Cairn Making – A Meditative Activity That Can Bring You Closer to the Earth and Your Community

Cairn making can be a surprisingly relaxing activity that will bring you closer together with your community and the Earth. Making a traditional rock stack or a traditional cairn is a great way to focus on balance and permanence.

Various cultures have used cairns for many purposes throughout history. They may have been made to mark a route, to indicate a food source, or to warn of danger. In North America Native Americans also made cairns to serve as burial places, a tradition known as inukshuk.

The word “cairn”, which is derived from Gaelic, means “heap or pile of stones”. These are usually built to look like a hill. They can be small rock sculptures or large man-made stones hills.

Cairns serve many purposes, and are particularly useful to hikers. Cairns help hikers find their way back to the trailhead, after a hard day of hiking.

A well-placed, properly-marked cairn may save lives by guiding a group of lost hikers. Some people believe that cairns violate Leave No Trace principles and are not a part of nature.

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