Fortunately, only a step away there is a warm and dry place where I can retreat—because while these ice-cold conditions are harsh, they’re only a simulation. I’m at the Gore headquarters in Delaware. More specifically, I’m inside the Environmental Chamber of the company’s biophysics lab, where Gore tests all of their gear by subjecting it to extreme temperatures (-58 to 122 degrees), simulated rain showers, UV-light damage, and other environmental stressors. Another way to put it: This is where Gore puts every new Gore-Tex product through their own version of hell. They burn gear, freeze it, stretch it, grind it, and expose it to things like saltwater, gasoline, and human sweat—then they rinse it off and do the tests all over again. Grundens is collaborating with Gore this year to bring out an awesome new line of fishing bibs and jackets. They invited us to test out the new gear, and to see how Gore-Tex is made.

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