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Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass Paperback – December 23, 1998
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I bought it on a whim really, not because I need to know these techniques. Maybe that whim was out of a passing fancy to do some research on how people navigated tens of thousands of years ago. So I ordered it, opened it, and then stayed up a lot later than I should have three nights in a row as I devoured it.
This book really delivers. I was fascinated by how the Polynesians navigated the gigantic Pacific Ocean thousands of years before the Europeans could build a boat. How they could find tiny little islands thousands of miles from anywhere before latitude and longitude and chronometers were a thought in anyone's mind. And the explanations are detailed. How no matter where the famous European sailors landed they found ancient cultures already in place. Even on those tiny little islands.
Our ancestors knew navigation methods that modern man has not the slightest idea of, and this book explains what they knew and how they knew it. Along the way you learn some pretty cool skills, skills you are not likely to need, but if you ever do...you'll amaze your friends, conquer your enemies, and win the best looking women.
It is an old book, written a long long time ago. Way before modern things like GPS were dreamed of. And that old-school style of writing is charming.
This is an excellent book on many levels, a thoroughly enjoyable read, well written by a well spoken man, who lived a life of adventure that few of us could ever approach. You'll be informed, entertained, charmed, and learn a lot more about man's history of distribution than you'd at first think.
I did however find it a wee bit frustrating to read. I've never read a book that beats a dead horse so badly. Halfway through the book I felt that if I read one more word about how 'there's no sixth sense' I was going to burn it. There's even a whole chapter based on it... and this isn't the only point he beats to death either. He's very long-winded when it comes to describing things, for example, here he lists things a person can hear of the land while he is offshore (as if we didn't already know): "He can listen to the sound of chopping, sawmills, church bells, whistles, to the rumble of trains and other industrial and highway noises, to the lowing of cattle, the crowing or cackling of poultry, the bleating of sheep, to waterfalls and rapids or the sea's surf". --now, tell me that couldn't have been shortened a bit. Ugh!
He also tends to give way too many examples from the pages of history or his own experience. While this is pretty informative and sometimes appreciated, it's not the most useful information... like I don't need you to prove what you just said; I believe you, man. Once he explained the point I didn't feel that I learned anything further from him then beating it into me with some explorer's logbook from the year 1577. I definitely feel this book could have been summed up in about 50 pages without leaving anything practically important out. In the end, the information contained within this book is well worth finishing it in spite of any frustrations you just might have while reading it... especially if you don't mind loading up on history facts.
I have used this book information many times over the years and have taken the time to re-read.
Being a traveller of remote and distant locations I find the book very helpful. I am sure it has contributed to my more timely return and assurance of arriving.
Most of the time we become in need is when things happen that should not or are inexpected events.
This book will help all who could find themselves in a place you know not where you are.
The book will be of interest to those who have a love of the outdoors. The book makes you more aware of what is around you.
The age of the books writting should not put you off reading this book.
Harold Gatty has taken the time to remove the riddles that plagued early explorers.
We know the names of those that made their destination but know only a few who did not arrive.
Survival is getting to youre destination where ever it is. In towns, Bush,mountaians and at sea.
Happy travelling and have adventures with confidence.
In todays world we have gadgets but they are rarely available when required. This book is a default place when all else fails.
Most recent customer reviews
Well written and somewhat reassuring, but a good guide if you are truly willing to open up,learn,practice,learn...Read more