Knots for Survival?

When was the last time you gave any consideration to the importance of knots? Most of us don’t think about it beyond tying our shoes each morning. Did you know that a certain knot holds a prominent place in history? If not, you should get acquainted with the story of Alexander the Great and the Gordian knot.

As for survival applications, anyone who does any rock climbing will tell you a properly tied knot means the difference between life and death. Anyone who has done any sailing knows the significance of knots as well.

If you’re going camping, you’ll want to tie down your tent securely. The fact is knots serve purposes we don’t think of readily, and there are numerous kinds of knots for various applications.

There are a number of books on knots, but two have been recommended to me with the idea that you could make good use of them.

They are The Morrow Guide to Knots, by Mario Bigon and Guido Regazzoni and The Outdoor Knots Book (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics), by Clyde Soles. Both are paperbacks, and both rate high with reviewers.

The Morrow Guide to Knots is written with clear instructions and hundreds of colorful photographs. It’s described as follows:

“Here is an entirely different kind of knot book! For the first time, here are step-by-step instructions that take full advantage of color photography to teach the art of tying knots. Unlike illustrations in other books, these pictures show every step looking over the shoulder of the tier — the way you see the knot as you make it. And when two or more ropes are involved, they are color coded so you can clearly tell them apart. Included in addition are a section on decorative knots, a cross-reference list of the many applications of knots, and a detailed glossary. The Morrow Guide to Knots is a reliable and essential reference tool for all sportsmen and campers, homeowners, and youngsters as well.”

The Outdoor Knots Book is a thorough guide to knots. It’s described as follows:

“A guide to the ropes and knots used in the outdoors by hikers, campers, paddlers, and climbers.
* Guidelines for selecting the best rope and the best knot for the activity at hand
* Knot-tying directions clearly illustrated with photos…

“It’s fair to say that climber Clyde Soles is obsessed with ropes and knots and their absolute performance–since he regularly entrusts his life to ropes on sheer rock faces. His unique book explains how to select and use ropes, cordage, and webbing for the outdoors. Invaluable information is provided on rope handling techniques (how to avoid dreaded tangles) and the best methods for rope care and maintenance. Step-by-step directions for tying over 40 knots are clearly illustrated with photographs. Other useful features include a glossary and a knot comparison chart activity. This is the definitive text on ropes and knots for anyone who plays in the outdoors!”

Get one or both of these books by clicking on the title of each book wherever you see it linked in this post. A new window will open, taking you to the page featuring the book you’ve clicked on. Place your order from there.

Don’t let knots mystify you. You don’t have to be a Boy Scout to be an expert with knots. Kids know knots can be fun. Of course, you want these books because you know knots are useful for survival, too.

Find out about More Knots for Survival.

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.