If You Bug-Out, Don't Stand Out

I'm not an advocate of Bugging-Out as your first option in an emergency situation, but there are times when it might be necessary. However, if you must Bug-Out I recommend that you do so discreetly.

Oftentimes, articles, movies, and television portray those who "Bug-Out" as wild looking Road Warriors. However, as the photo below depicts, this is not the way you want to look in a bug-out situation.

If you want remain a "Grey Man" this is not the way you want to look in a Bug-Out situation.

In this article we will examine the concept of not standing out, or as it is sometimes described, being a "Grey Man." First of all, personally, you should try not to stand out as unusual. You should always try to be as unobtrusive or low-key as possible. Always try to blend in with the environment you are in. This may require you to change appearance as you move through various areas. This can often be as simple as using a hat, or removing or adding a piece of clothing. Look around and see how others appear and try to replicate that look, within reason.

In regard to weapons... keep them hidden. They are your ace in the hole, so don't telegraph your capabilities. Looking military can scare people or authorities. You don't want to look like you're a threat or a bad guy. At the same time, don't look like a victim. This can be a balancing act, but necessary to move around unnoticed.

If you were trying to blend in, you wouldn't want to be the man above in the orange shirt.

You should also attempt to keep your equipment low key. The wearing of military type clothing or a military style pack with a machete strapped to the side just might draw attention to yourself. Again, it is important to be low key. 

If you need to walk out, attempt to look like any normal hiker.

A vehicle that blends into its surroundings or traffic is the safest option. A four wheel drive vehicle with a camouflage paint job and gas and water cans strapped to the outside may look real cool, but will stand out and become a target. Law enforcement will look at it as a possible threat. Other people will figure that it is probably full of emergency supplies and attempt to take it. Gas cans tell people you have extra gas, and people will want extra gas. I prefer a four wheel drive that moves through traffic almost unnoticed.

The vehicle shown above may look cool, but if you want to blend into traffic, it might not be the best choice
as a "Bug-0ut" vehicle.

Even if you drive a nondescript vehicle, you should also try to conceal the contents, if at all possible. Don't have stuff hanging all over it, or obviously noticeable on the inside. Attempt to conceal what you can, especially weapons. There are various companies that make "truck safes" of various configuration, and can be very useful in concealing the contents of your vehicle. For SUV's I like those that set in the back and provide large drawers to conceal your emergency supplies. With other stuff stacked on top of them, they are almost unnoticeable from the outside. 

This is an example of a low key truck safe for concealing emergency supplies in a SUV. It is manufactured commercially by TruckVault.com.

This another example of a low key truck safe made for a pickup truck, manufactured commercially by TruckVault,com

Keep in mind that a "Grey Man" is a survivor. He is prepared for everything and is always aware of the environment around him. Even though he moves comfortable through his surroundings, he goes unnoticed. This can take practice, but the time to start is now. Look at yourself, your gear and your vehicle through the eyes of others. Would you represent a threat to the authorities or others trying to get out of town? Do you make a good target for others in need of supplies? Bottom line, if you are going to Bug-Out, Don't Stand-Out!

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Copyright © 2015 by John D. McCann