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

Pin Holes on the Beach

When a wave breaks it pushes foamy water up the beach, this is the 'swash'. Some of this water flows back down the beach to the sea, this is the 'backwash'. But some of the water sinks sown into the sand. As the water sinks,…

Still Waters Run Deep

It's been another week of dashing about in the Land Rover, giving talks about How to Read Water. Henley, Saffron Walden, Southampton... A big, big thanks to everyone who has come. Great audiences and always interesting questions. Some talks I can predict a few of…


One of the great joys of this job is the delightfully unpredictable nature of the emails I receive. Thank you Richard for this one! -------- Tristan, See the attached. They are from the USNS Kane in a Force 12 storm in the GIUK Gap during…

Back from Crete

Just back from a natural navigation expedition in Crete. In summary: a sweaty success. More to follow in email newsletter etc.

Beach Cusps, Rips and Light

My thanks to Helen Sargent for sending in the following fabulous photo of beach cusps at the cove neighbouring Durdle Door in Dorset. Helen also sent the following photos and observations. "Ps I cant resist sending these two too - the curvy cove was where…