For thousands of years, people have made their way through the wilderness. Only recently has this venture been primarily for pleasure. In “Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass,” Harold Gatty explores some of the different ways in which people of various cultures have maneuvered their way through the great outdoors and includes several tips on how people in this day and age can make such a trek themselves.
“Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass” is more historically oriented than the typical field guide would be. This noted navigator who advised such famous pilots as Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes discusses methods of getting around in many different climates and landscapes, incorporating the insights of cultures ranging from the ancient Mesopotamians and Vikings to Australian Aborigines and Native Americans.
Gatty delves into many fascinating areas of navigation, such as observing the migratory patterns of birds, using stars to determine one’s position and paying attention to the patterns of weather in a particular area. While these are extremely basic and old ways of interacting with the wilderness, they are certainly not obsolete. For scouts and others interested in this subject, Gatty offers valuable tips that can complement more modern ideas. Young people going out in the woods should know how to use a compass, but it’s just as helpful to know what to do if that compass breaks or becomes lost.
“Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass” has been helping people avoid getting lost for more than half a century. Gatty operated without the use of contemporary gadgets like Global Positioning Systems and instant Internet maps. For a generation that has become overly dependent upon such technology, this is a refreshing book that will help them to get back to basics.
A copy of “Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass” is only $10, which is a wonderful value for a nearly 300-page-long book filled with fascinating facts that can immediately be incorporated into one’s knowledge base. Bring this volume along on your next hike and try to think like an ancient nomad. You’ll see what a wealth of useful information Gatty has provided.