Natural Navigation

Natural navigation is the rare art of finding your way using nature, including the sun, moon, stars, weather, land, sea, plants and animals. It is possible to navigate naturally on land, sea or even in the air.

Tristan Gooley’s approach to the subject is unique in that he does not view it as a survival skill, but as a means to enrich journeys and connect with the world around us. Fortunately very few of us are likely to ever find ourselves in a survival situation, but we all spend some time outdoors. This time can become fascinating if we take our eyes off the GPS, map and compass for a few moments and ask the simple question, ‘Which way am I looking?’

Tristan Gooley has written three books covering natural navigation:

The Natural Navigator

The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs

How to Read Water

Steps in Learning Natural Navigation:

1. Have a browse of this website, explore navigating using the sun, moon, stars, water, plants and animals.

2. The website contains lots of good stuff, but if I come across something really good I don't always put it up here. I hold it back for my email newsletter or books. You can sign up to the free newsletter at the bottom of the page and unsubscribe instantly at any time.

3. If you're serious about learning how to navigate using nature then I'd recommend reading one of my books or coming to a talk or on a course.

Formal training in natural navigation is very rare and students of this art are guaranteed to learn things that almost nobody else they come across will know. The courses that Tristan runs and his books on the subject are therefore ideal for those who want to learn a unique skill, whether they are undertaking a journey or staying closer to home.

Explore the Wonderful World of Natural Navigation

Mysterious Silver-Grey Splotches on Water

If you spot strange silver-grey patches on the surface of shallow fresh water, it is a sign that a pigeon has been enjoying a bath. The effect is caused mainly by a white powder, the dust from a pigeon's down feathers. A little wax and…

Marsh-marigolds and Shallow Water

The Marsh-marigolds are coming into bloom around our pond. They are a little early, April being more typical. Marsh-marigoldsare one of the earliest vivid wetland signs.Their brilliant yellow is a sure sign of shallow water and can indicate a trickle of water from a distance.…

Phototropism and Gravitropism

There is a nice example of gravitropism and phototropism in action in this picture. Gravitropism - The orientation of a plant or other organism in response to gravity. Phototropism - The orientation of a plant or other organism in response to light, either toward the…

Calling All Artists and Writers

Calling All Artists and Writers: You have to check out a place called Joya. Joya is an arts-led field research centre in Almeria and one of the wildest parts of Europe. My thanks to Simon and Donna Beckmann for the opportunity to both stay at…