When youre hiking in the backcountry, you may notice a little bit pile of rocks that rises through the landscape. The heap, technically known as cairn, can be used for from marking trails to memorializing a hiker who perished in the region. Cairns are generally used for millennia and are found on every place in varying sizes. They range from the small buttes you’ll watch on trails to the hulking structures such as the Brown Willy Summit Cairn in Cornwall, England that towers much more than 16 legs high. They’re also intended for a variety of factors including navigational aids, burial mounds and as a form of creative expression.
When you’re out building a tertre for fun, be mindful. A tertre for the sake of it isn’t a good thing, says Robyn Martin, a professor who specializes in environmental oral histories at North Arizona University. She’s watched the practice go right from find more beneficial trail markers to a back country fad, with new rock stacks popping up everywhere. In freshwater areas, for example , family pets that live under and around rocks (assume crustaceans, crayfish and algae) drop their homes when people push or bunch rocks.
It may be also a violation from the “leave no trace” rule to move gravel for the purpose, whether or not it’s simply to make a cairn. Of course, if you’re building on a path, it could befuddle hikers and lead them astray. There are actually certain kinds of cairns that should be remaining alone, such as the Arctic people’s human-like inunngiiaq and Acadia National Park’s iconic Bates cairns.