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

Mackerel Sky

Following some bad weather recently, I saw the beautiful 'mackerel sky' above. A mackerel sky can be used to forecast weather, but it is at the more challenging end of the weather lore spectrum. The simple bit is this: a mackerel sky of any kind…

Water Signs

For readers of 'How to Read Water' there are a couple of images you might enjoy below. The first shows a dog admiring a starboard navigation mark. There are unusual sand ripples next to the water too, a combination and 'rill marks' and evidence of…

Frost Shadow

My thanks to Peter Gibbs for this great email and image: " Out in the Dales this morning. Noticed this accumulating frost shadow. Frost didn't clear from the shady strip behind the wall yesterday and has been added to by last night's frost. The rest…

Happy Winter Solstice!

At 10.44 GMT today the south pole will be pointing as much as it ever does towards the sun. The sun will be over the most southerly part of the Earth that it ever reaches - the Tropic of Capricorn - and it will be…

BBC Inside Out - Winter Wonderland

This week I spent a couple of days filming with presenter Natalie Graham and the BBC Inside Out team in Rye and Camber Sands, East Sussex. The feature will be called 'Winter Wonderland' and will include natural navigation and a few other outdoor clues. The…