Before GPS, before the compass, and even before cartography, humankind was navigating. Now this singular guide helps us rediscover what our ancestors long understood—that a windswept tree, the depth of a puddle, or a trill of birdsong can help us find our way, if we know what to look and listen for. Adventurer and navigation expert Tristan Gooley unlocks the directional clues hidden in the sun, moon, stars, clouds, weather patterns, lengthening shadows, changing tides, plant growth, and the habits of wildlife. Rich with navigational anecdotes collected across ages, continents, and cultures, The Natural Navigator will help keep you on course and open your eyes to the wonders, large and small, of the natural world.
Eagle Scouts don't hold a candle or compass to Gooley, a professional outdoorsman if there ever was one and an engaging proponent of navigation au naturale in this compelling guide. Readers will learn how to evaluate clues in nature from stars in the night sky to evaporating puddles underfoot to discover where they are and how to get where they need to go. Gooley's particular spin is that this subject is not just about survival skills; it's an art form that can reveal to anyone willing to look hard enough the beauty and utility of nature's patterns. It is, he writes, "about reintroducing a childlike curiosity to the journey." But it is also about applying discipline and scientific rigor to how we move through the world. Chockfull of incredibly useful information ranging from the simple (e.g., how to make a sun dial) to the more complex (e.g., how to outline the sun's arc based on latitude), this book will appeal to veteran trailblazers and cautious nature-lovers alike. Indeed, for those prone to stick to the Discovery Channel rather than venture afoot, Gooley's personal travel anecdotes alone are enough to make this worth a read. Inexperienced hikers will nevertheless want to keep a compass handy on their next outing, but with Gooley's tome in tow, the journey will be all the more rewarding. Illus.