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. Making a traditional rock stack or a traditional cairn is a great way to focus on balance and permanence.
Throughout history, cairns were used by different cultures for a wide range of purposes. They may have been made to mark a route, to indicate a food source, or to warn of danger. In North America, Native American peoples also used cairns as burial sites, a practice called 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 to kistvaens, dolmens and earthworks but built with stone instead.
Cairns can be used in many different ways by hikers. 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 save lives and can help guide a group of hikers who are lost or have difficulty locating their trail path. Some people believe that cairns violate Leave No Trace principles and are not a part of nature.