Cairn Making – A Meditative Activity That Can Bring You Closer to the Earth and Your Community
Cairn building can be a surprisingly meditative practice that brings you closer to your community and the earth. Making a traditional rock stack or a traditional cairn is a great way to focus on balance and permanence.
Throughout history, different cultures have used cairns in many ways. They could have been built to mark a path, indicate a food supply, or warn of danger. In North America, cairns were also made to serve as burial sites for Native American peoples, a practice known as inukshuk (the plural is inuksuit).
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 range in size from tiny rock sculptures to huge man-made stone hills. Some are comparable to kistvaens or dolmens, but built out of stone instead of ephemeral Earthworks.
Cairns can be used in many different ways by hikers. Cairns help hikers find their way back to the trailhead, after a hard day of hiking.
A well-placed Cairn can help save lives, and guide a hiker group that is lost or having trouble finding their trail. Some people claim that cairns do not belong in the her latest blog environment and violate Leave No Trace principles.