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river knife?
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spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
river knife? on 04/19/2013 07:01:34 MDT Print View

I'm loath to consider adding another hunk of steel to my pack weight, but I'm wondering how many folks include a river knife as part of their packrafting kit. I've never carried one before, but I've also never done the majority of my boating alone before and the necessity of self-rescue competence is heavy on my mind. I've been practicing other skills and gradually getting back into more challenging water. If I were to incorporate knife use into my skillset, now would be the time.


Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: river knife? on 04/19/2013 09:47:37 MDT Print View

Don't know exactly what you mean, but kershaw makes the amphibian and benchmade makes a dive knife. Both are fairly light, can be blunt tipped, and have the strap cutter.

Also for less weight the spyderco salt series: folders but light and in a few sizes.

I have the benchmade. Its not heavy.

Did you just want reccomendations of like a skill?
Reccomendations i have, skills?... Eh, ya know. ;)

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: river knife? on 04/19/2013 10:22:58 MDT Print View

>>Don't know exactly what you mean

Just if you carry one and if you've ever found cause to use it. I have a small dive knife I could move from my BCD to my PFD, or I was looking at the CRKT Bear Claw.

(smoke) - F
I don't Pack Raft but - on 04/19/2013 11:56:56 MDT Print View

Not a packrafter, but I do kayak. I always have a knife attached to my PFD. I've used Benchmade,Gerber and a couple different Scuba Max BC knives in the past. I've been looking at the Boker CK1 as a new addition. Never had to use it, but my biggest fear is entanglement in submerged fishing line.

. Callahan

Locale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
Always! on 04/20/2013 17:07:28 MDT Print View

I primarily carry a Gerber River Shorty on my vest and a Gerber E-Z Out Rescue in a vest pocket.

Both are accessible by either hand.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: river knife? on 04/20/2013 18:48:55 MDT Print View

FWIW: I've had a river knife strapped to my PFD for 25 years, on hundreds of full-sized raft trips mostly Class III, some IV and V, and a half-dozen or so serious on-river incidents.

Never ever used it.

And I'll always take it.

Barely visible in my avatar, right side of photo, above blue carabiners. I recently replaced that PFD, but kept the knife.

For packrafting, I'd take the lightest knife with at least a 2 inch blade, that I could strap to my body/PFD, and that I could remove quickly and use with one hand while being thrashed underwater. No folding knife would meet those criteria.

The good news is you could leave other knife-like objects home on those trips.

Solo vs group packrafting would not matter, a knife could save you or your buddies from deadly adventures with ropes, fishing lines, small branches, or pinned boats.

-- Rex

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: river knife on 04/21/2013 05:07:13 MDT Print View

I carry a Bark River bravo necker.
Have I had opportunity to use it? Sure. Opening packaging, food prep, cleaning fish. If I wasn't packrafting, I'd still carry it. I also have a small firestarter/survival kit banded to it in the event of separation from my pack.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
river knife on 04/21/2013 07:35:12 MDT Print View

I use a Spyderco Rescue in whitewater. On mellower floats I'll keep my normal folder or fixed blade handy instead.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: river knife on 04/21/2013 23:40:51 MDT Print View

Thanks for your insight, everyone. Looks like I'll be getting a knife. I now have a couple other possibilities to check out too.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
More river knife knowledge on 04/23/2013 23:52:12 MDT Print View

The rafting community has had endless arguments about the pros and cons of river knife features: single-edged vs double-edged, serrated vs straight, pointed tip vs blunt, secure attachment, color, and on and on.

The Boat People web site has a pretty good selection, and Lee (the owner) writes a pretty good description (not vendor-puffery) for each knife they carry:

I'm a very occasional customer, and Lee is a nice guy. I'm sure if you contact him about knife weights, he'll respond.

-- Rex

Zach Waller
blade recommendation on 07/25/2013 08:22:32 MDT Print View

Just a knife to consider, i carry a "Spyderco Enuff H1" while on the water. Great little fixed blade and the H1 steel will not rust at all, even in salt water (nitrogen based). Its a sheeps foot design and serrated with a 2.5 inch blade length. They also make the enuff in other blade shapes but only in VG10 stainless (fine for freshwater but will rust in saltwater). Just another one to consider...