THE BARE­FOOT NAVIGATOR

The Field - - Books -

Given the cur­rent state of world af­fairs, one could be for­given for think­ing that Ar­maged­don is im­mi­nent. If it does come to knock­ing tech­nol­ogy on the head (not the worst call, some might say), you will need the skills learnt from The Field – and those learnt in the field.

Jack La­gan’s di­vert­ing book is all you’ll need to find your way from A to B with­out Google Maps, sat nav or any other sup­pos­edly help­ful form of tech­nol­ogy. This is a grown-up way of find­ing your way home.

La­gan’s book is di­vided into four parts: the skills of the an­cients; prac­ti­cal no-tech nav­i­ga­tion; do-ity­our­self lo-tech nav­i­ga­tion; and sur­vival nav­i­ga­tion. The ini­tial ex­plo­ration into how the Vik­ings crossed dif­fi­cult seas and Re­nais­sance man nav­i­gated the globe are en­gross­ing, even if your only ex­pe­ri­ence of a com­pass was an ill-fated Duke of Ed­in­burgh ex­pe­di­tion.

The lat­ter parts of the book ex­plain the tech­niques in de­tail, how the nat­u­ral world and the en­vi­ron­ment pro­vide all the signs you need, and how to read them. It is too easy to for­get the plain won­der of the nat­u­ral world but this book re­minds us of its vast use­ful­ness, too.

By Jack La­gan Blooms­bury, £15

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