The concept of blending into one's surrounding and not arousing suspicion.


"…a person with skills and abilities to blend into any surroundings and situation without drawing attention to himself… a skill of hiding in plain sight."
Simply Survival


Hidden deep within the prepper and EDC communities is the concept of hiding in plain sight. There's an overlap between those involved in the everyday carry philosophy and the preppers, which is to have the most utility possible to do what is needed to survive and thrive in the modern world. To this end, both groups seek to maximise advantage and fitness using what skills and equipment they have.

The rationale for hiding one's resources is simple. For some, they feel that drawing attention to self puts one at a disadvantage in a potentially hostile situation (and many preppers tend to the somewhat paranoid and feel that the shit could hit the fan at any second). For others it's a matter of just wanting to be unobserved and has to do with a right to privacy and the desire to be socially unmolested.

Let's say I'm walking around town. I'm not doing anything wrong, I have no criminal motive, I'm just going from A to B to do C. I'm in no especial hurry but I want to get there; no rush or urgency but doing C is important enough that I don't want any delay. I don't want to upset or offend anyone, I don't want to be stopped or impeded, I don't want anyone to know my business. It's a small town and quite a few people know me, and while I'm normally happy to stop and natter with folk, today I just want to fly under the radar. I'm generally a private person and my business is my own, so I do what I can to blend in to my surroundings. I'll wear clothing that blends in, carry only the kinds of things others would, go at a pace that is within the bounds of what normal people do.

The really serious prepper has a lot to lose. If people learn about their stash in a get out of Dodge situation, they could be at risk of losing their food, tools, fuel, power or guns. The risks of exposure for them are just too great, so they will go to great pains to hide their preparations and their philosophy. This is the ultimate grey man challenge.

I am not such a prepper, beyond having a couple of weeks of food and water available at home. I have nothing to hide, but equally I have nothing I want to show everyone. The fact that in my backpack I carry a laptop and other tech devices, a first-aid and sewing kit and a few tools, is nobody's business but mine. Likewise, where I'm going or what I'm up to is something I'm not always willing to share.

At the other end of the extreme is the mall ninja, decked in camo or all-black, with visible pouches jammed full of stuff. Knives, radios all on display. I have seen such people walking around the city I live in. All they're missing is a SWAT patch and they're done. They draw unwanted attention to themselves and scare the locals. I've seen one being interviewed by the police (presumably on the suspicion that they are carrying illegal weapons). I have no desire to be detained in that manner, so I go more quietly.

Call it paranoia if you must, I call it me minding my business and everyone else can mind their own knitting.





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