Cairn Making – A Meditative Activity That Can Bring You Closer to the Earth and Your Community
Cairn making is a surprisingly meditative activity that can bring you closer to the earth and your 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 the history of mankind, cairns have served many different purposes. They may have been used to mark out a route, to indicate food sources, or to warn people of danger. Cairns are also used as burial sites by Native Americans in North America. This practice is known as 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 range from small rock sculptures up to large manmade hills of stones. Some are similar what is cairn making to kistvaens, dolmens and earthworks but built with stone instead.
Cairns can be used in many different ways by hikers. They can guide hikers home after a long day’s hiking, or help them navigate in remote areas.
A well-placed Cairn can help save lives, and guide a hiker group that is lost or having trouble finding their trail. Some people, however, argue that cairns don’t belong in nature and violate the Leave No Trace principle.