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

Thoughts From Basle

Thank you Thomas for a kind, interesting and uplifting email from Basle: --------- Dear Tristan I just finished reading your wonderful book "How to read water", a birthday gift from my girlfriend, and spontaneously decided to write a few words to you – out of…

How to Make a Compass Out of Sand, Snow or Dust

Whenever you're on sand or snow, tune in to the direction the most recent winds have been blowing from and you'll find yourself surrounded by small compasses. This is a technique you can practice at any time of year and much closer to home than…

White Out and Prevailing Winds

My thanks to Ginny Howells for coming on a course and for this wonderful email: "I just thought I'd share how I used natural navigation to get me home during a white out - as I thought you'd appreciate it and I wanted to say…

Dawn Chorus Going Global

There will be an international collaborative radio dawn chorus programme going out on BBC Radio 4 from about 1am UK time tonight. It runs until 7am. Insomniacs of the world unite! I'll be contributing at times between about 1am and 2.30am, but the birds will…

Ripples, Reflections and Patterns

It can be difficult to see detail in the surface of calm water. To work out what the water is doing, look at the places where light and dark reflections meet. This is where the smallest ripples and subtlest patterns will show up most clearly.