The Slice

SUNDAY, AUG. 7, 2011, 6 A.M.

Backcountry etiquette 101

Let's suppose you are hiking or camping far from the high-traffic trails and popular campgrounds.

And you come across some beer nestled in a chilly stream, possibly tethered to some vegetation next to the water.

Does the rule of "Finder's keepers" apply?

No, probably not. Chances are someone didn't want to lug that lager around and put it there to chill. Imagine how disappointing it would be to come back and find the much-anticipated bottles or cans gone.

However, there are exceptions.

You may assume that whoever placed the beer there won't be coming back for it if...

1. It's a six-pack of Falstaff. 2. The rusted cans are made of steel and lack pull-tab openers. 3. You can still read the "Freshness date" and it says "1991."

Then the question becomes "Is this safe to drink?"

My advice would be to call Rich Landers, if there's cell service. He's married to a doctor. 

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