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

Sand Collars

My thanks to Ian Ward and John Angus for making me aware of a curious beach phenomenon known as 'sand collars'. The eggs of a sea snail known as the 'moon snail' can create a horseshoe shape that appears to be made of sand. They…


A big thanks to everyone who has come to the talks in Salisbury, Greenwich, Derbyshire, Hay and St Andrews recently. Brilliant audiences. Lots more talks to come this year, see if there is one near you here. I took the above picture whilst in St…

How to Read Water Book Tour

The How to Read Water Book Tour dates have just been released. More info on this page, as well as course dates, but here is a pretty map too :)

The Tombolo

If you feel like a fun test of your observational skills, use this blog to try to answer this question: What colour is the dog's collar? There are two points available :) (Answer at the bottom of the page.) --------------------- My thanks to James Axtell…

The Sound of Water

If you hear water, then it will be white water. Water only makes a sound when it mixes with air. From How to Read Water.

A Surreal Sunday Brunch

Thanks to the Sunday Brunch team at Channel 4 and Princess Productions for a very enjoyable, if slightly surreal Sunday morning. I was there to discuss reading water with hosts Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer in front of a bewildering number of TV cameras (5?).…