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Gray Man Theory: Understanding Movement in an Urban Environment

Learning how to develop sensitivity while moving from one scene/area to another is important in an urban environment.

The following are key tips to observe when travelling unnoticed during a Situation Normal or Heightened environment.

Be mindful of your transitions - static to mobile and speed - fast to slow. Walking with purpose as if traveling to the office will stand out in a crowd of people shopping in a department store, where stops are frequent and the pacing is slower. Match the ambient speed of those around you and use crowds to mask your progress. Keep your phone in your pocket. If you have to stay connected, use one earpiece only so you don't completely eliminate your sense of hearing.

Know your area that you'll be travelling through. Map out your route and know what you'll be passing along the way. Be aware of what might be in your way if you need to escape - whether it's tables and chairs or locked gates and doors. Some cities have tunnels underneath - Chicago, New York and Las Vegas are three that come to mind. Chicago has Pedways connecting buildings underneath, but are prone to harbor roving gangs of kids looking to overwhelm and rob victims. In Las Vegas, an estimated 30,000 homeless call the storm drains, washes, and detention basins their home.

Be mindful of access points such as entrances to garden apartments, basements, sewage access, and subways. Knowing this adds another dimension to your situational awareness. Onboard ships, we had to worry about what was above us with hatches and scuttles.

Establish safe zones. No man is an island. When I lived in Chicago, I had a friend or acquaintance within half of a mile from my location anywhere in the city. The same would apply for the Gray Man. Know people who may be able to provide you with temporary succor or shelter. This may be Father McGivney at Saint Michael's church, Billy, the doorman at the Mandarin Oriental. Ruthie, the dry cleaner two blocks from your home.

Know which shops have a back door if a second entrance isn't there. A storekeeper in Athens saved me and two of my crew by hiding us in his store while an angry mob was searching for us outside.

Another key point to remember is which homes have a dog. You're last intention would be to sneak away from pursuers only to be outed by a Chihuahua yipping at you as you pass by.

Avoid puddles, mud, soil and anything that may leave tracks for anyone following. Use these SHOECOVERS made by Squish to hide the footprint your shoes will invariably leave.

If you don't have CCW, carry something you can use to defend yourself with - whether its a pocketknife, a tactical pen, or brass knuckles. Better you have something than nothing when you need it. Click HERE to purchase a stun pen from Streetwise - it's easily concealable and comes with a lifetime warranty.

If you have to use your firearm, be prepared to financially support your legal defense (even if you're in the right). That said, don't hesitate to use it if you have to. Don't put money over life.

To be doubly sure, join USCCA (US Carry Concealed of America). It's an organization that will put up the bail money and pay for your legal defense should you need to defend your actions again in court. More importantly, they cover training and education regarding owning a firearm - making you wiser in their use for defense and teaching you to be safer around others.

If you're running on a budget and happen to still have coins, take a roll of quarters and wrap it in duct tape. This used to be my EDC growing up in a rough part of the city.

When walking indoors, avoid walking in the middle - whether they are stairs or hallways. Use the railings to shift most of the weight instead of on the stairs. The foundations are stronger on the edges and less prone to squeaking. Avoid facing doors from the opposite wall to limit exposure. Conversely, when entering a room, move right and use the doorway as cover as you make your way through. Lock it behind you if possible.

Avoid your rooftops - they make for great Hollywood action movies, but the roof is a dead end. And you can't fly.

Don't neglect the use of drones that will be overhead. Make note of canopies, awnings, or scaffolding to offer temporary cover.

Electronically, you'll want to preserve anonymity by avoiding cameras in ATMs and heavily surveilled buildings such as police stations and government buildings.

Buy a burner phone here. Charge the battery, load it up with emergency contacts, load it with prepaid minutes and stow it in your EDC - preferably in a Faraday bag - you can buy one HERE from SLNT.

For additional information on Becoming a Gray Man, SUBSCRIBE and get access to exclusive discounts on gear and product reviews.

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