Nearly all trouble with authority can be prevented by retreating and by not openly opposing officials. In rare cases, however, evasion might be necessary. About 60% of all criminals are arrested at home, and about 20% of the remainder are caught at the houses of relatives. Most are betrayed by tips. Criminals are rarely arrested if they avoid relatives, known associates, and favorite haunts. Evasion is much easier for an individual than a group; the odds drop sharply for each additional person. It is useful to adopt a role; tourists are welcome everywhere in the world, and workers (briefcase or hardhat) are never questioned in cities. Carrying a camera, however, is interpreted as an abnormal interest in local people or their property. Strangers are much more likely to be noticed in rural areas, but an older car or pickup truck is nearly invisible on secondary roads; a smile and a two-finger wave will partly cover the face and distract people who show an interest in the driver.

Fleeing criminals almost always run a short distance and then hide; the police know this and thoroughly search nearby places. Police dogs are trained to find hidden people within the search area. Evasion requires staying ahead of the searchers. Few humans can follow anything but a deliberately made trail, but searchers should not be encouraged. Avoid leaving footprints, broken branches, or a straight path through tall grass; animals make curving, irregular paths through grass. At some point in some intensive searches, dogs may be brought in to follow the trail by scent. Contrary to popular belief, walking in a stream will not confuse dogs because remnant scent clings to streamside leaves and grass. And rain freshens instead of washing away scent. It is better to travel downwind as rapidly as possible. The body scents of the searchers may then precede them and slow the dogs. Also, deviate to walk near or through empty buildings and animal shelters; cautiously approaching and searching these areas will delay pursuers. The strong smells of an animal enclosure can also delay dogs. Safety lies in reaching a populated area where your scent is soon overlaid with that from other people.