Prepper’s Guide To Knots (Book Review)

Prepper’s Guide To Knots (Book Review)

Who hasn’t needed to lash items together at some point in life?  I’m sure you have – I know I do on a regular basis.  Most people take it for granted that they can jury-rig together whatever they need when tying a knot.  But are you really able to hold that Christmas tree to the roof of your car or tie that tarp down tight when the big storm is coming?  In Prepper’s Guide To Knots, Scott Finazzo presents a set of basic knots, bends, binding knots and loops that will allow you to feel more confident in your ability to properly handle any situations where you need to secure yourself or your equipment with rope.

Book Set-Up

Knots is as varied and oblique of a topic as you can image. Scott Finazzo does a good job of breaking this topic into digestible sections so that the user can easily access the spot they need.

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The parts and chapters of this book are as follows:


The Introduction is just that – an introduction to the book and the general reasoning behind why Scott wrote this book.  He goes into his background a little bit – he’s been a rope rescue technician for the last 15 years of his 20-year firefighting career – and why he thinks knot tying is a prepper skill that should be invested in.

Materials Used In Ropes

If you have any experience with knots, you know that the quality of rope you use is equally as important as the type of knot you tie.  Scott, in a short and concise manner, explains the difference between natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, sisal, and jute and synthetic fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester.

Care and Cleaning

Care of rope is pretty simple.  You basically want to avoid the ultraviolet rays from sunlight and chemicals.  If your rope gets dirty, you can clean it with water and a mild detergent.  Scrubbing with a soft bristle brush is OK as well.  Scott runs through a few other minor things to check on your rope during a cleaning inspection in this chapter of the book.


Do you know the difference between a standing end and a working end?  What about a bight, loop, round turn, overhand loop and underhand loop?  Well, if not, then you definitely need to check out this section of Prepper’s Guide To Knots.

Basic Knots

The first section of Prepper’s Guide To Knots which actually talks about knots concentrates on the sixteen basic knots that you need to know.  These knots serve as the basis for all knots going forward and, if you don’t remember any other knots, these will get you by in life.  Knots like the overhand knot, half hitch, overhand loop, heaving line knot and the monkey’s fist are all covered in this section.


‘Bending’ rope is attaching two sections of rope to make one longer section.  There are numerous ways to accomplish this task, and Scott identifies twenty-two knots which allow you attach two sections of rope.  Knots such as the sheet bend, fisherman’s knot, zeppelin bend, alpine butterfly bend, surgeon’s knot, and double grinner knot are all covered in this section.

Binding Knots

Binding knots use two ends of a rope to keep and object or multiple objects together.  Lots of these knots are mistaken as bends.  Take the square knot for instance – many people use this knot to extend a piece of rope and that’s just dangerous.  Square knots can come apart under load! Scott uses this section of Prepper’s Guide To Knots to introduce knots such as the square knot, constrictor knot, marline hitch, transom knot, clove hitch, cat’s paw, ring hitch, and Knute hitch.  There are a whopping thirty-four knots in this section!


Loops are indispensable for wrapping around things and hoisting items.Sometimes you want the loop to slide on the standing end and sometimes you don’t.  Out of the twelve knots in this section, I regularly use at least half of them.  The bowline, double bowline, figure eight loop, hangman’s noose, prusik and farmer’s loop are great knots to know.


Does your rope always get tangled when you store it?  Well, you should learn how to coil it.  Scott demonstrates four ways to coil rope – the alpine coil, fisherman’s coil, figure of eight coil and daisy chain – in this section of Prepper’s Guide To Knots.

What I Liked About Prepper’s Guide To Knots

Instruction books are typically useful books and this one is no different.  Scott does a good job of organizing the knots into intelligible sections and clearly shows how to tie each knot. He also is very systematic in his approach with this book.  He teaches the user knot tying basics in the early part of the book and then builds on that knowledge as the book progresses.

What I Didn’t Like

There are two things I don’t like about Prepper’s Guide To Knots – one is very fixable and the other is more of an overall critique.

First, I would have loved to have seen this book printed in color.  Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether the working end is going under or over the rope in the pictures.  Other times, it makes it difficult to trace the loops.  I understand the cost associated with printing in color. If you remember, I had the same complaint about Amy Stross’ Suburban Micro-Farm.  I fully understand the additional cost associated with color printing and appreciate the need to bring an affordable product to market.  That being said, color pictures would do wonders for an instructional book like this one.

The second thing I didn’t like is less about content and more about “why.” I am struggling why this book is being marketed at preppers.  Scott mentions early on in the Introduction that he is choosing these knots with a prepper in mind but there’s no real linkage there.  Knots are knots.  Everyone should know how to tie some but I don’t see anything specific about these knots that are specifically necessary for preppers.

I’ll be honest – it seems like he’s trying to use the popularity of prepping to sell an otherwise very informative book.

Overall Thoughts on Prepper’s Guide To Knots

Overall, I greatly enjoyed Prepper’s Guide To Knots.  It’s an informative book that is put together in a smart, sequential manner.  The art of knot tying is essential to everyone, not just preppers, and this book will teach you how to tie a plethora of useful knots.

So, should you buy this book? Yes! Especially if you are not a great knot tier.  This book will teach you a great set of knots and you’ll be much more proficient in handling anything with knots.

Prepper's Guide To Knots

Disclaimer: Scott Finazzo supplied a copy of Prepper’s Guide To Knots via Ulysses Press for me to review. I can assure my readers that I gave it a fair and honest review.

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Founder/Owner at Suburban Steader
I am a middle-age guy with a wife, two young kids and a crazy dog. We live on Long Island, NY and had an interesting experience with Hurricane Sandy. That experience led me towards the self-sufficiency movement and eventually led to the founding of I aim to provide suburbanites with the confidence and know-how to become more self-reliant by providing content on topics such as gardening, personal health, financial responsibility, cooking, self-preparedness and self-protection.
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