In an immersive LARP there is sometimes the need to hide. To be completely out of sight and hard to spot. In a military style game this can be greatly assisted by the use of camouflage, make-up and other accessories of obfuscation. This is not the case for a lot of games. In many cases you are playing a person caught up in something without modern military aids.

So what to do?

Let’s take a look at 3 ways to solve the problem.

The Face

The problem with the human face is that we are all wired to spot it. The first rule is keep the face out of sight. Try to keep your face out of the line of sight.  If you cannot completely remove your face from view then look around you.  Is there anything to hand that can be placed in front of part of your face. Are there local materials like dust, mud or dirt that can change your colour to be more sympathetic to your surroundings?

The Noise

As hunters we are all very good at spotting where a sound is coming from. So if you want to hide you must make no noise. Breathe silently, and above all do not move. Moving silently is very hard to do in almost all circumstances so if you can avoid moving do so. Not moving also helps foil the human capacity to spot and track a moving object – so stay still. It’s a winner. Watch out for costume and accessories. When you settle into your hiding place make sure there is not going to be anything will jingle or jangle at the slightest movement. If you’re in armour then you need to be especially careful. Don’t be a Sir Clinkalot!

The Nerves

These impact everything. When hiding you will get both nervous and impatient and this leads to a desire to take a peek and see what is going on. At this point you are vulnerable as you’ve just risked exposing your face and moved and possibly created noise. The key to hiding well is in controlling these feelings and not moving on until the time is right to leave your hiding place.
The time is right when either you are discovered and need to run for it or it is a sound time to move on (and that will depend on circumstances).

Being discovered always generates fears and stress – it is a problem. Whilst not always possible pick a hidey hole that has some kind of escape. Being able to exit fast in more than one direction helps maintain some level of control.

It’s also a good idea to learn some basic relaxation exercises. These give you something to do, help you to relax (overcoming the nervous stress of hiding) and if done right settle you down into your surroundings making you harder to find.  If you don’t know any there are plenty of websites and videos that can help you out (and if there’s demand I may well create a list) but in the meantime here’s one that may help.

Just follow these steps

  1. Place your thumbs against the second fingers of your hands.
  2. Gently and slowly breathe in by distending your stomach outwards (this can be done near  silently and brings in a lot of air)
  3. Hold it for moment
  4. Slowly and quietly breathe out
  5. Repeat

You should feel an immediate effect.


Keeping these 3 hiding tips in mind you should help you immensely during those times you don’t want to be found. However is this not an exhaustive list and if you have any tips you’d like to share please do so. It will help everyone.


The image used in this post is “Hiding” by Garret Charles of Flickr

Click here for more information about this image and the creative commons license used.

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