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

Heiligenschein or Halo Effect

Here is a lovely example of Heiligenschein, or 'halo effect'. When a bright light source is directly behind us, we see a brighter ring around the shadow of our head. The direct light means fewer shadows in that area, but light is also reflected back…

Sea Foam

Sea foam is a sign of two things: agitation and surfactants. Sea foam forms when water is whipped up by the wind or churned by waves or both, but it only forms when there are chemicals in the sea known as 'surfactants'. Surfactants can be…

BBC Sky at Night

Tristan Gooley teaches BBC Sky at Night presenter Chris Lintott how he finds his way through the woods at night using the stars and a 'handrail'. BBC Sky at Night - Wonders of the Night Sky

101 Adventurers

If you are browsing this website then there is a fair chance that you are a restless soul, prone to roaming. You might find this new website offers some ideas or inspiration: 101 Adventurers Happy Scheming!

Cat's Paws on Water

When a gust of wind touches the surface of calm water, it creates a localised patch of bigger ripples. These can be seen as a different colour, normally darker. The effect has the nickname 'cat's paws' as some people believe it looks like a cat's…