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12 Foot--cozy Or Too Small?

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Old 05-14-2016, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default 12 foot--cozy or too small?

Hello Yurt Nation!

I am embarking on my yurt dream at long last. I'm in Alaska, so planning to get the whole

insulation

package which comes at a pretty penny and means I'm likely looking at the 12' as far as my budget goes (going up to 14 adds $2400.) Have any of you successfully lived in a 12'? Was it unbearably small? Does anyone have photos or video of one actually being lived in? I've lived in campers and other very small spaces and don't need a huge amount of room, but I just want a reality check. Any insights welcome.

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Old 05-15-2016, 12:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

Wow, 12' for living is tiny! But if you haven't been buying into the consumeristic american dream, it just be enough space. I'd suggest looking around at everything you have and figure out if it could fit comfortably in such a small space. Maybe get/borrow a large tent for mock up/testing?

You might find a 'normal' bed takes up too much space. In my college days, I'd just use a mat or blankets that got rolled up in the morning to keep what little room I had usable for other things. I don't know how this would go over with the fairer sex.

I've been working on setting up my 20 ft yurt to live in (with my gf, dog, and two cats [one of whom seems to think he belongs on top of the yurt instead of inside it...). Just got it up today and put the mattress, a dresser, and some boxes in there--it feels like a giant bedroom. But I don't have everything setup (kitchen sink & cooktop & refigerator, wood stove, shower, toilet, bed loft, food pantry, pets stuff, etc). From my sketches it should work, but I'll be making my own benches/shelving/organizers to fit my exact needs.

I've been keeping my eye out for tiny house setups that meet my fancy--most of the techniques are equally valid for a yurt.

Last edited by hierony; 05-15-2016 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

IMO 12' is a very small yurt for full time living. A 10x12 trappers cabin is about the same size, and common in the bush, so it can be done by someone living a very spartan existence. My first yurt was a 14'er, a much better size for real living space. That is similar in size to the 11x15 cabin Dick Proenekke built in AK and lived in for four decades. Doable.

If you are

heating

with a wood stove, you need to consider the floor space that wood stove occupies, plus the buffer zone around it. For a stove that will heat your yurt, that is about 12 square feet. That now leaves you about 100 square feet of real living space. Subtract your cot space of about 20 feet and that leaves 80 feet for a table and chair, and other items. I'd go with the 14'er. That will give you an additional 40 square feet of living space which is avery big deal in such a small space. JMO though, I haven't spent time in a 12' yurt.

Lastly, Dave Canterbury, of 'wilderness outfitters' and the tv series 'Dual Survival' has a series of videos on YouTube entitled 'Journal of the Yurt'. Type in wilderness outfitters journal of the yurt to view. All ~40 episodes were shot in a 12' yurt with the wood stove in the center. EXTREMELY tight quarters for full full time living. IMO.

Good luck
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

My current yurt is 16'. I could easily see living in it long term by myself. There is more than enough space for a bachelor and lifes basic necessities. 14' is a good size for a man living a spartan life. Really, 12' is camping yurt size. JMO though. OK, I'm done. lol
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

Thanks Bob and Hierony! Yes I think it's probably too small even for a spartan like myself. I guess I'm hoping someone who has done it will weigh in and tell me it's not that bad so I can save the cash...the bigger size means waiting at least another six months to order to raise the cash which really bums me out (and I'll be throwing rent at the problem in the meantime)...
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

I know someone living in a 10 foot yurt, but he also has some out buildings for storage. He has a cot for a bed and the stove is in the center which saves some room as everything else can go on the walls.

It would be tight, but not impossible.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

Wow! With a cot butted tight to the wall in a 10'er, there is a gap between the center of the cot and the yurt wall of just under a foot. So, that leaves maybe 2' to the center of the yurt from the inside edge of the cot! If the stove is truly centered the dude could easily tend the stove while laying on his cot.

My yurt is 16'. I have our three cots and picnic table butting into the yurt wall and there isn't a whole lot of room between the stove and those. Enough for someone to pass by a person sitting on the side of the cot, but not much more. You sure couldn't sit in a chair between the beds and the stove without getting real warm. lol

In Dave Canterburys videos of the 12'er he can tend the stove from his cot. There is very little room in there with cots on opposite sides of the yurt.

Dave also has YouTube video series entitled 'journal of the tipi, featuring a 14' lodge, with open fire, and that my friend is very tight considering the slope of the tipi wall forcing you in towards the fire if you are walking around upright. A standard rendezvous tipi is about 18', and for practical purposes with the walls sloping in the usable footage for upright walking is about equivalent to a 14' yurt. I knew a young man maybe 20 in Wyo that wintered in a 18' tipi with wood stove. One winter only and that was enough for him. But, where there is a will there is a way to deal with your circumstances.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

When I visited Surely Yurts, he showed me his 10 footer there:

Here are a couple images of his setup. BTW, it was a custom cot he built with a rounded side:



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Old 05-16-2016, 08:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

Nice yurt. The light in there is sweet.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: 12 foot--cozy or too small?

I did set up a 12ft (3.5m) yurt last year just as an experiment and spent a few weeks there. I will be using it as an addition to my 20ft this year. You can see my short vlog entry to see it in perspective.
By the way. I bought this yurt from China and it cost me around 2500 shipped. If authenticity and real felt isn't your priority, you might consider getting one of those. They make bigger sizes and I can give you their contacts if interested.

I should say that I didn't use any furniture in it last year and my daughter and I had a lot of fun with plenty of room, but I would not consider living in it if you don't have a separate barn or shed to store some "stuff".
Even if you are a hard core minimalist, outdoor living requires some support tools that will get on your way and on your nerves in such a small living space.
Also keep in mind, that since it's a circular construction, your math isn't linear. So basically 20ft yurt is 3 times bigger on the inside than a 10 ft. Not twice

I hope that helps

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