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

Wayfinding on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 are broadcasting a programme about 'intuitive wayfinding' this afternoon at 16.30. (That's 15.30 GMT for those not in the UK). It is part of the 'Digital Human' series: "Aleks Krotoski compares our intuitive wayfinding skills to those of the digital world and…

Thank You to the All the Wonderful Bookshops!

I just wanted to put out a post to say thank you to all the bookshops that have been supporting my book, How to Read Water. It has been spotted in prominent positions in the following shops so far: The Book Ferret, Arundel Walkers, Stamford.…

A Common But Little-Known Water Pattern

There is a common but little-known pattern in the water in this picture that you may not spot on first looking. If you need a clue to help spot it then you'll find it on page 180 of How to Read Water. Happy hunting! T

Joshua Slocum and the Birds

My thanks to Pertti Pesonen for reminding me of these passages in Joshua Slocum's classic, 'Sailing Alone Around the World': On the 12th, some hundred miles southwest of Christmas Island, I saw anti-trade clouds flying up from the southwest very high over the regular winds,…

Contrail Shadows

My thanks to Alan Gibson, author of the Urbane Forager blog and book, for sending me these great images of a contrail shadow. (Contrails are the long thin clouds that can form behind high jet aircrafts' engines.) These shadows form when a contrail casts a…

Reading Water in San Francisco

A massive thank you to Zina Deretsky in California, who got in touch because she is a wild swimmer who loves reading water. Zina is also a professional illustrator and has been kind enough to share her observations whilst reading water in San Francisco Bay…