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 the history of mankind, cairns have served many different purposes. They may have served to indicate a route to follow, to indicate the location of food, or to warn about danger. In North America Native Americans also made cairns to serve as burial places, a tradition known as inukshuk.
The word cairn derives from a Gaelic word that means “heaps or heaps of stones”. It is usually built as 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 serve many purposes, and are particularly useful to hikers. Cairns help hikers find their way http://cairnspotter.com/ back to the trailhead, after a hard day of hiking.
A well placed cairn could save lives and guide a group hikers who get lost or are having difficulty finding the trail. Some people claim cairns are not part of the natural environment and that they violate Leave No Trace.