The Prepper Wardrobe: Why Low Key is Best

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Many of us (Mostly the Guys) like to buy some tactical gear from time to time, and have probably a decent outfit of tactical gear to don, if god forbid the time comes when it is needed.

Now I am not one to judge, I myself have acquired and bought quite a bit of tactical gear, most of this was from my days in the military and contracting, however we need to thing strategically and not tactically in all situations.

What do I mean by that?

Tactically speaking and using a tactical mindset we would look at every situation in a tactical way, which is fine, but dressing the part is where you can go wrong.

I remember a quote from the Great Marine Corps General James Mattis that he told us when I was deployed to Iraq “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”  Now this to the layman may sound harsh, but in combat it is a reality one must accept.

This fits perfectly with what this article is about, in a SHTF scenario you must be analyzing all situations at all times with an eye to being ready to use force to defend yourself.

That being said, dressing like you are  trying out for Zero Dark Thirty 24/7 is not being of the tactical mindset  it is looking a part that doesn’t need to be, you need to have the mindset not wear the gear.

Like I said having the gear for when the time calls for it is smart, but it is smarter to know when to wear it, there is a time and place for that but not the hour after an even starts, or even a month into it.


This is topic was brought up initially in a conversation  between myself in Glen Tate over a year ago in a telephone conversation.  We were talking about a part in his books where the “Team” first introduced themselves to the locals at Pierce Point, the bug out location for his semi-fictional self.  Normally they dressed up in full tactical gear since the SHTF started, but to introduce themselves they came dressed in jeans and hunting camouflage.  Why is this important?  Because they were not trying to look like badass dudes, they were wanting to blend in look like the locals and not be seen as a threat.

Now everyone’s situation within their local community is different, however even in the most conservative gun loving communities, if there was an emergency and your first reaction was to show up in full tactical gear, chest rig, vest, M4 and leg holster, people are going to look at you quite strangely, and with good reason.   This isnt to say that at a later date that may be appropriate, but often this is not the right move.

Showing up in full tactical gear, in that person mind, You would think you are projecting this image.

  • Confidence
  • Ability
  • Proficiency
  • I know what I’m Doing
  • I am prepared
  • Follow me!

However what people will be thinking is this

  • Who is that guy
  • Scared
  • Worried
  • Wow what an overreaction
  • This guy is nuts
  • Oh my god one of them militia psychos


We all know that when it hits the fan, even after all of that most people will still be hanging onto “normal”, even with the world falling down around them they will stool look at you in that ‘garb’ and think “why? What a nutjob”.  Now does this mean they are right because most of them are thinking that? No.  It does mean that you will need them to survive as much as they will need you, and because of this you will need to not PUSH this on them, it means you will have to take it slow, and only when the time is right or necessary to you go all out.

Besides going all out is more about you wanting to finally use your gear, not about being effective.  Be smart about it, take your surroundings into effect, and remember that your survival depends NOT just on the gear or preps you have but your neighbors as well.  Without them your preps will get you far, but not to the finish line.


Another aspect you will want to think about is the fact that SHTF doesn’t mean the government and LE is gone, it might just mean they are ineffective for real crime and will focus more on the big things..ya know like control?  Dressing yourself to look all tacc’d out may just bring you unwanted attention especially if you combine it with any sort of public speech that could be regarded as “demeaning” to the powers that be.  In situations like this when things are tense, it doesn’t take much evidence to haul people in.

The Bad Guys may also take notice of you, if you carry a pistol or even a AR but dress normal, a bad guy looking at you may think you have a nice gun, more than likely not to mess with you if you look like you know what you are doing, probably not worth the hassle and danger, better to hit the person up the street with the progressive bumper stickers.  However if you are all tacc’d up with the newest and most expensive gear, that bad guy knows you probably have some more guns and other brand new goodies at your house, and since you are only one person, it may be worth the risk to try and take you down.

Publicly wearing all this gear may make you think that you looking like a solo porcupine in a pack of deer in the wild, full of quills, impenetrable.  However Remember that cougars figured out how to pick out that porcupine, flip it one its belly and eat it.  No one is impenetrable and more often than not blending in has more advantages than standing out.



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