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The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals-and Other Forgotten Skills
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The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals-and Other Forgotten Skills

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  734 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
Gooley’s more than two decades of pioneering outdoor experience include research among the Dayak people of Borneo and the Tuareg of the Sahara. With his first book, The Natural Navigator, he started a renaissance in the rare art of reading nature’s clues.

Now, in The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs , Gooley has compiled more than 850 outdoor tips—many not found in any
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published August 26th 2015 by The Experiment (first published June 2nd 2015)
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Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Should be titled "Some vague tips about noticing your landscape, if you find yourself in the middle of a long walk in Britain without the aid of a GPS."

This book indeed had a different title in the UK, where it was originally published and with respect to its intended audience. Disappointing for the Yankees suckered in by its misleading title.

M.E. Kinkade
This book is excellent, in that it is full of really cool facts and you'll come away with all kinds of obscure knowledge that you can use to annoy and mystify people with (hey, did you know "moonbows" are a thing? It's like a rainbow but at night!).

But it's also virtually impossible to just sit down and read as it lacks almost all narrative structure and is fundamentally like the guy you've just met at a party who decides to tell you everything he knows about roots; you're bored, but you sit and
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ironically, when I choose this book to review I was looking forwarding to using it as a way to understand and enjoy the outdoors more than I have and boost my skills. It turned out that I wound up in the hospital for several weeks during the publishing date and I decided to read it anyway. How lucky I was. Not only did this city girl learn more than I thought possible about the outdoors but it also gave me an escape, an education and a way out of the hospital to new adventures in my mind. I thin ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
Ok book had some good tips. I especially liked the astronomy tips at navigation and some good observations of nature and how to find things. Not bad.
I have the same opinion of the book its ok.
3/14/17 $2.99 for Kindle.
Nov 25, 2017 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference  ·  review of another edition
Skimming to see if I should recommend it to my dad, so he can get even more out of his hikes. Esp. difficult to tell as the author is based in the UK; much applies anywhere, but much is also local/ regional (as he does try to clarify at each relevancy).

I'm not reading it. Too dry, too hard to understand in the abstract from w/in my home. A different organizational scheme, perhaps more anecdotal examples in a different typeface or sidebars, or perhaps more of a bullet-point setup, or something el
Russ Mckell
i wanted to like this book but it had several problems. first, it's set in great britain and so much of the plants, trees, and weather he references has more application to there than north america. second, it is basically just a large list of facts and interesting tidbits that have been divided my type. this would be a FANTASTIC reference book - if you're interested in trees, go to the section on trees; if you're interested in plants, go to the section on plants, and so on. reading this from st ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It started out very slow and seemed like the author was just throwing out a lot of information. The deeper I got into the book, the more I enjoyed it. Some things were explained beautifully, others left you hanging. The author could have used more pictures and diagrams. The ones he did use were quite helpful in explaining the material. At times, it seemed a bit of a slog to get through the material. I would rate it a 3.5, since that was not available, I rounded up.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was without a doubt in my mind one of the most enlightening and useful books that I've ever read. It took me almost six months to finish because I took my time meticulously reading every detail, understanding every concept (save for most of those involved with positioning of constellations and phases of the moon, which take a bit more practice to thoroughly understand), and putting into practice what I've read as I hike.

A lot of what's detailed in here comes down to common sense, but doesn
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
I don't usually buy books, but I am so happy that I bought this one. I read it cover to cover the first time, and am now going back to study individual sections. This will be an excellent reference book. I'm thrilled to explain some of the things I have learned to my sweet kindergartener. You will find this book on my bookshelf ten years from now with a worn cover, dirt stains and years of notes in the margins.
M Harris
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natural-history
I was expecting more outdoor survival type information in here, but it really sticks to the title-- reading nature's signs and using the signs to deduce things about your environment, namely direction, orientation, and lay of the land. Best for someone who is not already "attuned", i.e. probably not veteran outdoorsmen/women or naturalists.
Lunar Snowflake
Firstly, I want to point out this isn't a bad book, however it did fall a wee bit short of what I expected when I opted to read it.
If I were describing it, I'd say, it's more of a memoir, peppered with anecdotal facts relevant to being outdoors.

As a memoir, I give it 3 stars.
As a reference book, 1.5 stars.
Nancy Lewis
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature
Lots of interesting techniques for using your surroundings to glean information - from using the moon and stars for navigation to using tree bark and butterflies to find your way.

The author also gives in-person courses in the London area.
Christina Dudley
Wonderful book, but I could tell this indoorsy type wasn't going to retain any of it. If you do walk outdoors in open country, this book could make you an expert navigator and tracker!
Read about 100 pages or so. Long-winded and dull. A few interesting points, but for me it didn't seem to be particularly helpful. Though maybe tracking is something best taught in person, not through a book.
Jim Nail
The title pretty much tells you what you need to know. I read every word, but not in a scholarly way; I did not intend to memorize all these clues and then set out into the wilderness without a map or compass. What I got out of it was a reminder to pay closer attention both to the real world around me and the imaginary world I am creating in my fiction. Simone Weil writes: "Attention taken to its highest degree is the same thing as prayer." And indeed after reading this book I find myself almost ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although the title and subject matter may be interesting to some, this is a book in search of a good editor. It is much too long-winded and meandering. Perhaps the connection of a good walk being meandering might work, but I found the book plodding and verbose. The small nuggets of helpful information are lost in windy paragraphs.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was first intrigued by one of the author's other books, "How to Read Water." As an American, I have never seen him (the only living person to have both sailed and flown over the Atlantic, evidently) on television or even heard about him, as people in England may have from some celebrity trekking through the wilderness show they have over there. But the idea of reading water interested me. I just wasn't sure it would interest me for an entire book. So I went with one of his more general ones.

Stanley Trice
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I was expecting more from this book such as knowing how to read signs in nature. The author did provide some detail information I will use; however, most of it was vague and not understandable because the author assumed the reader was a professional naturalist and knew what he was writing about. As an example, in the chapter Plants he discussed various plants without providing a description or background on the plants. He assumed the reader knew what he was talking about just by mentioning the p ...more
Confession - I did not fully read the entire book but I skimmed much of it and enjoyed the detail and discussions of reading nature's signs. One of my favorite parts was Chapter 7, Sky and Weather - the author, Tristan Gooley, recounts a variety of "lore and law" (the old wives tale sayings we all remember)and then discusses why or why not they have relevance and the meaning behind them.

This would be a great reference book to have on hand for all kinds of people - teens who enjoy nature or want
Julie Barrett
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The lost art of reading nature's signs_ use outdoor clues to find your way_ predict the weather_ locate water_ track animals--and other forgotten by Gooley_ Tristan
Very interesting reading although from England some of the same signs are true here in US. Things that you see in everyday life if you are hiking along woods and forest paths.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).
Courtney Johnson
I got about 80 pages in before putting this book down. It felt more like a textbook to me than a pleasure read. Gooley used language that made me think he thought we should already know a bunch about nature before even starting to read this book.
Lauren Fulner
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read through the first couple of chapters before needing to return this to the library, but I'm already looking forward to picking it up again to learn more.
Seth Hanson
The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs is a nonfiction book written by a famous explorer and navigator about using nature to understand the world around you and use that understanding to navigate and predict the natural world. The book covers many different aspects of commonly found natural signs, such as the growth patterns of plants, the effect of geology and what it can mean, the actions of animals, and even how people in a city can be used to guide you. The book focuses primarily on navigati ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beeindruckend und sehr empfehlenswert!

Wer sich in der Natur zurecht finden möchte, greift nur allzu häufig zu Apps, GPS-Geräte oder Ähnlichem. Dabei hält die Natur für den aufmerksamen Wanderer ein Füllhorn an Navigationsmöglichkeiten und Orientierungshilfen bereit, welches es sich auszuschöpfen lohnt. Allerdings ist dies, wie der Autor eingesteht, nicht für jeden der passende Weg. „Denn manche Leute schalten beim Gehen lieber das Denken ab, und wenn denen das so gefällt, ist das auch völlig in
Katie Marie Lane
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the first few chapters I wasn't sure what to think of this book. It's less structured than other wilderness survival books I've read and I had to remind myself that although it offers insights to navigation and other survival skills, this isn't a wilderness survival book. . The book is written in a story based format and although it is less practical than I'm used to, I appreciated the change. He does reference a lot of plants which are native to the UK and sometimes it's hard to know if what ...more
Jen Grogan
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I'd read it while we were in the UK, I think - although the author tries to make comments that are appropriate to both the US and the UK, the greater amount of his experience is clearly based in the UK, and, frankly, different areas of the US are so vastly different in terms of their natural environment that most of his tips about the US (generally the east coast) are essentially useless to me (living in the Pacific Northwest and traveling largely in ...more
Zee Monodee
Rather captivating book about nature and how you can pick signs that are there right in front of you, but we modern people having lost touch with Nature, we completely miss the cues. It was very eye-opening and even an awe-filled journey to discover all these little tidbits Nature itself offers if only we knew where and how to look.
However, the author - not a fault of his, though - writes about the region he is familiar with, and thus the trees, setup, and pointers seem tailored to his region an
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book took quite a while, as it’s so loaded with great information. It’s not the kind of book I can just blow through in a week, as I needed time to think about, process, and retain (and use!) the information provided. But what great information!! I learned so many useful tips, tricks, and connections throughout nature that I can’t believe I never picked up on before. It made me realize how much more there is to notice, and that we wont ever notice everything there is in all the webbing conn ...more
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“I would rather die walking than die of boredom reading about how to walk safely. This” 1 likes
“Most of the walking books I have come across over the years get bogged down in obsessive attention to safety and equipment. I have rarely found myself enjoying these books, because I do not go walking with the purpose of staying within a world of perfect safety and comfort. Personally, I would rather die walking than die of boredom reading about how to walk safely.” 1 likes
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