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

Mabiniogion and the Stars

A couple of nights ago I listened to an interesting talk about the Mabinogion and the night sky, by the astronomer Martin Griffiths (pictured). We stood in a garden before adjourning to an inflatable planetarium. It was the launch of the Llangwm Literary Festival. The…

Newsletter Mini Challenges

I just sent out my latest newsletter (you can subscribe at the bottom), which included the four mini challenges below: Answers at the bottom. 1. The two leaves above were taken from the same copper beech tree, one from the north side, one from the…

New York Times - By the Book

My thanks to the Don Winslow for giving How to Read Water a mention in the 'By the Book' column in the New York Times Book Review this weekend, here is the snippet: What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently? It…

Trentepohlia, Moisture and Signs Pointing North

Here is a nice example of trentepohlia on the north side of a tree. This algae can be one of the best indicators of north if you know how to use it. Like all moisture indicators, including moss, it's important to understand the relationship between…