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. It’s a great way for you to get your mind off of the everyday and focus more on balance and permanence.

Various cultures have used cairns for many purposes throughout history. They were used to mark a route or indicate a food source. In North America, Native American peoples also used cairns as burial sites, a practice called 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 range from small rock sculptures up to large manmade hills of stones. Some are similar to kistvaens, dolmens and earthworks but built with stone instead.

Hikers, in particular, have a long and varied use for cairns. They can guide hikers home after a long day’s hiking, or help them navigate in remote areas.

A well-placed cairn can save lives and can help guide a group of hikers who are lost or have difficulty locating their trail path. Some people, however, argue that cairns don’t belong in nature and violate the Leave No Trace principle.