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Gray Man Gear [17 EDC Tools For Stealthy Preppers]

In this gray man gear prepper guide we will walk you through the everyday carry items you will need to master the art of survival while remaining a Gray Man.

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For many preppers, the idea of becoming a gray man (or woman) is highly enticing. The principle teaches you how to be prepared for any disaster scenario while seamlessly blending into the crowd, and not marking yourself a target.

This is especially important in situations where humans are likely to turn on one another and fight for resources. There is no use being prepared if someone comes and takes it all away from you!

If you have read our “Every Day Carry (EDC) Items for Preppers” then you will also be familiar with the principles of EDC survival, which is a useful pre-cursor to this article.

In this gray man gear guide, we will walk you through the everyday items you will need to master the art of survival while remaining a Grey Man. We will answer the question:

How can I be prepared for emergency situations without standing out?”

We will cover:

  • Gray Man Clothing
  • Primary Gray Man Gear
  • Secondary Gray Man Gear

In a hurry? If you just want to get to our conclusions, here are our top picks and recommendations!

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gray Man Clothing

Your clothing is possibly the most important element of being a gray man. If anyone were asked to describe you, what would they say?

Most people will be able to remember hair color, clothing color, skin color and accessories. Some of these you can’t change, but there are steps you can take to make yourself as forgettable as possible.

Dress for your surroundings

A gray man must blend-in with their surroundings at all time. If you are wearing long pants and a hoodie on a hot summer’s day in Florida, you will likely stand out!

Learn to read your environment and dress as everyone else is doing. Whether you are commuting in a city, heading out to the wilderness or living in suburbia.

Sunglasses help to prevent eye-recognition, but they may be out of place in the heart of winter. By all means keep them with you, but wear them at your discretion

Plain and functional clothes. No slogans.

This is key! You want your clothes to serve two purposes: be functional and practical, but make you unremarkable. Don’t dress all in black or grey, but try to wear neutral, dull colors which do not attract attention.

A few pockets on the outside of your pants and pockets will be very useful, and even better if you choose clothing with stealthy inner pockets and compartments for you to carry EDC gear.

Try to avoid slogans, as they are easily memorized. The exception to this might be if you live in a town which supports a particular football or baseball team, and wear their clothing. This might actually help you blend in with the thousands of other sports fans who live nearby!


No tactical gear!

Being a prepper does not mean donning head-to-toe tactical gear. This is a really bad plan and a sure-fire way to paint a large ‘X’ over your head.

Most people out and about in a city don’t dress in tactical gear. Even when out in the back-country it is unlikely you will come across people in camouflage print, unless they are specifically out for hunting.

Instead, focus on clothes and backpacks which have secret, stealthy compartments on the inside but look totally ordinary to the untrained eye.

A hooded Gray Woman staring at a gray wall

If you are a little unsure of the topic, then please read our How to be a Gray Man guide and Every Day Carry Items for Preppers.

Gray Man EDC Gear

Our Gray Man Gear is broken down into two levels:

Level One: Primary Gray Man Gear that you carry on your person

Level Two: Secondary Gray Man Gear that you carry in an external bag

This will make sure that you have the absolute essentials close to your person, should you ever get separated from your external backpack or satchel.

Then, you have other very useful items in your bag which may not fit in pockets, or would be too obvious.

1. Primary Gray Man Gear

Smartphone & wallet - Flowfold Traveler Trifold Wallet

Most of us don’t leave our houses without these two items on a regular day. Your smartphone can act as a flashlight, navigational system, compass and many other things – just don’t rely solely on it.

A wallet should contain only essential and useful items: ID, Next of Kin, cash and so on. Don’t keep hold of old receipts and notes, as this will just waste space and make it difficult to find the things you need.

Keep your gray man survival gear streamlined and stealthy wherever possible. That’s why we love this Flowfold EDC wallet which won’t break the bank.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Watch - Casio Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Sport Watch

An analogue watch is a must-have for any gray man or those serious about EDC. Even better if you can get one with an integrated compass.

In any kind of electromagnetic attack, digital means of telling the time may become totally useless.

Investing in a high-quality watch will ensure you can always tell the time, for many years to come. Casio are a highly trusted brand with decades in the business, and a range of watches to suit everyone.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pen and Notepad

No, this is not “old school” - it is simply a very good idea. You don’t want to rely on electronic devices for everything, and keeping a pen and notebook in your pocket will come in handy more times than you think.

Use them to organize your thoughts, sketch schematics, draw diagrams and anything else life throws at you. A flexi-cover notebook is best as it will fit neatly in your pockets.

EDC Multi-tool - Leatherman Wave+ Multitool

Possibly the most useful item in your gray man gear. There are several trusted brands we would recommend, and each multi-tool will have its own configuration which is really down to personal preference.

We love Leatherman, and it is probably the leading brand in the multi-tool business, for good reason. Lightweight, compact and extremely durable: these are every gray man’s best friend.

The Wave+ model is a great choice for those wanting lots of features in a compact size.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

EDC Survival Knife - CRKT Endorser EDC Folding Pocket Knife

A dedicated edc knife will be much more reliable than the small ones found in a multi-tool. Pocket knives can come in handy in all manner of situations, and most are small and discreet.

For survival, we’d usually recommend a fixed blade knife in your Bug Out Bag or survival kit. However, as the art of a gray man is to remain unnoticed; a folding knife looks much less suspicious in your pockets.

Make sure you select one with a secure locking mechanism, made of high quality materials.

For our gray man prepper gear we like this option from CRKT, with its secure deadbolt lock, safety features and thick, cerrated blade for added utility.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Small Med Kit - Coleman Mini First Aid Kit

Never overlook the importance of a medical kit! Many people vow to just “stay safe” and not get themselves hurt, but you never know when an accident might occur. A gray man should be able to take care of themselves and not rely on others for aid.

This small, inexpensive first aid kit from Coleman will easily slip into your pocket and contains the basics to get you by in a minor medical emergency.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Personal Defense - SABRE Advanced Compact Pepper Spray

Learning some physical defense skills will really go a long way when it comes to survival, but carrying one or two items to help protect yourself is also a great idea.

Depending on the country in which you live, it may not be advisable or even legal to carry a lethal weapon such as a firearm.

Pepper spray, or another form of chemical deterrent, is a great option for any gray man. Most are small, discreet and will easily fit in your pocket, just like the SABRE Advanced Compact Pepper Spray.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lock-pick set

A handy lock-pick set is often overlooked by preppers, but it could save your life!

Being able to swiftly and silently enter buildings is a really important ability for the gray man.

If chaos descends around you, you can slip into the nearest nondescript building and wait for the pandemonium to subside.

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Carabiner Key Chain - TACRAY EDC Key Chain

Most of us will carry a key chain, so why not make it something more useful? Carabiners come in handy in all types of situations. Not just for climbers!

Make sure you choose one which is reputable and made from high-quality materials. The best is titanium, which won’t rust and has incredible inherent strength.

This inexpensive option from TACRAY is popular among preppers, and it looks discreet too.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Secondary Gray Man Gear

Backpack - Carhartt Legacy Backpack

Before you buy all the gear you need, you’re going to want a good place to put it. Backpacks are the best means of carrying a lot of functional gray man gear, while remaining discreet.

A good gray man backpack should be a plain color (NO camo!) and have compartments for you to organize your gear. It should look like something your Average Joe would take on his commute to work. It should also be made to a high standard and not fall apart after a few uses.

At the time of writing, Carhartt is a very popular urban brand and many people use their gear on a daily basis. This backpack would serve as an excellent gray man backpack due to its size, compartments and build quality.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For other good options, read our article on the Best Get Home Backpack which has a list of other high-quality, discreet backpacks.

Flashlight - Hoxida LED Tactical Flashlight

Disaster doesn’t always strike during daylight. There would be nothing worse than having to get yourself home or lay low, and having no way to move at night.

A flash-light with a red light is imperative, as red light does not draw as much attention and does not ruin your very important night vision.

The Hoxida LED Tactical Flashlight is budget-friendly and designed to be a prepper’s tool. It is rechargeable and offers 1200 Lumens, IPX6 waterproof rating, and comes with a backpack clip.

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Navigational Aids - Suunto MC-2 Compass

Most of our survival articles will tell you that you cannot always rely on digital aids to know your location or to get from A to B! There are a number of disasters which could inhibit electronic devices. In any case, reliance on a smartphone for everything is never a good idea.

In your gear, include a map of your local area and a compass. This compass from Suunto comes from a highly-trusted brand, is lightweight and professionally balanced.

Remember to practice how to use it!

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Paracord - UST ParaTinder

Most of you will have heard of paracord. It is a highly versatile item, and is a prepper’s best friend. If you are unsure what it is, please read our comprehensive guide here: How to Use Paracord for Survival

For the gray man, we would recommend something highly functional like a paratinder – a cord which has a dedicated firestarter strand made from waxy jute.

The SurvivarCord is probably the most popular model of this category, and is certainly what we’d recommend. Use it for hauling heavy loads, rappelling, tying up a tarp, setting animal snares or starting fires. The list is almost endless!

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Firestarter - UST Strikeforce Fire Starter

A lot of people carry a simple lighter in their gray man gear in their pockets, as this is the least obvious item to carry for starting fires. If that is your style, we recommend a refillable blow-torch style lighter like this: Zippo Refillable Lighter.

Lighters do run out eventually so you may also want to have a back-up option available.

A none-fuel firestarter such as a striker stick is a great alternative and will last much longer. This UST Strikeforce Fire Starter utilizes the natural properties of flint and is rated to 4000 strikes. It is small, lightweight and discreet.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Goggles - 3M Chemical Splash / Impact Goggle

Eye protection is a good idea for any gray man. They aren’t the most conspicuous item on the list, but they are a great EDC item and could save your life in any kind of chemical spill, heavy fire or explosion.

Clear goggles are relatively inexpensive and easy to come by. This model from 3M has vents to protect liquid build up, and the headband is made from chemical-resistant material. For a few dollars a pair, there’s no reason not to add it to your gray man gear list!

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Work gloves - Pyramex Safety Heavy Duty work glove

As with your eyes, it is imperative to be able to protect your hands in any doomsday scenario. You may find yourself having to sift through debris or construction. Even on a regular day, a pair of gloves may always come in handy (pun intended).

These Pyramex lightweight yet sturdy, inexpensive work gloves are the ideal addition to your EDC backpack.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Water filter - Sawyer MINI Water Filter

Clean water may one day be hard to come by. If SHTF and you find yourself running low on your own water supply when out and about, then you may have to turn to other sources to get drinking water.

A small, portable filter is ideal for the gray man. Sawyer make excellent water purification devices. We would recommend this small, portable water filter model.

It can be added on top of any generic plastic bottle and is top-rated by experts in the outdoors, camping and survival scene. It fits neatly in the palm of your hand and won’t take up a lot of space.

Last update on 2024-03-19 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Extended Gray Man Gear

In reality, there are many items you could choose as a gray man.

This list is just to get you started, but here are some other items you may want to consider, depending on your circumstances:

  • Extended Medical Kit
  • Instant Meal Packets
  • Emergency Survival Blanket
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Bandana
  • Portable Stove and Cutlery
  • Spare Clothing
  • Radio Communication Device

Gray Man Gear FAQs

How do I become a Gray Man?

Becoming a gray man is more of a mindset than anything else.

It will take a little practice: you have to get used to being highly prepared at all times, but concealing it from the rest of the world.

It will take daily practice to refine your habits and routines, but you’ll be thankful for it in the long run.

What is a Gray Man Bag?

A gray man bag is a backpack or satchel in which to keep essential survival gear, while concealing it from the public.

Most people prefer a backpack as they are more comfortable, but satchels have their uses too.

Make sure it is plain colored, good quality material and has a range of compartments for you to easily store and access your gear.

Final Thoughts on Gray Man Gear

The list of gray man gear is seemingly endless, as it really will depend on your personal situation.

Start making a gear list of everything that seems appropriate for you to need, whether you live in an urban or more rural setting.

Delineate between things you will carry on your person and what you’ll carry separately in your gray man backpack.

Remember: make sure anything you buy is discreet and well-organized! You need to know where to access each item swiftly, without attracting any sort of attention.

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Hi, I'm Russ!

I've been prepping for a long time, but 2020 convinced me that I need to take it to the next level.

This website started as a way to keep me going forward on the path to being better prepared.

Now, I’m turning it into a complete blueprint for anyone else looking to do the same!
Russell M. Morgan
Telson Survival

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