Keep those paws off my brew

We may not be spending much these days, but what we are spending money on is telling. And in this case, It's good to see we've got our priorities straight. New bear-proof coolers let you stow your brew safely on your campground. Finally! No more stringing that 12-pack up in a tree.

So if you're going camping this summer, rejoice in knowing your beer will be safe from bears. There's not one, but two companies making bear-proof coolers now, approved for use in several Montana State Parks. National Park approval is pending.

Campers typically are required to stow food and drink in cars or off the ground so bears can't reach. Failure to do so often results in ransacked campsites or worse. Airtight containers really do provide a service, but don't come cheap. One company is charging $1,000 for its largest, a 5-ft. container.

Is it worth it? Depends on your priorities. Bears have been known to enjoy a snort or two. Here's one loaded on fermented fruit. You schlep your beverages carefully up to camp -- you wanna share them with the local wildlife? You make the call.

Check local rules and regulations regarding use and remember: you are in bear country. Humans are the visitors and the rules are both for your safety and the bears'. Because bears and beers shouldn't mix.

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