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 two books covering natural navigation:

The Natural Navigator

The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs

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

National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC), Fareham

I'm just back from a visit to the fresh National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham. This is the new national headquarters of HM Coastguard and will soon be the nerve centre of that august institution - as it approaches its third century of existence. It…

Men and Women Navigation Differences

Controversy Alert! I've written in the past about differences in male and female navigational ability, but there is a new and inflammable study out. Tribes in Namibia were interviewed about their travels and tested on their navigational and spatial awareness. As a result, researchers from…

Winter Colour, Spindle and Yarrow

Fine walking conditions prevailed over much of the UK this weekend and so I disappeared into the hills for a few hours with the dog. I'm glad I did, there is little more cheering than finding colour in nature on a winter walk, especially under…

Weldon Church Lighthouse

Weldon Church in Northamptonshire used to be surrounded by dense woods that were hard to navigate and led to many poor souls getting lost. The solution? An inland lighthouse. The lighthouse no longer shines, but the lantern tower can still be seen, perched on the…

Navigation on Amundsen's South Pole Expedition

There was an interesting article in Navigation News recently, The Long Journey Home, which looked at Amundsen's navigation techniques on his South Pole expedition. The author, Christopher Sweetman, draws attention to Amundsen's use of compasses, meter-wheels fixed to sledges and the sextant. But of more…

Back from Oman

Just back from extraordinary research trip to Oman. Sailing a traditional dhow using stars, moon and sun to navigate and other studies. More to follow.