Cairn building is a surprisingly meditative experience that can bring you closer with the earth and community. 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 were used to mark a route or indicate a food source. In North America Native Americans also made cairns to serve as burial places, a tradition known as inukshuk.

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 are used by many people, but they are most commonly used by hikers. Cairns can be used by hikers to return to the trailhead at the end of a long day of hiking or to help them find their way in 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. However, some people argue that cairns are not a natural part of the environment and are in violation of Leave No Trace principles.

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