Sunday, March 4, 2007

What is a yurt?

Today's yurt is a modern adaptation of the ancient shelter used by Central Asian nomads for centuries. The compact shape of the yurt and combination of lightweight members in tension and compression mean that the structure is highly efficient in maximizing strength while minimizing the use of materials. A yurt is a lightweight, low-cost, state-of-the-art version that retains the sense of wholeness of the ancient form while delivering the structural integrity, longevity and low maintenance demanded by modern users. Though generally classified as a tent, the yurt is much stronger and weathertight. A yurt is a circular structure that consists of a durable fabric cover, tension band and a wood frame that includes a lattice wall, radial rafters, central compression ring and a framed door. They can be luxurious with bathrooms, plumbing, electricity, and other conveniences or quite simple and rustic. Many people build them themselves or you can buy kits that just require assembly.

I love yurts. I discovered them a few months ago and am now smitten with them. I like how quick you can set one up, how eco-friendly they are, and how inexpensive it is to build a basic one. I am so going to have one someday! You can use them for almost anthing (a cabin, a guest room, a temporary shelter, a counseling office, an outpost shelter, a library, storage space, etc). Jobina has already warned me to not talk about them all the time. I have already converted my friend Chris into the fold of yurt lovers (and he is working on his wife). I actually have a friend named Travis who lives in one in Alberta. He says that at -30 out, his yurt is warm and cozy. He has a little coal stove that he estimates costs him $40 to heat all winter long. $40!!! We all need to be in yurts I think. Tomorrow I go on my ski retreat in Minaki and I'll be having my first yurt experience! Anway, below are some links for more info:

May Light increase!


Chad said...

man those things are awesome, i could see myself living in a yurt.
in response to your comment, yes i have given blood and hope to do it sometime again in the next few weeks, its good other than the stupid questions the ask you like if you have aids or have had sex with someone who does. but i mean they have to ask those questions, other than that it doesnt really hurt at all, the nurses are usually very friendly and it doesn't take very long, and you get cookies or donuts at the end and a soda of your choice haha

Unknown said...

Mark, great description of yurts, clear and beautifully written. I've been living in yurts for a dozen years and just love it!

You might find my website interesting ( and also my new book, "YURTS: Living in the Round". Both were designed to give people like yourself all the information available to help you purchase (or build) and successfully live in the type of yurt that will best suit your needs. I'll also be starting a quarterly yurt newsletter in the near future, which you might find interesting.

Best of luck with your yurt dreams!!

becky kemery
Author of "YURTS: Living in the Round"

Anonymous said...


I just spent a while perusing your site. I had no idea you had a blog! May I just say that I love what you've written! You are honest, and you make some great points! I love the blog about being teachable but my favorite had to be your two part series on control! Fantastic! I learned a few things with that one!

Thanks for starting this blog. It's so hard to get to know you from so far away. You've been my brother in law for nearly 10 years and I still hardly know you! This will definately help!

Take care!
Love, Michele

Mark said...

Hi Michelle, nice to hear from you and glad to hear you are enjoying the blog. Yes, it would be nice to get to know you guys better, I think you should move to Winnipeg! Until then feel free to share you thoughts and opinions on what I write. Adieu!