What’s this book about?
Tristan Gooley's The Natural Navigator has researched and brought together all the disparate sources on the subject of natural navigation — how to navigate without maps, compass or technology and instead using the sun, stars and many other natural features. He’s almost created the topic in the same way as Ray Mears more or less created bushcraft.
Before Tristan did his book, natural navigation was only really accessible to enthusiasts who could read some rare books and understand them. What he’s done is make it accessible to ordinary people and he’s done it with genuine enthusiasm.
How does this book make a difference to your life?
You learn how the natural world is behaving: how the moon and the stars move, or how one side of a tree’s branches is bigger than another. On the north side, a tree's branches tend to grow more vertically, seeking light, whereas on the south side they tend to grow out more horizontally towards the sun.
When you don't have a compass -- or when you can't see the stars or the sun -- these kinds of details can guide you.
But it's not so much about how this can help you navigate as it is about making nature's mundane details come alive. This book has gotten people to look for details such as lichen growing on stone, spiders cobwebs and shadows — all of which give you clues as to where south is, where maximum sunlight is.
When we've gone up a mountain in thick mist and come across a boulder, we can touch it without seeing much of it, feeling one side where it's warm and the other where it's cool. The warm side has been getting more sunlight. Yes, this gives us a sense of direction, but knowing how nature responds to sunlight and wind and rain also reminds us of the the world we live in, the way it breathes and moves all around us in the simplest and grandest of ways.
Want to learn navigation?
Check our our Day Navigation Course and learn the fundamentals of navigation and natural navigation, or make a memorable weekend of it on the gorgeous Bamff Estate with our Weekend Navigation Course, which includes more in-depth natural navigation. All courses are fun, easy to do and will give you essential skills for enjoying the outdoors.