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The Natural Navigator

Prior to the compass, winds and their different characteristics were used to understand direction itself. The ancient Greeks noted that the south wind was dry and hot when it came from the direction of the winter sunrise (a little north of southeast) and moist and hot when it came from the direction of the winter sunset (a little north of southwest). The direction the wind had come from and the wind itself were one and the same, so that the cold northerly wind was called Boreas, a word also used to mean north.

from "The Natural Navigator"

Natural navigation technique used in the Florida Everglades.

The Way the Wind Blows by Linda Sannuti
The Way the Wind Blows
by Linda Sannuti

The Natural Navigator
The Rediscovered Art of Letting Nature Be Your Guide
by Tristan Gooley

Linden Publishing, 2012

British expeditionist
Tristan Gooley has sailed across oceans, flown  between continents, and climbed many of the world's tallest mountains using the natural navigation skills described in this book.

While humans have been making their way from place to place for a millenia, there is no record of how the earliest travelers navigated, or how often they got lost. Accounts of navigation methods don't show up in anyone's literature until about a thousand years ago.

Gooley's obsession with the art of navigation began as an empowered 10-year-old sailing a
dinghy. "I had garnered the skills to go wherever I wanted. Not where my teachers told me to go, not where my parents wanted me to go, but where I wanted to go."

This book explains how to find your way without GPS or even compasses, but with shadows, stars, tides, plants, clouds, the moon, the sun and wild animals. Also known as ‘wayfinding,’ natural navigation techniques can be used on land, sea or in mid-air. 

The Spirit of Navigation by Echo Chernik
The Spirit of Navigation
by Echo Chernik

Moon Signs

The moon can be a navigation tool in the middle of the night.

When you see a moon with its lighted half downward (like a bowl) slowly descending, you are watching the first quarter (half full) moon setting in the west.

When you see a moon with its lighted half downward but slowly getting higher, you are seeing the last quarter (half full) moon rising in the east.

In the middle of the night, a nearly full moon will be in the south and its shadows will point north.

Celestial Navigation

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