03 May Cairn Making – A Meditative Activity That Can Bring You Closer to the Earth and Your Community
Cairn-making is a surprisingly meditative exercise that can bring people closer to 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 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 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. The size of these man-made hills can vary from small rock carvings to large, man-made hills. Some of them are similar to kistvaens (ephemeral earthworks) and dolmens (ephemeral stoneworks).
Hikers, in particular, have a long and varied use for cairns. Cairns are used to guide hikers from http://cairnspotter.com/generated-post/ 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, 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.