Monday, August 9, 2010

Reply: The Gray man concept

 In reply to The Gray Man Concept post:


I just read your grey man piece and wanted to share something I have been doing as of late. I picked up an "diaper bag" at a thrift store for .50 cents. It's black and pretty large and is made with a lightly insulated material that seems waterproof. It's big enough to carry what I need and has two mesh bags on the side for carrying bottles. I keep two water bottles there. It's my vehicle bag. When I am just leaving it there I replace the water bottles with half full baby bottles and wad up an old disposable diaper and lay it beside it. I also open the bag slightly and have one of my daughters old shirts sticking out. Obviously the bag has other items in it. I figure here in the US (for now) no one would risk breakimg in a car for that. I also thought that in an emergency evacuation situation it would look less obvious than a "tacti-cool" bag with all the bells and whistles and would not scream "wealth,guns, and grub" either. My daughter is now 6 so I don't know how long this will work but she still rides in a car seat and will for 2 more years. I just casually toss it in the back seat by her car seat.

Regarding clothing: I spoke to a guy that had just returned working security in Iraq. Many of the guys in the gun shop knew him and felt comfortable asking him questions that were firearm and security related. One guy asked him what kind of clothing they wore and what he thought of 5.11 pants. He kind of smiled and said, "You know what we found works best? Dockers with the pockets." He didn't say they were better. He said they worked best. I asked him to clarify. He said everyone from aid workers and Doctors to contract electricians and reporters wear a form of loose fitting khakis and that the Dockers seem to hold up the best. He said if you are wearing 5.11's they know what you are there for and you get shot first. I don't know how true it is but he seemed genuine.


Thanks good info. I suppose that over there the fit guy with the 5.11 pants and awareness look would quickly imply contractor. Again, location, location, location. It will dictate if you’re gray man or not and what work in some areas may have the complete opposite result in others.
I like the tactical diaper bag idea. Some of those bags are pretty resistant, just try not to overload it with too much weight.

I will say it more simply. You wear clothes that are durable,
comfortable and don't stand out.

You can go buy durable clothes where the auto mechanic, the UPS
deliveryman, the gas company employee buys his or her clothing.

Boots are overrated I once had to do three days in Southeast Asia My
choice was not boots, it was sneakers. When you have to lift your
feet up and down multiple times in the mud, you really don't care to
have the extra weight Moreover, if you have a definitely time period,
you don't have to have the best.

Ditto on other gear. Given the choice of two blankets or one, I
carried one. When you have 11 people sleeping in one room of a two
room hut, you don't need two blankets to carry all day.

And, you don't carry a rifle. I didn't carry a rifle in Columbia,
only a .22 short Beretta that fit in my hand so I walked with it
concealed in my palm. Surprise counts for more than firepower in a
lot of instances.

I guess it’s a matter of getting used to boots. I wear mine all day and for me its not that big a deal. Some of the high end working shoes, sport like boots, they are terrific value, well made and light too.Caterpillar Men's Hydraulic Mid Cut Steel Toe Boot,Dark Brown,7.5 M US 
Caterpillar Men's Hydraulic Mid Cut Steel Toe Boot



North Family Arizona said...

Great conversation. I'm converting over to the anti-tactical side of the force... I just carry handguns and just bought a non-tactical shotgun for home defense. Besides all the good reasons stated here about not looking like a "contractor" here in the states there are legal ramifications to using "tactical" designated gear to killing someone even if it's in self defense. So instead of an AR 15 I chose the Shotgun and my sidearm.

Aries144 said...

Neat comment.

Just to clarify, I live in a rural area with a few small towns nearby.

I wanted to add that I actually prefer high-top boots to sneakers or low-cut hiking boots when walking in very muddy areas or areas with a lot of brush and undergrowth- it keeps all that crap from constantly getting into your footwear! I use a pair of very light 8" OTB jungle boots- they barely weigh more than my running shoes. They are tan military boots, but its not uncommon to see people wearing tan military or work boots where I live- and they look like typical tan construction boots from a distance when wearing jeans or khaki work pants.

In a more upscale urban/suburban setting, I agree one of the hiking type boots or work boots would probably be less conspicuous.

Another option for somewhat nicer dress are shoes from Rockport. They typically have better support and much "grippier" soles than other dress shoes. You aren't going to fool anyone into thinking you're wearing something Italian, but they are nice, fairly rugged dress shoes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe diaper bag idea not so great. Just saw this on

Yeah, exactly!
The car moves - and sometimes it has to park in less then pristine neighborhoods.....

But even in a supposedly nice and relatively safe neighborhood where I happen to live - one day somebody made off with a diaper bag we left on a front seat from an unlocked car in our driveway, because it looked kind of like one of those big purses....

I just regret there wasn't a dirty diaper inside, or else the thief would've gotten themselves an ultimate "bag of crаp"!.... (scroll down towards bottom, guy or gal named LEM wrote it)

Idahoser said...

even if you succeed in being a convincing diaper bag... do you have a child 'safety' seat?