Rural Lifestyle Blog

Life in Rural America

The Gray Man Concept

The concept of the gray man is to blend in.  This person can disappear into the crowd and never be noticed.

For all points and purposes, shouldn’t preppers / survivalist be practicing gray man on an everyday basis?  As stated in another post, tacticool has no place in prepping. At all times we should blend in. Sometimes we need to be reminded on some of the simple things.

Some of the ways I practice “gray man”.

Pants.  In rural areas such as where I live  pants are levis, wranglers or some kind of blue jean. Cities and suburbs maybe khakis or slacks.

I stay away from “tactical” looking cargo pants. Keep it simple and basic.  I do not own a pair of slacks.  Rarely, and I mean “rarely” will I wear khakis.

Shoes / boots.  Rather than cowboy boots I opt for Justin steel toed work boots model number WK4661, Brown/Sawdust color.  The soles are rugged and are supposed to be non-slip.

Some people notice cowboy boots. Why are you wearing “cowboy boot”? Do you own horses? Cowboy boots the soles are usually slick.

Work boots double as camouflage in rural areas and can be used for working around the farm. Add some leather polish and the Justin boots can be worn to a formal event.  When going to a nearby city on the weekend I usually wear tennis shoes.  How many people wear work boots to go see a movie?

Shirts.  No comapny logo of your employer. Workshirts such as Carhart I would consider acceptable in some areas. Button up shirts, maybe polo shirts,,, whatever the locals wear.  No shirts with firearms on it.  Nothing saying you support the NRA or second amendment.  No political statements on your shirts or hats.

Hats.  I wear a boonie hat around the farm and rarely in town.  If the weather is pouring rain I “might” wear my boonie hat into wal-mart to keep the rain off my glasses.  Once again what is your location?  City, suburbs or rural area?  What do people in your area usually do?  Here in rural Texas Lone Star feed and fertilizer hats are common.  Fishing hats are common.

What are not common are open top visor hats. When I see someone around town with an open top visor hat, chances are they are not from around here.  I live in a rural area, around here we work outside.  The top of your head will get sun burned wearing a visor hat.   I wear a wide brimmed boonie hat to keep the sun off my ears, out of my eyes and to protect the top of my head from getting sunburned.

Eye glasses, small metal frame.  None of the Buddy Holly hipster glasses that kids wear these days.

No tattoos.

How many men do you see that are clean shaven?  Most of us have some kind of 5 o’clock shadow.  On the weekends I do not shave.  By Sunday I have that Ulysses S. Grant gruff look.

No bumper stickers on your car, SUV or truck.  Especially none of those “come and take it” bumper stickers.

Casual colors.  No camouflage colors in the summer.  During hunting season it is common to see someone wearing camouflage around town.  Chances are they just got back from a hunting trip.  I have a couple of camo coats I “might” wear to town in the winter.  Chances are I will wear my green carhart hoodie jacket.

No knives clipped to your pocket.  I like to carry my knife next to my wallet in my back pocket.  The knife sits vertical and blends in with my wallet.  This is also dependent on location.  Some areas may prohibit carrying a knife.  Thankfully I live in Texas.

No fancy watches.  I used to wear a watch all the time.  But a few years ago I stopped wearing on.  My watch is still on my desk if I decide to wear it.  My watch of choice is a timex in dull colors.  No gold or silver colored watches.

Know it all.  One of the worst things a prepper / survivalist can do is give advice in public.  We have all seen the people who stand at the sporting goods counter at walmart, or at Academy sports and outdoors, Gander Mountain,,,, give out all kinds of advice on various rifles and types of ammunition.  There is a guy who spends a lot of time at walmart in Jasper Texas.  He will stand at the sporting goods counter and give out advice to anyone who will listen.

Do not be that kind of person.

While in public be the dumbass who does not know jack.  When the topic of hunting ammunition comes up while I am in public, I say I use Remington core-lokt in 308 Winchester or 30-30 Winchester.  Brands that just about everyone recognizes.  No real discussion or talking points.  No mention of military style rifles or stockpiling ammunition.

Buying bulk ammunition from stores.  When someone goes to Walmart, Gander Mountain or Academy sport and outdoors and buys a thousand rounds of ammo every month, employees start remembering you.

Buy a case every month, people notice.

Buy a few boxes every couple of weeks and nobody notices.

Never talk about your preps in public. Nobody but your close friends and family members need to know what you have stockpiled or anything else about your preps.

While in town I may talk about my chickens, then again this is a rural area and lots of people have livestock. Just about everyone knows someone who has cattle, a farm, a garden, horses, goats, chickens. Talking about livestock and a garden is common around here.

My prepping style has turned from stockpiling to developing a long term sustainable farm.  I do not talk to strangers about “why” I want to develop a sustainable farm.  If the topic comes up I explain that I want to live a simple lifestyle like what my grandparents did.  I want to grow my own food, can my own food and live close to nature.

Keep political opinions to yourself while in public.  As far as anyone needs to know, you do not like to talk about politics.

Do not talk about prepping to strangers.   Words like SHTF, crap hits the fan, riots, plague, collapse of society, bugging out,,,, will probably make you look like a fruit cake.

If the topic of being prepared comes up, you have a few days of food for an earthquake or hurricane,,,, whatever types of disasters your area is prone to.  Nobody needs to know you have superpails of beans and rice.

Survivalism as a lifestyle.  At all times we should be mindful of our Operational security (OPSEC). Be aware of where we are at, the types of people we may run into, the words we use, the technical jargon we may use from time to time.

Comments and thoughts?  Post them blow.  If you are a member of the forum, here is a link to the forum thread – My thoughts in the gray man concept.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock

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  • Fred Heiser

    Darn! I’ve been the perfect grey man all along and didn’t know what it was I was.

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