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Why Yurt Living?

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Old 11-03-2015, 10:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why Yurt Living?

Most people are so comfortably plugged in nowadays that the first couple years of yurt living can be maddening. That initial period is when a lot of people get frustrated and drop out. The transition is a humbling experience and certainly not for for everyone.

Over the course of time though, (once you get your systems established) the whole experience can be incredibly therapeutic and endlessly rewarding. Like waking up to the natural sounds of your environment and immediately looking up at the sky (no need to check the weather report). With such a thin barrier between us and nature we can't help but feel closer to our ancestral selves.

Inside the yurt is a healing energy that can take us away from the surroundings and give us a rejuvenating experience. The ancient design of lattice walls in the round are inexplicably sacred and can resonate in unseen place within us.

The yurt is certainly the most elegant of all tents. At the same time it stands humbly and lends itself to the creativity of its dwellers. Meaning that the yurt can be a blank canvas and an affordable and functional one at that. Just one look at all the creative comments on this forum and one could get swept away ... But, be careful yurt life can get addicting!
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why Yurt Living?

I have to agree with you about wall tents being way cheaper, but that is in every way.

I have worked for and with many outfitters in MT, and they use a lot of wall tents, and they replace a lot of wall tents. They typically use them a month or 6 weeks a year and most are replaced within 5 years to the tune of $1,000.00+.

They have zero

insulation

, and they are a sail when the wind blows. They way they are framed if there is wind you are catching it from one side or the other, and I have seen several that had split due to a heavy wind and a few years use. Safety pins or an hour or so with a sewing awl, but it makes a weird pucker in the side of your tent so it doesn't hang the same after.

I have known several people in Montana who lived for several years, winter and all a tepee, but I don't know any who have lived more than a short time in a wall tent. I'm not saying it has never happened, but I don't know them and I have never heard of them.

Of those living in tepees, they all look back at it nostalgically, but none have told me it was practical, not even one. They all said it was an adventure they tried, or that it was an economic decision. Heat, access issues,

insulation

, flooring, wind protection, a yurt has it over a tepee in all these areas.

Comparing a wall tent with a tepee, that is a whole different discussion.

I think I'll take the yurt, but it has its own set of issues, or we wouldn't be reading this forum, right?

Rod
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why Yurt Living?

I agree with rod. Yurt is WAAY better than any tipi in every respect. I worked with a young mechanic/welder that lived in a tipi in Kelly Wyo some 35 years ago. That included through a record low winter where it got down to -50f. It's in the weather archives for Wyo. He had fiberglass batts covering the skin and a large wood stove. How he got through that winter with those ungodly low temps is testament to his age and fortitude and the fact he was sidefrom rural northern Wisconsin. I'm tough- but not that tough. Wife and I were living in an apt bldg with heated floor and ceiling and two end walls and it was STILL cold inside.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why Yurt Living?

I suspect there are almost as many "yurt experiences" as there are yurts. Being closer to nature means you are affected more by nature - good and bad. Great house designs and their issues have been tweaked and problem solved for generations.

Yurts have too, but then you add Westerners used to a certain level of constant comfort and ease and the problems start. I'm sure there are folks who bought a yurt, stuffed it with every modern convenience, and it worked out great. But you are putting a lot of money into systems "housed" in a structure not designed to last 50+ years (yes, parts maybe). Or easily support those systems. In my experience, it's easier and more rewarding to just live simply. Enjoy your smaller footprint on the world.

I bought my yurt over 2 years ago from a great guy who did a great job setting it all up. He said, "If I didn't have to put a suit on everyday to go to work, I'd be living there." That said, once while texting, I mentioned cold floors. He immediately texted back elaborate plans for coils around the wood stove pipe, feeding down into the insulated floor. There is no way his plan - esp retrofitted - would work, much less work well. (Good to brainstorm though! Never know what you'll come up with.). I texted back, "Or slippers". I realized my first year in the yurt, I needed several slippers of various warmth levels. The same way I need different coats - from a windbreaker to a heavy down jacket. For maximum comfort, just one coat won't cut it in New England. Same with yurts and slippers.

If you are on-the-grid, radiant heat is perfect for yurts. Of course many on-the-grid areas don't allow yurts. Catch 22.

To me, yurts are about surrendering to "nature time" and using what's available, when it's available: rain, sunshine, cool breezes, a swim in the lake, the natural insulating value of snow. Solar power, the Internet, and cell phones have been a game changer for remote living, still, not the typical American way.

If your life is so busy, you need every second that dishwashers, W/D, garage door openers, hands off central heat and/or AC, and running hot water with a twist of a handle, afford, you are probably better off in a house or apartment. If paying for and dealing with those things annoy you and you truly enjoy filling the woodbox, doing a few dishes by hand, and airing out bedding and clothing in sunshine and fresh air to extend wash day, that's closer to happy yurt life. For all the new age talk of good yurt energy (true), for full time yurt living you need a healthy dose of realism and knowing what truly makes you happy.

You can sometimes simplify your life in place. It's easy because you can try it, but all the systems are in place if/when needed. Hardest part is getting everyone on the same page. (Yes. I was single. Lol)

The year before I moved to the yurt, I turned off the cable, refrig, and water heater (cut electric usage 75%), washed dishes by hand with water heated on the stove, heated by wood, used a composting toilet as worked out by The Humanure Handbook. It all felt great. When I got to the yurt, it wasn't all that different. -- Cindy
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