Escape & Evade
Whether you're trying to evade a hostile military force, kidnappers in a foreign land, or a group of looters or rioters in a situation of civil unrest, the following information can help for disguising your movement and remaining undetectable while on the run.
1) Mask Your Movements
2) Avoid "Flagging"
- When moving, a key tactic is to zigzag. Moving in a straight line can lead pursuers right to you.
- Always check behind yourself. Duck into alleyways, duck behind the sides of buildings, use the shadows of overhangs to your advantage, and always know if someone is following you.
- In the wilderness, avoid walking ON ridgelines but walk below the ridgeline to prevent a distinctive silhouette.
- Shoes leave footprints. Pad your shoes with cloth to avoid leaving a distinctive imprint.
- When possible, walk IN moving streams or waterway to avoid footprints.
- Wear natural clothing, such as greens, blacks, and browns. Ditch bright-colored clothing or dirty them to dull the color.
- Hide shiny objects, which can act as mirrors that will draw attention to you.
3) Look and Act Like a Local
- Flagging is when you step on a plant, a blade of grass, or leave a broken bottle or a piece of obvious trash in your path behind you.
- Flagging leaves clues to your pursuers of where you are going. Don't touch any small trees when in the wilderness.
- Move in a zigzag pattern and always be aware of how your passage is affecting the environment.
- If building a fire is necessary, build it in a (Dakota) fire pit to avoid spreading the light and smoke. Remove the bark from wood to reduce smoke. Remove all traces when finished.
- When engaging in escape and evasion, think like the pursuers. Look at your path through their eyes.
- Ask yourself what you are doing, and what mistakes you are making, that could lead these people to you when you are trying to escape.
- Seeing your path through the enemy's eyes is the most important tactic of all.
- Study them. See how they walk… how do they bend… how do they stand… and how they carry themselves.
- Learning to imitate these movements can prevent you from looking like an outsider. Act like the locals and look like the locals.
- If someone comes right up to you and interrogates you directly, there may be nothing you can do. But if you can blend in with the local from a distance, you've mastered something that will save your life.
If Abducted / Kidnapped:
How to Survive an Abduction or Hostage Situation
The Initial (Corporate) Response to a Kidnapping
8 steps to negotiate kidnap & ransom demands
References and Related Links:
SERE Training Tactics: Best Way To Turn Yourself “Invisible” On The Run!
Escape & Evasion
Building a Personal Defense Strategy
- Stay hydrated and fed.
- Keep rest stops to a minimum but rest in places that can provide security, have an escape route and can monitor a wide area for approaching pursuers.
- Avoid any activities that can cause injury to slow travel time.
- Avoid light at night. Use a red filter if lighting is necessary.
- Avoid loud talking or noises even when walking.
- Before approaching someone for help, take time to monitor/observe them for a period of time to make sure they are friendly. If traveling with companions, approach from different directions with a pre-arranged signal to identify possible trouble.