Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Guide to Knots

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 3, 2019
Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Guide to Knots

As someone who spent over twenty years boating in the waters of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. I understand the importance of tying good, strong knots. I also know from experience that knot craft goes way beyond the actual process of tying a knot. Choosing the best cordage for the job (natural or synthetic), and taking care of your ropes is as important as knot-tying technique.

In Scott Finazzo’s Prepper’s Guide to Knots, you will not only learn techniques for tying knots in a survival situation but also how to keep your rope in good repair so it does not let you down when you need it.

Preppers Guide to Knots | Backdoor Survival

Prepper’s Guide to Knots: The 100 Most Useful Tying Techniques for Surviving any Disaster provides instructions for 100 of the most useful knots out there. There are step by step pictures for each of the knots and equally important, a description of when each knot should be used and for what purpose. There are even a few well-known knots included with the caveat not to use the knot. Ever.

The author, Scott Finazzo, knows his stuff. He has been a firefighter for over twenty years as well as an educator to other emergency responder teams, including CERT. He is here today for his second book festival interview, and of course, to give away three copies of his book to lucky readers.

Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Scott Finazzo, Author of Prepper Knots

Given your background, knowledge, and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

I think for the sake of not sounding like a broken record, I will take basic survival water, food, and shelter procurement off the table. In my experience, the three most important skills are the ability to remain calm under stress, the capacity to improvise, mental and emotional strength.

Remaining calm is essential. Rudyard Kipling made a reference to keeping your head about you when all others are losing theirs. It is can truly be the difference between life and death. You must be able to think and act rationally for the best possible outcome in a dire situation.

Secondly, in any survival situation, improvisation is required. You will be forced to make due with your wits, experience, supplies, and the hand you are dealt.

And finally, any kind of disaster, whether it is large scale or an individual disaster, will be mentally and emotionally taxing. You must be able to remain focused and keep your head about you to endure.

What would you purchase if you only had $500 to spend on preparedness supplies?

I would spend the $500 on essential things and multi-use items. Get the most bang for my buck, so to speak.

The money should be spent on a basic supply of water and food, but just as important, is the means to procure clean water and food. I would purchase a way to purify water and probably a few good knives of varying sizes. The means to start and maintain fire is important and, of course, first aid supplies.

Do you feel totally prepared and if not, what prep area concerns you the most?

Yes, between my training and the supplies I’ve accumulated over time, I feel pretty well prepared. But I do think it is important to keep up on new techniques and products.

My biggest concern, as a father, is my sons. I want to ensure they can be safe and self-sufficient, but it can be a challenge to keep them interested, so I just try to motivate by example.

To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?

My two older sons are away at college, so their preparedness is primarily focused around what to eat for dinner any given day.

I think just by our activities, they have picked up a lot. Our hobbies include preparation and response procedures for outdoor activities: camping trips, hiking, sailing, etc. In my mind, many of the same principles apply, but are fun, rather than doom and gloom.

What work of fiction do you feel gives the best portrayal of what could happen in real life?

5. I’m not much of a zombie apocalypse kind of guy. I think natural disasters are the most likely type of scenario, followed by maybe an EMP situation. I like The Pulse series and the Darkness After series, both by Scott B. Williams.

If there was a disruptive event and you had to evacuate, what non-fiction books or reference manuals would you take with you?

That is a question I ask before I write each book. I would pack light—a few specific books on survival and first aid. I like to think that the four preparation and response books I’ve written would meet specific needs.

The SAS Survival Guide is well written and really inclusive of most situations. I also think the National Geographic Survival Complete Survival Manual covers a lot of bases and could be beneficial in a variety of situations.

Do you have anything else, such as an announcement, message, personal experience, that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?

As I mentioned before, a few years ago, some co-workers and I built sea kayaks and took them to the Virgin Islands to explore.

It took a lot of planning and improvisation when we were there and I learned a lot of important lessons in preparation and survival. The book is a fun and humorous look at a significant undertaking that was a revelation in many ways.

The Giveaway

Scott and his publisher, Ulysses Press, have reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment: Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”. This week’s question is:

What topic-specific book or books would you like to see in the next Prepper Book Festival?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note: Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

Each week as I open up a new book, I feel like a kid in high school preparing a book report that I hope my teachers will like. As an over-achiever, I always wanted an A, and most of the time was successful. The same applies to these book festival reviews. Choosing just the right authors and just the right books to share with preppers is sometimes a crap-shoot. Luckily, I have acquired a second sense but only after having to kiss a few frogs (not always a pleasant experience).

As prepping has evolved into a lifestyle, I see more value in topic-specific books such as Scott’s Prepper’s Guide to Knots than in general “How to Prep” books. Do you agree?

For more information about the rest of the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider following our Facebook page.

Spotlight: Prepper’s Guide to Knots: The 100 Most Useful Tying Techniques for Surviving any Disaster

When catastrophe strikes and modern technologies fail, rope work skills will become as essential for survival as they were for centuries past. The variety of knots taught in this book are guaranteed to hold against even the toughest forces, ensuring that an emergency doesn’t turn into a disaster. When your life, home, and property are hanging by a thread, these powerful knots are too strong to break:

• Create sturdy shelter with a HARNESS BEND
• Preserve sacks of grain with a BAG KNOT
• Move fallen trees with a BOWLINE
• Transport injured persons with a MUNTER HITCH
• Secure your home against intruders with a ZEPPELIN BEND

Prepper’s Guide to Knots features clear, step-by-step instructions on tying each knot. It also provides information on selecting the right type of rope, the history of rope work and the specific benefits of each knot.

Third Edition: The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook

A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.

Survival Medicine Handbook 2016

Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Tactical Flashlight
[DEAL] Ultrabright Tactical Flashlight Get This Deal

63 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 13: Prepper’s Guide to Knots”

    • That would be a handy book to have around, we alway have something that needs to be “tied up” “tied down”, tied around” etc lol…great reference!

  1. I actually practiced tying some knots several months ago but it needs to be an ongoing practice,
    I also want to teach knot tying to my grandkids (along with archery and other skills).

  2. I’d like to see the topic of bug-out transportation on bicycles, i.e. type, cost, where to get a good buy, what brand, etc.

  3. I think topic specific books-medical care, solar energy-are more detailed and hence more info dense than general topic prepper books.

  4. I like the skill set books, for example first aid in an emergency situation, solar cooking, gardening in the city, during a drought,

  5. Developing self-sustaining skills is an overwhelming task for me. But when I saw this book review, I thought… I could commit to learning how to make one knot a day, or even just a couple a week, and that would be do-able. I don’t know if the book has this, but it might be helpful to have a prioritized list of knots to learn.

  6. For a future book review topic, I’d like to see a book that takes a person one step at a time toward self-sufficiency in terms of SKILLS. I’ve been avoiding the skill-development aspect of prepping for a while now, focusing on accumulating “things” instead. I know I’m making it harder than it has to be, so maybe a step-by-step book would help. Thanks for all you do for us Gaye!

    • You stole my thunder. 🙂 I would also like to see books on primitive skills like tanning hides, trapping, skinning, butchering, etc.

  7. I too would love to see a book(s) on how to build my own Wind and Solar (cheaply) also How to build my own Anaerobic digester with instructions to convert the Methane to run a Stand By Generator

  8. Some books on archery,atlatls, slings (not slingshots) and any other home made things like these that could be used for hunting.

  9. After your interview, I read Going Home and the author mentioned an EMP proof Suburban. I tried to find information about that online with no luck. So, I’d like more information on how to EMP proof a modern vehicle (or even if that is possible). Thanks!

  10. Thank you, Gaye, for the work you put into these things. I think it’s very helpful. This sounds like a good book to own. Good luck to all entrants!!

  11. What topic-specific book or books would you like to see in the next Prepper Book Festival?

    Truly natural medicines AND the areas of the country to find them not just a generic list.

  12. Although this Knot book is great, as a lifelong Girl Scout, I’m pretty familiar. I’d like to see a book on health care, specifically on how and when to use fish antibiotics and what ones to store.

  13. How about a book that has the medicinal properties of plants based on areas or regions of the United States.

    For example those located the South West wouldn’t have access to plants typically located in the North Eastern portion of the US.

  14. I concur with Larry, Donna, Teresa, and John. I love this giveaway. I have way too many knot sites bookmarked. A comprehensive book would be invaluable. Thank you, Gaye.

    Oh, I don’t Twitter anymore, too busy for all the media sites. I do visit your’s when there is a giveaway, but my own children are upset I haven’t been on Facebook really since last December.

  15. I would like to read a book about a DIY solar system to include: a system large enough to (smoothly) run a refrigerator, a system small enough to run a light or small radio, and be able to run continuously. One that covers everything in the system: the panels, the generator, the inverter, and battery storage. Putting it all together using ordinary and easy to find parts (and where to actually find those parts) while keeping the costs low would be fantastic and gets my vote. Thanks for the opportunity to make a suggestion.

    • Pam, that sounds like it could be an amazing topic. with the right stories, told from the proper point of view, and it could be a prepping book without even trying!!

  16. How to assemble a small solar system, ideally something that could fit on a garden cart that can be easily moved around to follow the sun. Ideas for larger systems would be nice too if the cart idea is more of a pamphlet than a full book…

  17. I’d like to see more on gardening…and how not to kill everything 🙂 I seem to have a black thumb when it comes to growing ANYTHING, so any help would be appreciated.

  18. I have been reading all of the comments. Many of the suggested books have already been a part of recent book festivals. Do I need to bring them forward? To be honest, I am confused.

    Also, almost daily I share an eBook on many of these topics over on my Backdoor Survival Facebook page. Periodically, these books come up for free and before sharing them, I do a thorough preview to ensure that are not fluffy nonsense or simply link bait to get you to buy something worthless Clickbank product. I spend a lot of time on this and encourage you to pop and over and check out the page at

    The eBooks will always be identified as “FREE at the moment”.


  19. Always wanted to become more proficient in knot tying – so many times such knowledge would be useful – from tying on loads on trailers to fly fishing to camping . . Thanks much.

  20. When you do let us know about a free ebook, for those that do not know can you let us know where? Thanks for all the information you share.

  21. there is one area that i have had a hard time with, and that is how to make sugar from sugar beets,

    natural remedies, ( I haven’t won any of these yet-need some)stiches, when and how, how to set bones ect. How to cook in a wood burning oven. raising and caring for chickens,turkeys and other fowl. How to make soap. how to render lard.

  22. Setting up a basic solar power system. I’m building a cabin in the mountains that has all solar powered lights, etc. but I had to do a lot of research ahead of time before I started putting the system together.

  23. I’d like to see more on budgeting for prepping since it’s an expense you really have to plan into your life.

  24. I would like to see a book that talks about buying a shell home/cabin that can be outfitted for living off the grid, including vendors for the items needed, approximate costs, etc. DIY suggestions would be appreciated.

  25. I would like to see a book on what kind of food to stock for gluten-intolerant people. Almost all recommended food lists contain too many items that these people can’t eat. People with other intolerances and allergies also seem to be out of luck when it comes to storing food.

Leave a Reply