Posts Tagged ‘Tristan Gooley’

Tristan Gooley: The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs

January 1, 2016

51Yjd+BScbL._AA160_There is an awful lot of information in this book, which appeals to the Sherlock Holmes in me: the idea that, by being attentive whilst out and about, it’s possible to pick up all sorts of useful and interesting information about the world around.

I do a lot of walking generally, as well as taking a couple of walking holidays each year, these last on my own, which gives me the opportunity to try and be observant. I suppose I would say that I do pay attention while I’m walking, but not in any structured or organised way, and I hoped that this book might give me some ideas as to how I could develop some of these skills.

The book is well-structured, taking one logically through how to observe terrain, weather, trees and plants, wildlife and so on, with plenty of examples. It was an interesting read cover-to-cover, and yet, my overall impression at the end was one of confusion, or rather, information overload, and I realised that I would need to have a second, more careful read of certain sections that I feel I might be able to use, and perhaps to annotate and highlight some key points, before trying to put anything into practice.

It’s clear the author is very knowledgeable, and has travelled, explored and found his way about, using the data around him, in many different parts of the world; equally, he manages to explain his techniques pretty clearly and logically, but what seems to escape him, I feel, is how much this knowledge is ingrained in him – second nature, really, and how hard the rest of us neophytes may struggle to use any of it in a structured way.

However, I cannot see how else the information might have been presented, and I’m not sure I would want to be carrying a book around with me to refer to as I walk: I need to have a map, and I already find that sufficient distraction… but I will persevere.

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