Cotswold Outdoor Knowledge Centre at the South West Outdoor Festival

Walking boots with SWOF branding

South West Outdoor Festival partners Cotswold Outdoor will be operating a Knowledge Centre at the festival site.

Product experts and athletes will be conducting a series of informative and interactive sessions, demonstrating how to get the very best out of your gear and providing top tips on how to choose the right outdoor equipment for your personal requirements.

All of these seminars and sessions are free to attend and will run several times throughout the weekend.

Please note that Cotswold Outdoor won't be selling anything over the weekend. Make sure you bring everything you need for the events and activities you're taking part in.

The Knowledge Centre will include:

Roll-up bike workshop

If you're taking part in a cycling event during the festival and you've detected a strangle rattle or hum coming from your bike, get it checked out by the qualified bike mechanics before you hit the trails/lanes.

If you're looking for some top tips about pre- and post-ride bike maintenance, they will be imparting their hard earned knowledge about this too. Drop (or roll) in at any time over the weekend to ask bike tech-related questions.

Walk-in footwear clinic

Feet. We use them every day, but do we treat them properly? Sadly, often the answer is no.

If you're experiencing problems with your hooves, come and consult the feet agony aunts and uncles here.

The team of experts will walk you through the best way to select the running shoes and walking boots that perfectly suit you, and the pursuits you want to do.

Topics covered during group and individual discussions will include footwear biomechanics, gait analysis, pronation, barefoot theory, stretches and warm ups.  

Cooking sessions

Camp cooking is an integral part of the outdoor experience, but with such a wealth of stoves available, which one suits your requirements best?

Come and have a play with a range of options here, and decide for yourself, with some brilliant advice from highly experienced al fresco experts – people who have spent years making brews and cooking up a storm in campsites and on beaches, at the top of peaks and the bottom of crags, and in remote corners of the outdoor world in all kinds of conditions.

There will be demonstrations showing which stoves can boil water the quickest, which ones offer the best simmer controls, and which are the lightest to carry around, plus tips on such subjects as dehydrated food and how to spice up your camp cooking life.

Rucksack clinic

Rule number one: a bag is not just a bag.

Whether you're hitting the trails for a few hours or setting out on a multiday mission, the backpack you select for any given outdoor activity will have a direct bearing on how much you enjoy the experience.

How you go about packing that bag is also crucially important – more so than you might believe until you see and feel it demonstrated here during a series of interactive sessions.

Come and hear experts explaining how to choose the right rucksack for you, and how to fill it correctly.     

Sport science clinic

Baffled by talk of electrolytes and energy bars? Confused by the range of technical fabrics being used in outdoor apparel these days, and all their various claims about keeping you warm, dry and looking good?

The technical experts in this corner of the knowledge centre can bring you up to speed with what you actually need – demonstrating how modern materials work and encouraging people to take a hands-on approach to feeling the difference.