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Wild Sky Adventure Guides


UPDATE: As of June 2023 the CRKT Bearclaw has been discontinued! 

UPDATED UPDATE: As of January 2024 the Bearclaw is on sale again!

Wild Sky recommended knife. CRKT Bearclaw

When it comes to swiftwater canyoneering, having the right gear is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. One of the most important pieces of gear is a good knife. In this article, we will be discussing the CRKT Bear Claw E.R: The best knife for swiftwater canyoneering.

Why Do We Need a specialized knife for swiftwater canyoneering?

Being stuck on rope underneath a waterfall, or being entangled in a hydraulic is a swiftwater canyoneers worst nightmare. All of our techniques are developed to prevent this very scenario. But, sometimes this does happen. When things are out of our control and rapidly developing we need to be ready. Canyoneers need to have a knife at the ready at all times. It is tempting to use a cheap climbing knife or to keep your knife stashed away in a bag, but this is a dangerous mistake that has lead to fatal accidents.

What is the CRKT Bear Claw E.R.?

Columbia River Knife and Tool has designed the best knife for swiftwater canyoneering with the Bear Claw Emergency Rescue.

This fixed blade knife has been specifically designed for Emergency Rescue situations.

“It is the perfect emergency cutting tool for anyone who needs to quickly cut rope, webbing or netting, especially if their life is going to depend on it.”

CRKT website

The Bear Claw E.R. is the perfect rescue tool for swiftwater canyoneering because we sometimes need to quickly cut ropes or webbing very quickly.

Why is the CRKT Bear Claw e.r. the Best Knife for swiftwater Canyoneering?

*Easy to Access in an Emergency:

One of the key features of the CRKT Bear Claw E.R. is the holster that comes with it. The holster is designed to be easily attached to your harness, providing quick access to the knife in case of an emergency. This can be especially important when navigating swiftwater canyons, where fast-moving water can quickly become dangerous.

*Ergonomic Design:

The CRKT Bear Claw is designed with ergonomics in mind. The handle has a hole in it for your pointer finger. This feature essentially makes the knife an extension of your hand. The Bear Claw E.R. is comfortable to hold and the curved blade makes it easy to cut through rope with minimal effort.

*Safe Design:

The CRKT Bear Claw has a unique design that makes it safer to use than many other knives on the market. The blade has no point, which reduces the risk of accidentally stabbing yourself or others. The curved blade also makes it more difficult to accidentally cut your hand, which can be especially important when grabbing blindly while being battered around by flowing water. The knife is also lightweight and packs down out of the way, keeping your harness compact and free of tangles. This is important when carrying it in a swiftwater canyon where snagging gear on your harness is a real hazard to your safety.


*Durable and Affordable:

Another great feature of the CRKT Bear Claw is its durability. The handle is made from “glass-blowing nylon” and the blade is made from high quality AUS 8 steel with a satin modern finish. These high-quality materials are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of swiftwater canyoneering. With a MSRP of $48, the knife is priced affordably, making it accessible to a wider range of users.

*Highly regarded by First Responders:

The CRKT Bear Claw ER has a cult following of First Responders from multiple different backgrounds. It is especially highly regarded for extracting car crash victims from their car by cutting away at their seatbelts. This is a very similar application to swiftwater canyoneering emergencies. Check out some reviews here.


Columbia River Knife and Tool is a local Pacific Northwest company. Since opening in 1994 they have been headquartered in Tualatin Oregon, just outside of Portland. So, when you buy a CRKT knife you are also supporting a PNW small-business. It’s a win for everyone!

Where Can I Find the BEAR CLAW ER?

You can buy directly off of the CRKT page. Sometimes supply is limited.

CRKT knives are also carried by REI, Outdoor Research, and The Sportsmans Warehouse.

The Bear Claw E.R. can be hard to come by at a moments notice, so make sure that you plan ahead and prepare!


The CRKT Bear Claw E.R. is the best knife for whitewater canyoneering. Its unique design makes it easy to access in an emergency, while its ergonomic and safe design make it comfortable and reliable to use. Additionally, the knife is durable and priced affordably, making it an excellent choice for both experienced and novice canyoneers.

Are You Ready To Take On The Madeira Canyon Challenge?

1 thought on “Gear Review: The CRKT Bear Claw ER”

  1. Pingback: Visitors Guide: Part 3: Necessary Equipment For Canyoneering in Washington State. - Wild Sky Adventure Guides

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