HowTo:Not be seen

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In this picture there are 47 people, none of whom can be seen. There are many advantages to not being seen. Perhaps you are trying to hide from a fearsome predator such as a tiger. Or maybe you wish to avoid talking awkwardly to a friend you've not seen for years. Whatever your reason for not being seen, this guide will escort you through the basic steps required in order to achieve this goal.

Step 1 - Find Cover[edit]

Upon the realisation that you are able to be seen, the first step is to locate the nearest piece of cover that will render your state of being able to be seen to the complete opposite of this scenario; i.e. being unable to be being seen. The piece of cover must be something that completely obfuscates you, so that no part of your body may be seen at all. A tree, for example, is a very bad choice of cover as your limbs may protrude from the sides, thus making you visible if one were to look closely. A dog is also a bad choice as, even if you crouch right down right beside it, it may start to move at any time meaning that you will have to move in the exact direction and velocity as it in order to not be seen. The dog could also decide to use you as a place to piss.

A better piece of cover would be something wide or, more specifically, wider than you. A horse, for example. This object is much wider than a tree but also moves around less frequently than a dog. There are several downsides to this too, however. A horse has quite thin legs, which means your own legs may be visible if not positioned exactly behind those of the horse. Additionally, horses are sometimes ridden by other people. In this case it would be impossible to not be seen by the rider of said horse.

The best piece of cover to choose is something that is wider than you but also stationary for the entire length of time you wish to not be seen for. Look around you. What objects can you see that fit this description? It very much depends on your current location. If you are outdoors it could be a car, a shed, a wall, a bush, a shrub or an entire shrubbery. Be wary of cars as they can often move suddenly without notice. If you are indoors then it could be a sofa, a bed, the kitchen cupboard or a room that is likely to remain unoccupied for a long time such as an attic. WARNING: If you decide to hide behind a piece of furniture you must make sure it is far enough away from the wall so that you can fit behind it.

Once you have found the perfect piece of cover you are ready move on to Step 2…

Step 2 - Hide[edit]

Now that you’ve found your piece of cover, move slowly and discretely over to its location. Try and draw as little attention to yourself as possible. If there are lots of people around you, remain calm and act in a similar manner to them, not making it obvious that you are about to no longer be seen. Once you have reached the piece of cover, circumnavigate it until you reach the position where you, it and the person you want to not be seen by are in a perfectly straight line, with the piece of cover between you and the other person. It is extremely important that the order of these three objects is strictly adhered to. Having either the piece of cover or other person in the middle position is incorrect and will not work.

Now that you are in the correct position, remain so for the entire duration in which you wish not to be seen. If necessary, crouch down on the ground, tucking your arms, legs and other limbs into your body to make yourself as small as possible. Resist the temptation to move your limbs unless in a complete emergency. Try and remain as quiet as possible too – this may sound strange, as you’re trying to not be seen rather than not be heard right? However, there is good reason for this. If the person you wish to not be seen by can hear you make a noise, it could draw their attention to your location and thus lead them to being able to see you eventually. It is a good idea to turn your mobile phone off or at least put it on silent.

Step 3 – Check your surroundings[edit]

You may only come away from your piece of cover when, and only when, the person you want to not be seen by has completely vacated your area such that it is now completely impossible for he or she to see you. In this scenario the person in question must be at a distance away from you that exceeds the distance he or she is able to see. This poses an obvious conundrum – how are you able to check that the person is no longer in your vicinity whilst at the same time remaining hidden from their view? And herein lies the greatest challenge of not being seen. It is a problem that is often overlooked by those who are less experienced, who naively begin the process of not being seen without planning for this inevitability.

Examine your piece of cover closely. If chosen wisely, it may have some small gaps in it, which you may be able to look through to see if the person is nearby. Outdoor objects such as bushes and shrubberies are great for this as they contain many small holes. If your cover is completely solid, then this method is impossible and you must take the much riskier option of moving your head out beyond the edge of the piece of cover so that you are able to see past it. This is not easily done. Be very quick and succinct with your head movement. Focus quickly on the surroundings beyond the cover and try to absorb as much information as you can in this brief moment. If done correctly, you will know whether the person you want to not be seen by is nearby or not.

Once you are certain that the person is no longer able to see you and is no longer in the vicinity, you have successfully completed your goal of not being seen. Well done you. Now, come out from the piece of cover and return to doing something more sensible with your life, you silly person.