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Old 09-25-2015, 12:07 PM   #1
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Traveling to destinations with high altitude - Bursting Groceries

Living in AZ, often we find ourselves traveling up several thousand feet above sea level for campsites. We have found that traveling from the PHX valley to high altitudes results in enough pressure/altitude changes to cause groceries to burst.

The last trip to the Greer, AZ area at 9000 plus ft resulted in the cork being forced out of a bottle of good tequila . All bags of snacks like potato chips expanded to the point where they looked like huge pillows, boxes of pancake mix (bag inside) burst in the box, etc.

Anyone else experience this? Any suggestions on how to prevent the issue other than buying groceries at the destination?
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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Our daughter lived in Prescott (about 5000' asl?) for a while. I was amazed to see the "pillow-size" potato chip bags on supermarket shelves there. I'm not sure waiting until you get to your destination would help.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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We've stayed up to 9,000' EL and never had anything 'burst'. The chip bags did get puffy but they were always opened fast by us so no issues.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:04 PM   #4
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We had a bag of chip burst on the way to Yellowstone. Loud enough that we thought we had a tire blow out. We were traveling with a group of six rigs and others found bags/packages puffed out. The chips were packaged a few miles from home and the elevation there is less than 200 feet.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:04 PM   #5
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It's cheaper than the bursting Sleep Number air bed. Glad I use a tempurpedic.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:27 PM   #6
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I was flying along at 14,000' a couple years ago and heard a big pop - certainly got my attention. I quickly found a bag of some sort that had come open - can't remember what it was - doesn't seem like it was food.

This is probably a nuisance for anyone but full timers but I learned pretty quickly on my boat to get rid of all cardboard packaging and a good bit of plastic bag packaging as well - due to critters mostly. Things like pancake mix, cereal, oats, flour, sugar, corn starch, etc... are always repackaged as soon I get home from the store into critter proof packages (usually hard plastic). Not altitude related but possibly a useful tip....
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:32 PM   #7
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At just under 11,000' (the Beartooth Highway), we had lots of things pop. The worst was a can of Spam that happened to be lying on its side. When we discovered it a week later, we had a moldy mess to contend with.

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Old 09-25-2015, 01:46 PM   #8
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Perhaps we didn't have 'bursting' because we traveled slow - meaning weeks - so we gradually got to higher elevations, not all at once. The packages had time to get accustomed.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:39 PM   #9
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Salsa mess

We had a plastic bottle of salsa explode in the fridge on a trip over Tehachapi Pass east of Bakersfield, California. We stopped for lunch, opened the fridge door, and the bottle lid came off, coating the inside of the fridge, my wife standing in front of the open door, and the floor with salsa. It was a very long and messy lunch stop.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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Had a ketchup bottle let go all over me once when traveling to Arizona. I looked like something out of a mad slasher movie.
The only advice I can think of is maybe poke a pinhole in the chip bags, but then you will need to eat them fairly quickly so they don't go stale. Not a problem for me....
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:29 PM   #11
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Had service done in Phoenix and then headed north. A day or two later noticed oily residue on front tire cover. No leaks. Figured the air pressure inside the bearings pushed some oil out the rubber plug as we gained altitude.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:42 PM   #12
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Never had that happen to us, we summer in Cody Wyoming and use the east to west exits in Yellowstone...nothing ever popped!
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:12 PM   #13
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We have a Sleep Number mattress and have to remember to let the air down before we get to any altitude. Tooth past is another issue, soda bottles can do some strange things if we buy them at home and then go to Wyoming or similar areas. We try to remember to open them while holding them in the sink.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:14 PM   #14
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Just a thought. How would it be to put a pin hole in chip or pancake mix bag to relieve the pressure? I think it would be so small that the items would not become stale before use.
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