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

Equinoctial Gales

Last night winds reached 40mph here in West Sussex, bringing down a thick harvest of leaves. It was a breeze when compared to what some parts of the world have been experiencing recently, but it is classified as a proper gale nonetheless. There is a…

Orion Returns

Look east just before dawn on a clear morning and you'll now be able to see an old friend returning. Orion is blotted out by the sun from May-July, but reappears at this time of year. For the next few weeks you'll only be able…

A Beautiful World

I've just done a brief podcast interview for Heather McElhatton of A Beautiful World. You can hear it here.

Samuel Pepys and his Moon Compass

From an entry in Samuel Pepys' diary on Saturday 19th August 1665: So to Stanes and there by this time it was dark night, and got a guide who lost his way in the forest, till by help of the moone (which recompenses me for…

The Pebbles on the Beach

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to listen to me eulogise Clarence Ellis' book, The Pebbles on the Beach, on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday morning. It's a lovely book and reminder that there is great joy to be had…

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…