Stealth is the art of remaining undetected; the art of being ‘invisible’. To be ‘invisible’, the ninja has to understand how a person’s presence is detected.
A person detects presence by his eyes and ears. The ninja must learn to fool the enemy’s sense of sight and hearing. In addition, when there are dogs guarding the premises, a ninja should avoid being detected by the dog’s sense of smell.
How do the eyes see
To isolate how the eyes detect presence, let us pretend that it is dark. The first way to detect a person’s presence in the dark is movement. The second way is the shadow or outline of a person’s silhouette. Lastly is colour because the darkness inhibits the detection of colour.
Using this concept, you are also able to see in the dark; more accurately, you will be able to detect someone’s presence in the dark.
So, the eyes see these things in the following order:
Next, when we hear a noise, our eyes tend to look for the disturbance at our eye level. Very seldom would our eyes look up or low down to seek the cause of the noise.
How To Fool The Eyes
To avoid detection, slow down your movement when sneaking in the dark. If someone is facing you, stop moving. Blend in with the silhouette of natural elements in the environment (trees, huge rocks, furniture). His eyes will be fooled and he will not see you. Unless of course, it is bright enough to see colour.
Conceal yourself in the darkest portion of the shadows while sneaking and hide behind objects and crouch to make yourself appear small.
Be aware of light sources. You do not want to stand in front of a lamp and show your moving shadow. Remember! the eyes see movement first.
How Do The Ears Hear
Hearing ability varies among human beings. But one thing is for sure. When we hear something unfamiliar, it naturally arouses our curiousity. If we are reassured that the noise was imagined or came from something we know, we would cease investigating the source of the noise.
How To Fool The Ears
By not making noise of course! There are several techniques to walk silently, which will be shared in other articles.
What if the terrain you are walking on doesn’t allow you to move silently? Here are some methods to counter the noise.
Ninja Tactic 1 : Take Advantage of Natural Noise
Make use of natural noise to mask your footsteps. A passing aeroplane can cover the sound of footsteps. Take advantage of it to move faster. Don’t do this if someone is directly facing you though. You movement will be noticed.
Ninja Tactic 2 : Walk Over a Piece of Cloth
If you need only walk a short distance over noisy surfaces, throw a piece of cloth over the surface to walk on. The cloth will muffle most of the noise.
Ninja Tactic 3 : Using Animal Companions
Bring an animal companion to distract the sentry.
While moving in the dark, you accidentally made some noise. The guard’s curiosity will ensure that he investigates the source of the noise. You could let out an animal (maybe a rat) from your bag. When the guard sees the animal, he would think the noise was caused by the animal.
Fooling A Dog’s Nose
This is common knowledge for hunters. Make sure that the wind is blowing your scent away from the dog (not towards), when sneaking around.
Conclusion On Stealth
These are some of the principles of stealth. Think out of the box to conceal your presence.