How to disappear without a trace

I don’t wear fancy clothes or accessories when I leave my house. Not only do they make me a target, I don’t want to have an emotional reaction if it comes time to ditch everything. The only non disposable items I carry on my person include my phone (which is debatable), my ccw, and my wallet. If you’re up to some questionable shit your ccw should probably stay at home because that’s how simple misdemeanors get escalated to felonies REAL FAST. Key fobs are problematic as they are incredibly expensive so I recommend not carrying one to the greatest extent possible. You can easily carry the valet key with you while the key fob is safely locked in the trunk or glove compartment. Your mobile phone should ideally be one for business use and that you can snap in half and toss in the ocean if you need to. There should not even be a momentary hesitation. No “what about…” If there’s something irreplaceable on your phone (precious photos, seed phrases, etc) it has no business being on your person.

For obvious reasons, you can’t actually disappear in plain sight, even if you think you’re Clark Kent. The degree to which you are being surveilled or pursued will make this exceedingly complex and difficult. If you are actively being followed, going into a public bathroom to change your clothes isn’t going to cut it. Don’t put yourself in scenarios where the one source of entry and exit can be blocked. At that point you would have to break contact and get rid of the trail. Think large store, mall, train station.* Only once you’ve identified that you’re clear should you consider taking these steps.

At a minimum, I recommend having a nondescript backpack or gym bag with you that has a complete outfit that is a 180 degree opposite from how you dress. Think tourist or grandpa. New Balance shoes, khaki pants, shitty Goodwill track jacket. Have an immediate plan for how to change your appearance. No hat? Don a hat. No glasses? Put on prop glasses or sunglasses. Living in a post covid era means no one will think twice about someone concealing their face with a disposable hospital mask. Always have cash and a preactivated burner phone. It may even be worth your while to get some sort of alternative photo ID so in case your lose your driver’s license you are not completely fucked.

Once you’ve changed your appearance you’ll need to ditch your old gear. Putting it in a plastic grocery bag and tossing it into a dumpster is a lot less suspicious then individually stuffing articles of clothing into trash cans. I’m not one to advocate being a litterbug but ditching clothes in nature is a great way to ensure that any physical evidence is promptly eradicated by UV rays, water, animals, etc. Note: DO NOT toss plastic bags full of your ditched items. The plastic bag will only serve to preserve and protect the items you are trying to destroy. Nondescript items like newspapers or brown lunch bags are great to have with you. Putting physical items like phones or thumb drives into a rolled up newspaper and then tossing into the trash looks a lot less suspicious than throwing away random objects. You can also transfer items to other individuals wrapped up in newspapers.

Thus far what I’ve mentioned has focused on simply hiding or obfuscating items. You’re not actually getting rid of them. While that may be most convenient, never disregard the problem of dumpster divers and otherwise nosy people. If the object you need to get rid of directly implicates you or otherwise jeopardizes you – DESTROY IT. Snap that bitch in half, jump up and down on it, throw it in the ocean. The last thing you need is some dog walker finding your phone alongside a trail and reporting it to the police. If you can’t physically make it disappear, make the contents irrecoverable. Fire, magnets, salt water, hammers.


This shouldn’t even have to be said, but all too often people choose convenience rather practicality. DO NOT HID THINGS IN YOUR HOUSE. DO NOT DISPOSE OF THINGS ON YOUR PROPERTY. I don’t care how clever you think you are. You are going to be panicked and subsequently not thinking clearly. After the initial adrenaline dump you will probably be acting erratic, as well. Stay away from others until you come down and can reevaluate everything. You may be rushing because of a sense of fear or panic. You are not a trained crime scene investigator / forensics expert. Watch a couple seasons of Forensic Files and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Incriminating clothes next to the washer that were supposed to get washed but never were. Incriminating shoes hidden in the closet. Incriminating object found in the trash can. Other incriminating object found buried out back. Do not shit where you eat. Don’t be stupid.

*Earlier I mentioned using public spaces like train stations and malls to break contact. Those are great as the chaos and confusion can work to your advantage but those places are often FULL of CCTV systems. It may be worth your while to invest in a set of anti surveillance glasses that absorb or reflect IR light.

See also:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *