Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: The Natural Navigator

Photo from the author's website
Having read an interesting article about this book and author in Outside magazine a while back, I recently ordered and read The Natural Navigator: A Watchful Explorer's Guide to a Nearly Forgotten Skill, by Tristan Gooley. As the name implies, it is about using natural resources and phenomena as an aid in determining where you are and where you are headed. It was a quick and fun read, covering many topics and geographic regions.

The skills discussed in this book are not something that can be directly imparted to the reader. Neither does Gooley attempt to do so. Rather, he gives a starting point for the outdoors or traveling enthusiast to begin building and honing the skills needed to navigate without electronic devices, maps, or compasses. As such, I did not finish the book feeling like I was ready to start leaving my maps at home when I go snowshoeing, hiking, or touring. But I do feel much more aware of some details in nature - like I know a little more about how to pay attention to my location and bearing.

I love books that give a new perspective on the world around us. So even if you do most of your traveling on paved roads and blazed trails, this book is worth reading.

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