Stealth as the Default

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    • #63089
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

        Mention stealth in America and far too many have visions of advanced aircraft, drones, and materials. Even among our own circles thoughts of ghille suits, NVG’s, and thermal ponchos dominate.

        I personally think of Rodgers Rangers, the Seminole Wars, and Swamp Fox (both Francis Marion and J. J. Dickison).

        Certainly gear can aid in the pursuit of stealthy operations, but like many things true stealth must be earned through training and practice. Ideally becoming second nature to the point you regularly startle people and animals without effort, having to make a conscious decision to not do so.

        I know there are a few of us here that have truly developed this perishable skill and don’t mind giving some pointers. However since this is a forum for discussion and I become bored with the lack of said discussion demonstrated at times.

        What have you done to learn and develop this skill?

      • #63090
        RobRoy
        Participant

          Take up hunting deer or turkey.

        • #63091
          JohnnyMac
          Participant

            What have you done to learn and develop this skill?

            You need good balance and decent conditioning to move quietly in the woods, and depending on conditions- TIME!

            If you are lacking in fitness you will struggle.

          • #63092
            Hessian
            Participant

              2 factors in my day to day at work is to ensure proper installation per specifications of the job and saftey.

              I often get to “practice” on being quiet, out of peoples peripheral vision and observe.

            • #63093
              JohnnyMac
              Participant

                I also find the most common occurence is walking up behind someone on the sidewalk or hiking trail, as I’m a relatively fast walker. As long as I’m wearing relatively quiet clothes (no squeeky sneakers, hard soled dress shoes, nylon, etc), people usually don’t notice me until I’m at their side and they are startled. That’s why I either move to the street or announce myself from behind them.

              • #63094
                Roadkill
                Participant

                  There’s an old Indian technique called splash vision when you are observing an area. You don’t always look at things in particular, you let you eyes relax and focus out. When anything moves in that area your eyes are instantly alerted and drawn to the movement. If you’re focusing on specific things you may miss the movement out of your focused field of vision. This takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it it works really well.

                • #63095
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                  Moderator

                    Take up hunting deer or turkey.

                    Excellent way to hone skills, particularly Turkey hunting.

                    If you are lacking in fitness you will struggle.

                    Excellent point, the physical and mental stress can be tremendous.

                    Ever try low crawling silently a hundred yards or more? Better be in shape!

                    I often get to “practice” on being quiet, out of peoples peripheral vision and observe.

                    Knowing the limitations of peripheral vision and practical use is worth incorporating into daily activities.

                    Like JohnnyMac I try to make a conscious effort not to startle bystanders, however I prefer default to stealth and accept sometimes forgetting. Noisy footwear I tend to remove from use rather quickly.

                    …splash vision…

                    There are several methods available to increase awareness.

                    Will post some other thoughts later.

                  • #63096
                    Lloyd
                    Participant

                      Speaking as a guy who spent 4 years as a pro elk hunting guide in Idaho (20 yrs ago)… I got to be pretty good at it… Learn about tracking, natural lines of drift, terrain masking, natural sounds vs man-made sounds, visual contrast, and the “splash vision” thing is very good – I’ve never heard it called that, but the human (predator) eye picks up movement quicker than anything else, day or night.

                      I lost my taste for hunting after doing it for a living, but hunting critters, hunting men, or being hunted by men, all of the above pretty much sums up “stealth”.

                      MVT Texas 2015-2020
                      Team Cowbell / Team Coyote / Team Rekkr

                    • #63097
                      Andrew
                      Participant

                        Learn how to sit still, on the ground, for more than just a minute or two. It is surprising how many people cannot do it.

                        A must for turkey and human hunting.

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