The Dangers of Cairn Making

When youre hiking in the backcountry, you could notice just a little pile of rocks that rises in the landscape. The heap, technically called a cairn, works extremely well for many methods from marking tracks to memorializing a hiker who perished in the spot. Cairns have been completely used for millennia and are found on every region in varying sizes. They are the small cairns you’ll observe on tracks to the hulking structures like the Brown Willy Summit Cairn in Cornwall, England that towers a lot more than 16 legs high. They’re also intended for a variety of reasons including navigational aids, burial mounds and since a form of imaginative expression.

But if you’re out building a cairn for fun, be mindful. A cairn for the sake of it isn’t a good thing, says Robyn Matn, a teacher who specializes in environmental oral reputations at Upper Arizona College or university. She’s viewed the practice go coming from useful trail markers to a back country fad, with new stone stacks popping up everywhere. In freshwater areas, for example , pets or animals that live within and around rocks (assume crustaceans, crayfish and algae) burn their homes when people push or stack rocks.

Is considered also a violation of this “leave zero trace” precept to move rocks for any purpose, regardless if it’s simply to make a cairn. And if you’re building on a trek, it could confuse hikers and lead them astray. Pupils for a certain kinds of buttes that should be still left alone, including the Arctic people’s human-like inunngiiaq and Acadia National Park’s iconic Bates cairns.