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 several books covering natural navigation:

The Natural Navigator

The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs

How to Read Water

Wild Signs and Star Paths

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

The Colour of Water

The colour of water is determined by: A) What's under it. B) What's in it. C) What's on it. D) And by light levels and angles, including the colour of the sky. In this picture, taken from Climping Beach in West Sussex, we can see…

The Wayfaring Tree - Viburnum lantana

As its name suggests, the wayfaring-tree (Viburnum lantana) is a sign, if you aren't already aware, that you are on or near a path. It is more a shrub than tree that grows up to 15ft and almost exclusively on chalk or limestone. Its white…

A Sign of Fresh Air in Dartmoor

My thanks to everyone who came on the natural navigation walk with Emma Cunis (Dartmoor's Daughter) and me on Thursday in Dartmoor. We saw many good signs as we passed through the beguiling Wistman's Wood. A favourite one dangled from the trees. The hair-like Usnea…

Brendan the Navigator

Writing the sorts of books I do is hard work, at times dauntingly so. But emails like this make me want to charge out there and write another. Thanks Brendan. --- Hi Tristan, As a sailor for 42 years who has been on boats since…

Fountain Rainbow

If you look closely at the partial rainbow created between the fountain and Chinese Pagoda in Victoria Park, London, you might notice that there is an orange band, but no clear red one. The rainbow has been created by the mist-like tiny droplets from the…