My thanks to Gretchen Lorenzen for writing to me with this interesting observation (and permission to share it):
“Beyond enjoying the clues outdoors, though, I found that learning some natural navigation skills also enhanced one of my favorite book series—The Lord of the Rings.
Prior to reading your works, I read the many natural details that Tolkien included as simply an appreciation for the outdoors, part of his pro-environmental undercurrent.
However, I now see that the details he included are totally natural navigation details! Everything from his tracking the moon, to the hobbits keeping the NW wind in their left eye to pursue a northerly course, to the rising and dissipating of the mists, to the budding of the trees in the forests—the details all fit natural navigation!”