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Old 09-14-2016, 02:55 PM   #1
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Sea Level to High Elevation: Look Out!

My wife bought a bag of Popcornopolis Nearly Naked Popcorn. It is produced in El Segundo, California, elevation 115 feet.

We are living at around 6,500 feet elevation.

Had we lived another thousand feet higher... this bag would have exploded! The bag is obviously air tight... it probably expanded to 50% or more its packaged size.

Now... imagine this being packed for a trip in your overhead or trailer's pantry... good luck trying to open the pantry shelving. Anything containing any air will expand when you get into the Rocky Mountains or Great Plains. A half empty plastic mayonnaise container could be a lethal weapon when opening it to add to a salad and ends up on the ceiling! This happened on one of our Western Adventures. Although it was also on her clothing, as a bonus.

When traveling in the Rockies... and having empty plastic water bottles in the cab of your tow vehicle. Listen up. This is important, as you will now know something we discovered some years ago.

You may hear a 'crack' that sounds like a rock hitting your windshield. No vehicles in sight. Maybe a tiny errant meteorite?

It is most likely the empty or partially empty plastic containers expanding or contracting while your are driving. It sounds like you are a victim of an errant stone... but just your trash playing tricks on you.

This thin air plays tricks if packaged in the Rockies as well as the Sea Level sources.

Although it is funny AFTER you clean up the mess... just be aware that some potato chips or a bag of popcorn can create havoc.

This also affects your digestive system... and that is another Thread for someone else. That bloated feeling does not mean your wife is suddenly pregnant or you ate too much at the last Las Vegas Buffet. It is just elevation having some fun with those living too close to the Ocean.
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:09 PM   #2
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Thanks for the reminders. When we finally do get the chance to travel to CO with our AS, we will take our time so that we can properly acclimate to the change in elevation. We'd be coming from around 18' above sea level.
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:12 PM   #3
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Good advice.

I understand that truckloads of potato chips etc. out west are tracked via GPS to make sure they didn't travel higher elevations with the load.
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:32 PM   #4
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Potato Chip Frier in Casper, WY: $33,775

There use to be, or may still be, a potato chip plant in Casper, Wyoming. It was called Cook's Potato Chips. I made a 'courtesy inspection' for OSHA back in 1970. I was 21 years old and carried a clip board and wore a white plastic helmet.

I did not ask for any free samples as it might have influenced my report.

Although I am bit surprised at the conditions of their plant... taking a 'high elevation' bag of chips to Sea Level would most likely crush the contents.

To make sure of the name, I googled it. It had burned down in 1960. It was a 'non conforming business in a Class A residential zone'. Also a 'potato chip frier' salary is $33,775 a year, which might include all the chips you can eat during a break. They may still be filling bags of chips for the region. Find the Chip Frier position and apply... it sounds like a job some of us may want for retirement.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:26 PM   #5
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Try try this same experiment with one of those pails of cheap ice cream!
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:28 PM   #6
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LOL, all you can eat potato chips, it would be like dying and going to heaven, although they would have to wheel me around as I would weigh a ton LOL.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:42 PM   #7
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I work for Nestle (Haagen Dazs and Dreyer's) and we have an Ice Cream plant in Salt Lake City, UT just for higher elevation cities. The Ice Cream chemical structure changes based upon the elevation changes (becomes crystallized).
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:40 PM   #8
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Potato Chips and Ice Cream...

... and there are people reading the Forums that say nothing important is being discussed that they, already, did not know.

Ruffles Original... you know, Ruffles Have Rrrridges Potato Chips.

They are bagged at Plano, Texas: Elevation at 675'.

If you take one of their sealed bags home, I hope before this test, squeeze the bag. They actually seal the bag in a way that the air escapes as elevation is increased. You can also do it before you open it to make this test. Since High Elevation chips made in Casper, Wyoming and Low Elevation made in Plano, Texas make their bags to handle these changes. They still are crisp.

Trader Joes coffee. Buy some bags in Las Vegas, Nevada and take them home to Colorado. Crossing over the Mountain passes the Coffee aroma is permeating the interior of the vehicle. And you thought this thread has not answered some of your questions. All coffee bags seem to have these plastic vents... for caffine addicts that sniff the bags before purchase. (That I made up.) Or as a smart sales department letting you sniff before purchase. It works. Admit it.

You cannot do this with Pop Corn. It would absorb water moisture and not be crunchy. Nothing like stale Pop Corn and next time I will look at the Date for its freshness length. Probably months or even a year? The bag has to be sealed tight... like a football that could be, inflated or deflated at will.

When mowing the lawn, or chainsawing scrub oak on the property... I have time to think of unanswered questions I had as a ten year old. Why does bubble gum taste better if you stick it to the side of the bed's railing and use it for another day or three... This is before gum was rubber with flavor added and some came with a bunch of baseball cards for 5 cents.

This could apply also to the 'defense' of, lets say, some Football Quarterback who was punished for over inflating a football. The attorney's could have used the 'Popcorn Bag Defense'. It sure would work for Denver with a properly inflated football at a lower elevation having increased the size of the football and needing to have some... air removed... or added. ... for safety reasons.

Whoa... whoa here. Ice Cream as well? Since I scoop the ice cream here, some is soft and some is hard coming out of the freezer. MsTara might have insight as to that.

Some people wake up in the morning and are bored. Maybe read some Threads on this Forum and make some sense out of it all. The next thing you know something new is learned and the rest of the day was worth getting up for.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:45 PM   #9
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This is excellent information. I can use it to make every trip a beach trip. "No dear, we can't go to the mountains, our chips will explode!"

Thanks Ray. Surfs up!

Mike
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:24 PM   #10
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I read somewhere that this elevation challenge is the key reason bags of crunchy snack foods are now so much more difficult to open...they use a new, much tougher, glue that protects their little snackies when they cross the Rockies.

That's my story and I'm *sticking* to it. Got any scissors?
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:10 PM   #11
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Are those aluminum bags??? What if we put wheels on it?
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:26 PM   #12
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I live at 600 ft and in the winter travel up to 7200 ft regularly. I've had bags of chips (packaged a couples miles from me) blow open before. It's amazing how much difference elevation makes.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:24 AM   #13
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Had a half-empty water bottle expand and jam in the door pocket. I had to unscrew the cap to get it out. 900 feet going up to 5,000 feet.

If I remember, I squeeze the bottle a bit to only leave a little airspace now. Haven't had potato chip bags get goofy yet....


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Old 09-15-2016, 07:17 AM   #14
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My wife opened a container - can I think - of coffee in Telluride one winter. It covered the whole kitchen and embedded grounds in the cabinetry. Lucky it didn't blind her. Brought from a lower altitude.
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