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The Natural Navigator

The Natural Navigator [Kindle Edition]

Tristan Gooley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"The Natural Navigator is a wonderfully stimulating book. Tristan Gooley sidesteps technology to celebrate our own powers of observation, and suggests that the art of natural navigation is something we should never have forgotten."--Michael Palin

"The perfect book for getting you started on your own adventure"--Sir Ranulph Fiennes, adventurer and author of Race to the Pole

“This wonderful book takes the skill set back several generations . . . to the vanishing (but often surprisingly simple) arts of navigating by sun, moon, stars, and natural phenomena. . . . A must for any lover of the outdoors."--Tim Jepson, The Telegraph

"Gooley is a fine writer with a philosophical passion for the subject, and he occasionally veers into areas that are perhaps not strictly within the remit of the book, but these are effortlessly pleasant diversions that add to the whole. His timing is strong, with anecdotes dropped in at just the right intervals to keep you turning the pages. His advice is at times glorious in its simplicity and fascinating in its execution."--Laurence Mackin, The Irish Times

"A definitive volume on the subject."--Paul Gelder, Yachting Monthly

"In a sat-nav dominated world, where GPS and a host of other acronyms designed to get us from A to B have overtaken paper maps, it is refreshing to meet someone who understands technology, but prefers to find his way by practicing the rare and ancient art of using nature’s signposts, from puddle patterns to shadow lengths . . . I’m hooked. Back at the beech, I make a mental note of emerging bluebell patches, forming an internal map that I’ll use to find my way around the wood."--Paul Evans, BBC Wildlife Magazine

"As Gooley reminds us, navigation is, first of all, about understanding where you are. His marvellous book is a good starting point."--Mick Herron, Geographical Magazine

"Gooley’s calm, contemplative authority on matters solar, lunar and celestial establishes his guru credentials—but it’s his revelations about the clues that lie scattered about the natural environment that really entrance: how puddles drying on paths, the shapes of sand dunes, the graininess of scree on the lee of a slope can all be enlisted to summon compass points to your horizon."--Chris Born, Time Out London

"The best nature writing changes the way you experience the world. Tristan Gooley’s The Natural Navigator will teach you how to find your way using not just the moon, sun and stars but spider’s webs, tennis courts and even ruts on a track. He throws in entertaining anecdotes from the history of navigation and from his own impressive Atlantic journeys, but really he’s giving you an addictive hobby, and a newly refined sense of time and place."--Sunday Times

Book Description

'The perfect book for getting you started on your own adventure' - Ranulph Fiennes

Get ready to put away your map and look up from your GPS with this glorious introduction to the art of finding your way using natural clues

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 646 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1905264941
  • Publisher: Virgin Digital (30 Mar 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ELY7VU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tristan Gooley is a writer, navigator and explorer. He has led expeditions on five continents, spent time with the Tuareg, Bedouin and Dayak in some of the remotest places on Earth and pioneered a renaissance in the rare art of natural navigation.

Tristan is the only living person to have both flown solo and sailed single-handed across the Atlantic. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Institute of Navigation and Vice Chairman of the UK's largest independent travel company, Trailfinders. He lives in West Sussex.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
It's absolutely fascinating! We probably all know about moss growing on the north side of trees but that is just only a tiny part of what Tristan reveals in this wonderfully informative book about natural navigation. Whether it's using puddles to tell you in which direction the sun has passed or making you sniff a bit deeper when smelling the "fresh air" blowing from the direction of a hidden coast line, Tristan tells you how to build layers of directional pointers.
I was hooked from the introduction! Reading this makes you want to put the book down and go outside to check a few observations yourself! Probably not a good thing to say in a review but then this book is about encouraging you to "do" as much as to read and learn. And Tristan does this very well indeed.
We miss so much these days in rushing around - follow just some of Tristan's natural navigation hints and you'll get so much more from even a simple walk in the park!
A great book for anyone who enjoys being outside and loves to stand and stare before moving on. I'm hooked!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walks will never be the same 10 Mar 2010
A subject of hot debate in our family is who has the better sense of direction. Now I have a huge advantage over my husband with loads of simple tricks, well explained in THE NATURAL NAVIGATOR, that can be employed whether the walk is in a national park or a city park. The history component to this book is well researched and very interesting with details on the Micronesians traditional navigational methods and some surprising details about better-known explorers. This book would suit people who like the outdoors viewed from an armchair and those who get welly-deep in mud on a regular basis. Fascinating.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sailor's View 24 May 2010
Most the other reviewers seem to be walkers, but the book is very interesting from a sailor's perspective. There is a chapter dedicated to nautical methods, quite a few of which I'd never come across before, but most of the other chapters are relevant too.
The sun, moon, stars and weather can be used at sea to give just as good an idea of direction and the birds are more useful at sea than on land. I don't think I will be ripping out the chartplotter and throwing it overboard yet, but I will definitely be taking more note of the natural clues on offer. The stories about what the navigators in the Pacific can achieve are fascinating. Recommended.'
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed My Thinking 14 Mar 2010
It is amazing how much of natural navigation is common sense and yet how little I have thought about it to so far. There is the odd complex method in the book, one about the moon that I still haven't got to be honest, but mostly it is very straightforward. Some good stories about ancient travellers too and one about a date tree in Tessore, India that I loved. It has changed the way I look at the world already, so not a book for those stuck in their ways I guess
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book, well structured and very readable. Well balanced on the positive and negative aspects of each technique, with interesting narratives on the historic and regional origins of many techniques.
Superb book, I have already recommended it to many.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming a natural navigator 22 April 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tristan Gooley has written the book all humankind needs now more than ever - he crosses oceans on a small craft, traverses land-masses on foot, and does so using his five senses (and occasionally a sixth). In an era where travel has become the tyranny of timetables he produces in the reader the feelings those great pioneer navigators in the South Pacfic or fearless Viking explorers crossing the Atlantic must have felt. 'The Natural Navigator' reminds us how to move around this Earth, locally or across great swathes, without the use of satellites, taking our cues from the sun, wind, trees (remember, trees tend to branch up more on the side away from the prevailing winds) and perhaps some not fully understood instincts. Human ancestors leaving Africa in waves those umpteen years ago would have used the same techniques the author has employed in his considerable travels, snuffing the wind, watching the animals, mapping a few invaluable constellations, techniques the more attractive as many of us want to get away from the tourist experience and wander across those last great untouched frontiers - for me, one day it's going to be the Kimberleys on foot and with 'The Natural Navigator' in the backpack.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Natural Navigator 23 Mar 2010
This is a fascinating book;quick and easy to read with an excellent index.A book that can be read from cover to cover in one go or dipped into for that special nugget of knowledge with which to impress family and friends on that particularly taxing walk when everybody is lost except you:unless somebody else has read The Natural Navigator! I have already bought 2 copies;wonderful Birthday/Christmas presents.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Reference Guide 12 May 2010
I really enjoyed this book; it gives wonderful insight into the natural world and has made me reconsider the world around me. I've also heard Tristan speak and you should also try to do that if you get the chance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book works on two levels - it's an excellent read, so definitely wins points for armchair entertainment. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Dreamboat
2.0 out of 5 stars Very little in the way of genuinly useful information
I was disappointed in this book the further I read into it and discovered that it was more philosophical than a useful guide to navigation without a compass. Read more
Published 1 month ago by alapper
5.0 out of 5 stars Navigation for ramblers
A fascinating read which is guaranteed to make all of your walks more interesting.....if a little longer because you'll stop more often! Recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Colin Mustoe
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard reading
To be honest I found it hard going reading it, many words that did not really help or convey information very well.
Published 1 month ago by john spooner
5.0 out of 5 stars Find your way to this book
Learn h ow to make use of all your senses when out walking, hiking or will be amazed how often Nature allows us into her secret ways of navigating. Thank you
Published 1 month ago by Welcome Centre
2.0 out of 5 stars Read more like a thesis...why use 1 word when 100 will do..
The author clearly knows his subject matter. While there is plenty for the historians, once you get through the many many words (and it really does drag) the real detail is quite... Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Fisher
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going
Was really looking forward to this book but was a bit disappointed and found it a little hard to read. Not what I expected
Published 4 months ago by Ann Barker
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed the aspects dealing with walking in the woods, looking at...
I enjoyed the aspects dealing with walking in the woods, looking at trees, puddles etc. far more than the extended sections covering stars, winds, waves, currents etc. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ter
5.0 out of 5 stars likely to repay time spent reading and thinking about the content
If you are looking for a no frills book about navigation in a survival situation then this is probably not the book for you. Read more
Published 10 months ago by rh
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Read
I have used the information from this book many times for Scouts and DofE groups, it is full of great info, The seller was the best on the internet.
Published 13 months ago by chris
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Popular Highlights

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The southern side of any range of hills in the northern hemisphere will experience a greater variety of temperature than the northern side. &quote;
Highlighted by 7 Kindle users
Christian churches are usually aligned west to east, with the altar at the eastern end. &quote;
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However, in the northern hemisphere the sun spends most of its time in the southern part of the sky, which means that on an east–west path, the incline and growth on the southern side of the track will cast a shadow on the southern part of the track itself. Moisture is retained, puddles last longer. &quote;
Highlighted by 6 Kindle users

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