Cairn building can be a surprisingly meditative practice that brings you closer to your community and the earth. It’s a great way for you to get your mind off of the everyday and focus more on balance and permanence.
Throughout the history of mankind, cairns have served many different purposes. They could have been built to mark a path, indicate a food supply, or warn of danger. Cairns are also used as burial sites by Native Americans in North America http://cairnspotter.com/data-room-software-keeps-growing-but-no-one-company-is-dominating/. This practice is 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 are used by many people, but they are most commonly used by hikers. Cairns are used to guide hikers from the trailhead to their starting point after a long and tiring day of hiking. They can also be used to help them find a way through remote wilderness 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 claim cairns are not part of the natural environment and that they violate Leave No Trace.