Author Topic: Grey-coating it...  (Read 10577 times)

BlackMacX

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Grey-coating it...
« on: July 20, 2009, 02:15:53 PM »
I've lurked around here and on many other forums over the past year or so; the biggest issue I've noticed when people show their EDC/GHB/GOOD/BOB gear is just how obvious in a way it is.  To the common person on the street during most situations, many of the Maxpedition gear (I would think) would stand out like a beacon.

So, my question to all is (and maybe some pictures), how you manage to stay inconspicious and just seem like the average person?  I am the average person and most people notice when I carry more then my pack (containing a FAK, spare cell phone, flashlight and snack material) with me.  Or they comment that I've got a new pack.

So I thought to ask.

For note, I have a MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op backpack (popular Canadian outfitting store)) and EDC a SAK Farmer, Leatherman Serac2 flashlight and a Leatherman Juice X6 on me; in the backpack is the above noted items and my work laptop.

Cheers,

BlackMacX

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 07:38:32 AM »
Depending on the area. You may look more normal with it sealed in a TV or generator box. You know you are just going home from a hard day looting. LOL

homeshow

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 07:42:59 AM »
Depending on the area. You may look more normal with it sealed in a TV or generator box. You know you are just going home from a hard day looting. LOL

maybe in a garbage bag full of aluminum cans in a stolen grocery cart.  pee on yourself a little and rub dirt on your clothes.  "depending on the area" indeed think and adapt your camoflage to the terrain.

Goatdog62

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2009, 07:32:25 PM »
Homeshow has a point. That does work.

I usually get someone else to "pee on me a little" though. Makes it more fun.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2009, 07:53:44 PM »
I usually get someone else to "pee on me a little" though. Makes it more fun.

Goatdog, you a riot!!  ;D

Offline chris

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2009, 08:15:55 PM »
With my rugged good looks, startling blue eyes, and manly man-ness, I stick out no matter what. The "most interesting man in the world" calls for an appointment before he drops by. It's hard to notice the Versipack when your significant other is swooning.

Offline CGFxColoneill

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2009, 08:48:30 PM »
With my rugged good looks, startling blue eyes, and manly man-ness, I stick out no matter what. The "most interesting man in the world" calls for an appointment before he drops by. It's hard to notice the Versipack when your significant other is swooning.
all that and humble to boot? what a package :P

Offline Ragzilla

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2009, 10:04:14 PM »
I have always worn a back pack, a MEC one.  Now I wear my Maxpedition Versa Pack.  I have not noticed any strange looks.
People don't seem to care, or even notice.

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 10:44:05 AM »
Homeshow has a point. That does work.

I usually get someone else to "pee on me a little" though. Makes it more fun.

Don't forget to get some in your hair, and muss it up, and put some stale cornflakes in your hair...you know...for authenticity.

At the very least, people will try to avoid you, and that is what you are going for, right?

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2009, 12:28:39 PM »
Homeshow has a point. That does work.

I usually get someone else to "pee on me a little" though. Makes it more fun.

Yeah...it's usually a call around 2am..."Hey Trioxin...Daddy needs his medicine".  ;D

Offline VTaero

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2009, 05:44:05 PM »
I almost think that unless you are trying to stand out, it is not going to matter. I open carry a full size 9mm pistol often and I've only ever noticed a very few people notice me (and I constantly watch for reactions).

Of course I wasn't at a town hall meeting any...

Offline vicious

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 06:05:48 PM »
I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I think a camera bag would be a good alternative. I carry a laptop backpack with some other stuff in it, but I am in the bench racing stage of putting together a three day bag. That will be an internal frame pack, but I'm not sure what the make will be. If I can find one that looks like a standard backpack I'll probably take that over a hiking looking pack.

BlackMacX

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2009, 02:15:20 PM »
Ragzilla,

Did you get your Maxpedition Versa Pack from a local shop or online?  I want to see some of these non-MEC packs in person but don't know of any vendors locally.  I'm in Toronto, do you know of any here?

As to the others, thanks for your comments.  Some of the comments seem more humourous and somewhat of a jab at my question, that's fine.

Offline Ragzilla

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2009, 07:48:05 PM »
Ragzilla,

Did you get your Maxpedition Versa Pack from a local shop or online?  I want to see some of these non-MEC packs in person but don't know of any vendors locally.  I'm in Toronto, do you know of any here?

As to the others, thanks for your comments.  Some of the comments seem more humourous and somewhat of a jab at my question, that's fine.

I did not get it online.  We have a local store here Seals Action Gear http://www.sealsactiongear.com/catalog/store/HOME.asp
I imagine Toronto should have something similar, it is the center of the universe after all. :)

BlackMacX

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2009, 08:37:53 PM »
Ah, you've fallen for the common problem of believing the hype about TO......   ;)  We think it's the centre of the universe; but once we live away, we learn otherwise (thankfully).

I've been to Seals Action Gear's site and there might be a similar place in the Toronto area; but not as easily found (I would suggest).  Torontonians are abit "straight" laced about fun and the outdoors...   ;D  Might explain why I'm planning to move away to the West Coast.

Thanks though for the information and I'll do some more local checking.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2009, 01:07:59 PM »
I've lurked around here and on many other forums over the past year or so; the biggest issue I've noticed when people show their EDC/GHB/GOOD/BOB gear is just how obvious in a way it is.  To the common person on the street during most situations, many of the Maxpedition gear (I would think) would stand out like a beacon.

So, my question to all is (and maybe some pictures), how you manage to stay inconspicious and just seem like the average person?  I am the average person and most people notice when I carry more then my pack (containing a FAK, spare cell phone, flashlight and snack material) with me.  Or they comment that I've got a new pack.

So I thought to ask.

For note, I have a MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op backpack (popular Canadian outfitting store)) and EDC a SAK Farmer, Leatherman Serac2 flashlight and a Leatherman Juice X6 on me; in the backpack is the above noted items and my work laptop.

Cheers,

BlackMacX

One of the things that stands out the most is how clean it will be.  Nice, neat gear, while a matter of personal pride, will most likely draw attention to you.  Everyone likes shiny, pretty things!

While I wouldn't go so far as Goatdog's insistence on piddling on one's gear (not really a bad idea if you're in close quarters and have been munching on some asparagus. . .the smell would definitely make sure those around you try to distance themselves (and psychologically put you as someone to be definitely hands-off. . .no one wants to hang with the Stinky Man or touch his gear)). . .dirty your gear (and self) up.

Roll on the ground with it, kick it into a mudhole, drag it around.  Figure out a way to make it look not so desirable and spiffy.

Heck, just take your gear out and use it a lot.  Eventually it will get rid of that brand-new penny look.  I've seen LOTS of homeless people living out of their rucksacks or largish shoulder bags.  They just tend not to look new and/or clean.

Hope it helps.

The Professor

Goatdog62

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2009, 09:27:17 PM »
This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I use the Oakley Kitchen Sink. To me it doesn't look military yet it will not fail from hard abuse. I have a couple (they are $200 but I didn't buy em) and one has seen a lot of hard worldwide travel. I've made the other my "gray BOB." I have a tactical BOB that fills the bill for zombie SHTF scenarios (along with Level IV body armor, blowout kits, main battle rifles, rhodesians, etc). It will be part of my 505 project, to be part of the load plan when the time is right. I have it prepped and by the cottage door. But for the low profile "Hey man, I'm just another poor sap walking to the refugee camp", this bag works well. My needs are different than most of yours as I may have to hoof up to 505 miles in my worst-case scenario. My bag will have to be reliable.

http://www.oakley.com/catalog/products/kitchen-sink-backpack

As Professor said above, I have learned that your kit should look fairly worn. Will probably take my well-traveled one and rotate it with the new one. You can tie an old stinky jacket/cover shirt and a bread loaf bag with a couple stale pieces of bread in it onto the bag.

Still haven't peed on it yet though.

Also consider having an old wig and greasy old hat in your kit. As funny as it may seem, there is a lot of wig usage going on out there. It is very effective and can disguise your "clean cut look" rather efficiently. I have completely fooled people that know me very well when I'm disguised. There are other tricks...taped together glasses, pre-stained bandage on your arm, fly open, trash bag slung over your shoulder, etc. I do advise you not to look too "easy", because you might invite those who like an easy mark. Have some stuff (food, cash, liquor) that you can tolerate losing that will make your strong-armed robbers happy and inclined to go after someone else. Have a good cover story and be able to answer some details about it. The closer to the truth, the easier to remember.

None of this may work if people get really desperate. At some point you may have to decide to use deadly force or not to keep your stuff, so have a way to fill your hand with your favorite gat quickly.

JMHO,

Goatdog

Offline Dan

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2009, 02:30:45 AM »
I have a Gregory Z35 that I plan on using. It was the smallest I could find locally that had a decent weight bearing belt on it, any smaller and the belts get chintzy, any bigger and it gets too conspicuous. I would have liked to have gone a little smaller but with a bad back the quality of the belt is critical for me as that’s what transfers all the weight of the pack to your waist. Also I intentionally got it in gray so it wouldn’t stand out. Gregory also makes a smaller version called the Z25 that looks more like a regular day pack.

Offline buddha

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2009, 01:25:42 PM »
I use one of these as my EDC:

http://www.chromebagsstore.com/bags/messenger-bags/citizen-buckle-bag---medium.html

Made in the USA.  Overbuilt.  Durable as all hell.  100% Waterproof.  Can fit the kitchen sink inside it.  Completely unnoticed in any urban environment.

Offline Steve W

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2009, 01:57:18 PM »
I've seen Musical Instrument Cases used to transport "interesting gear" through observable areas without any notice.

A group of "musicians" with cases, backed up with a few with stands.....

Use your imagination on what will blend where you need to go.


Offline mobilus

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2009, 09:54:10 AM »
A friend of mine keeps his tools and other essential item in 5 gallon buckets just lying in his truck bed.  They're dirty, look like hell, and no one has ever taken them.  Hiding in plain view.

Offline mecha_buddha

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2009, 11:30:49 AM »
I thought I would throw a few things out there to think about.Here are a few things I have learned about keeping stuff covert in the urban environment.

1 - Colour  - Everyone loves multicam, but any cam pattern in the city will stick out like a sore thumb. Pick neutral colours like black, green, tan, grey or even foliage green.
2 - Size - make sure the pack is proportioned to your body size. Yes gear hauling is awesome but if you are a size medium guy and your are wearing a 4000 cubic inch bag, you stand out.
3 - Matching - If you are wearing business attire, a maxpedition bag stands out.  If you put the same bag with cargo pants and a soft shell jacket, it doesnt look out of place. If you want to blend in, be aware of the whole package.
4- Camouflage in consumerism - This was originally shown on the lightfighter forum.  Because of rampant knock off markets, you can buy Northface, Oakley or Jansport patches and tags.  Any maxpedition bag has velcro, slap it on there.  It sounds dumb but it seems to disarm the "threat" of the bag if it has a recognize label on it, people won't notice it.
5 - Unique bags get attention - This sort of brings it all together, but if the bag is unique looking in some way, it will stand out.  Morale patches, massive PALS webbing, biners holding a coil of 550 cord.  The average person will recognize this because it is not something seen everyday. Run the bag slick if you can, so at a cursory glance its just another backpack or courier bag.

hope some of this helps.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2009, 01:20:00 PM »
I thought I would throw a few things out there to think about.Here are a few things I have learned about keeping stuff covert in the urban environment.

1 - Colour  - Everyone loves multicam, but any cam pattern in the city will stick out like a sore thumb. Pick neutral colours like black, green, tan, grey or even foliage green.s because it is not something seen everyday. Run the bag slick if you can, so at a cursory glance its just another backpack or courier bag.

<snip>

hope some of this helps.


Your first +1 for a good post!

The only issue I have is with Black being considered a neutral color.  Black blends in nowhere except a black environment (i.e., dark), and even then not all dark environments make black inobvious.

Black is harsh and stark and does not lend itself to mutability like the other colors.  Even "green" is too vague a determination. . colors such as Olive (which is actually a yellow), tan, khaki, greys, etc. tend to blend in and not stand out as black does.

On a second note, and separate from your post, having a good cover in one of these colors also gives you options.  You could quickly, and cheaply, sew up a simple backpack cover (sew two together and make it reversible) and quickly change the color/appearance of your pack.

I have these for most of my packs.  I have a large Kifaru Multicam pack that I have a white and grey reversible cover for.  All of my other kits also have a Multicam/white reversible cover for them.  They're quick to make and pack very small if you use lightweight material.

Just some thoughts.  Hope they help.

The Professor

Offline mecha_buddha

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2009, 03:09:08 PM »
Normally I would not include "mall ninja" black, but from an urban environment standpoint, there are a great many black school bag, backpack, or laptop bag.


Your first +1 for a good post!

The only issue I have is with Black being considered a neutral color.  Black blends in nowhere except a black environment (i.e., dark), and even then not all dark environments make black inobvious.

Black is harsh and stark and does not lend itself to mutability like the other colors.  Even "green" is too vague a determination. . colors such as Olive (which is actually a yellow), tan, khaki, greys, etc. tend to blend in and not stand out as black does.

On a second note, and separate from your post, having a good cover in one of these colors also gives you options.  You could quickly, and cheaply, sew up a simple backpack cover (sew two together and make it reversible) and quickly change the color/appearance of your pack.

I have these for most of my packs.  I have a large Kifaru Multicam pack that I have a white and grey reversible cover for.  All of my other kits also have a Multicam/white reversible cover for them.  They're quick to make and pack very small if you use lightweight material.

Just some thoughts.  Hope they help.

The Professor

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2009, 09:28:09 PM »
If it comes down to it, I plan to look as much like a little lost sheeple as possible.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2009, 12:07:38 AM »
Form an alter ego or two.

My strategy over the years:

Smoke.

If you don't, then get some herbal cigarettes that don't smell like weed or ass, and put them into a pack from another brand.

Find people you want to be able to act like, and talk to them.

"Hey, got a light?" works 9 times out of 10. If they don't smoke, just continue fondling yourself, and find that micro lighter in that pocket. Smoke your cigarette. Sit down, become shorter than they are, and ask the time, talk about the weather, or ask 'em  what they're up to. You better have a damn good reason to be there too, but once you get past the first 10 seconds of conversation, you're in. Become a crack sociologist, and you're set to become whomever you want, since if you understand how YOU feel when you see someone, you should be able to dress the part and make other people feel that way, and they'll see what their feelings want them to see.

PM me more if you want to build a repitoir of personas, but the best solution is to really be all those things you want to pretend to be. It's alot more fun.

Offline jpommer

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2009, 06:30:18 PM »
I have a few old Domke camera bags. They're made of thick canvas, in tan or black and look like hell. What they don't look like is something that you'd ever put anything you cared about in. I'm not sure if they make these anymore, but if you ever see one for sale get it. It'll last forever and just get uglier as the years pass.

Offline Bloodyboots

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Re: Grey-coating it...
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2009, 12:01:59 AM »
We got ours from the local thrift stores, goodwill, st. Vincent De Paul's, etc.  They come already "used"  ;) Nice and broke in , with stains and scuffs free of charge. I've found that they almost always have a couple of nice backpacks that have an odur or just look....a bit too used. Perfect once you've washed them,maybe hit them with the febreeze.  You should be able to find any size you want and a lot of them come with decals and patches already sewn in.

Really don't look like a prepper when your EDC has a big decal that says "Don't mess in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup" on the back in bright orange and black.

Wife's bag has a Deadhead patch sewn on the center and the straps are nice and rainbow dyed.  We don't blend in we sorta force you to look anywhere else, Lest we talk to you!