If you've done some hiking in the back country, you most likely have noticed some interesting rock pile structures. In order to achieve this balancing act, the rocks obviously had some human intervention to achieve their current configuration.
I honestly never thought much about these tidy rock pikes, until last week during our Mule Deer hunt. For some reason the light bulb turned on. As we reached the end of a trail and began to traverse further into the back country, I began to notice little rock piles every so often. Duh. These are trail markers.
The formal name for these balancing rock markers: Cairns. Some hikers also call them "trail ducks" if the top rock is larger and indicates which direction to head. I also noticed a nice arrow on the ground made of rocks - not sure if that has an official name?? Ahh... Rock Arrow.
Anyway, after realizing the rock's purpose, we began using them to guide our way. It is a great method to mark your trail when there aren't obvious landmarks to go by. I'm always amazed at how easy it is to get lost in the mountains. You think, I'll recognize that ridge even if I traverse through this draw and up that side of the slope. However, it always amazes me how your perspective changes when you reach the next summit. On the way back to camp, our mantra quickly became, "Follow the Rocks!"
So, what about you?
What other methods have you used to find your way back to camp?