Tips on how to not stand out once SHTF
03/16/2019 / By Rhonda Johansson / Comments
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Tips on how to not stand out once SHTF

When SHTF, the last thing you’ll be thinking of is your appearance, yet this is a crucial aspect of survival. Looking too good or drawing too much attention to yourself is an easy way to get yourself killed. Remember that during crisis situations, people are desperate and will target individuals who look rich, weak, and/or vulnerable. The tips we’ll be sharing below will help you blend in with the crowd.

Lose weight (or look like you have)

People will lose weight during emergencies. This is because there will be a lack of food. If you’ve properly stocked your pantry for long-term survival, you probably won’t be starving, which is great, but you shouldn’t let everyone else know that. It is in your best interest to lose some weight just like everyone else. You may also try to disguise your weight or give the illusion that you’re losing weight by wearing baggy clothes.

Be clean (but don’t look like it)

Hygiene is extremely important, SHTF or not. However, if you look too clean, you may be making yourself into a target. People will wonder how you can afford to take a bath every day or why you have enough water to launder your clothes. As much as you can, don’t change your clothes every day.

You still should stay healthy by showering every day though — just don’t look like you have! It’s important that you still keep yourself clean during life-threatening situations. During SHTF events, you may be far away from medical help. This is why it is also crucial that you carry antibiotic ointments or essential oils with you in your bug-out bag or everyday carry.


Even if you do have plenty of water to spare, it still will do you good to ration your water supply. You never really know how long emergencies will last, and you will need as much water as you can. Save your water for truly essential things, like showering, cleaning yourself up after you poop, and other things.

Don’t try to be attractive

There are some arguments that women should go out of their way to make themselves unattractive to deter rapes and/or other violent crimes. We generally suggest that you just don’t flaunt your appearance in a SHTF situation. You don’t have to smear mud on yourself, but avoid wearing revealing clothing or anything that could make you a target.

Do not wear jewelry when SHTF. You may even want to consider hiding your wedding ring.

Be cold and don’t act happy

Now is not the time to be the friendliest person in the world. That may sound awful to some, but the fact remains that acting too happy is a bad thing when SHTF. Most people will be cranky and stressed during a crisis, so they’ll expect everyone to be the same. If you broadcast your happiness, people will wonder why you’re so happy. You don’t have to act depressed (acting too sad may also make you a target if it looks too forced), but just lie low. Keep your head down and your nose clean. (Related: What can the homeless teach you about urban survival?)

Don’t be interesting (but not useless)

Being too interesting makes you memorable — which is the last thing you want to be when SHTF. You want people to not think you’re a threat, but also not remember your face once you leave them. That said, you also do not want to appear like you’re a complete waste of space, either. Potential criminals look for people who no one will notice being gone or hurt.

In general, the rule is to act like everybody else during a crisis situation. Do whatever you can to look like any Tom, Dick, or Harry out there. Doing so will increase your chances of survival.

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