you find out and combine it with the knowledge you’ve learned above. You’ll be in a much better position to become an effective grey man than the others around you. 

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