Cairn building is a surprisingly meditative experience that can bring you closer with the earth and community. Whether you’re making a traditional rock cairn or a creative stack of rocks, it’s a way to take your mind off the everyday and focus on balance and permanence.
Throughout history, different cultures have used cairns in many ways. They may have been made to mark a route, to indicate a food source, or to warn of danger. In North America cairns served as burial grounds for Native American tribes. This practice was known as the inukshuk.
The word cairn is derived from a Gaelic phrase that means “heaps of stones”. They are typically built in the shape of a hill. They can be small rock sculptures or large man-made stones hills.
Hikers, in particular, have a long and varied use for cairns. They can be used to guide hikers back to the trailhead after a tough day of hiking, or to aid them in finding their way in remote areas of wilderness.
A well-placed Cairn can help save lives, and guide a hiker group that is lost or having trouble finding their trail. her latest blog Some people, however, argue that cairns don’t belong in nature and violate the Leave No Trace principle.