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Charlie 01-22-2017 01:35 AM

Yurt for backcountry skiing?
Hello all my name's Charlie and my family and I live in Bozeman Montana. We love the outdoors and love to camp out during all seasons. 30 years ago I lived in a yurt in driggs Idaho for a summer and have all ways wanted one since.i have been researching "shelters" for winter camping and as you would guess they all fall into similar categories. You have mountaineering tents that are "cold" you have some light weight shelters that have lightweight wood stoves or "hot tents" and you have canvas "trekking " tents that are a light weight option of a "wall tent". We actually own a seekoutside tipi shelter and we love it for trips and although it is big and comfortable compared to a mountaineer ing tent, latly ive wanted something more substantial. So here's my plan, I want to horse back a small yurt into the backcountry in the fall and prepare a rudimentary site. Ie- no decking or permanent site amenities. I was thinking of building the frame and storing the canvas in water tight gear boxes so that we could ski in and assemble the yurt for weekends or extended stays during the winter. We can haul quit a bit on pull sleds but not a full yurt package.we do not snowmobile we ski or snowshoe. My questions are will a camping yurt be up to the task? Would a lightweight yurt cope with alpine weather? Of course I realize it could not be left unattended with snow loads. I wish it could but after some research i don't want a yurt with 26 rafters. But could a goyurt or a camping yurt be retrofitted with extra support and lashing to handle and unexpected storm? In case I haven't been clear, the yurts I am speaking of are marketed as lightweight At least for yurts. They are single wall with 10oz canvas or sunforager and are built with portable being a selling point. They are very reasonably priced and I am a handy man so I can build /rebuild/modify anything with in reason to be stronger. Wall tents are 10oz also so I am guessing if you are there to remove snow.loads they would be fine. Another thought I had was packing away the yurt wet would be bad huh? It would be frozen upon the next arrival? I have been thinking about the portable wall tents that are 7oz and are about 35ldlbs but a small.yurt would be heaven. We all ready have a small woodstove.for sled.touring and all the other gear. I dunno what do you guys think? What would be some options to the wet canvas dilemma or are there alternative fabrics. I don't want a non breathable tent due to condensation being horrible in ones I've all ready used. Anyway just a plan now but wouldn't be difficult to do.and it would be absolutely luxurious! Thanks charlie

Stea 01-26-2017 01:11 AM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
welcome Charlie

A yurt might be a bit much for constant assembly and disassembly.

If you can't put it together and leave it it will be alot of work each time you want to use it?

In your situation I would probably opt for a wall tent. Maybe leave the framing up all the time and put up the walls when you are at the camp. IDK

You need some substantial framing to leave a yurt up in snow county.

This is mine last weekend,


Charlie 01-26-2017 08:23 AM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
thanks for the reply! that looks like an amazing spot to have a yurt! well i allways have good ideas and most of the time they are impractical lol. i ve spoken with a few others who have said the same thing so i guess i need to buy some land somewhere up high and put up a real yurt. since you where kind enough to respond, can i ask you how your yurt is constructed? what size material are your roof rafters? are they2x6s? ive been in and around construction my whole working life and iam allways surprissed at the light wieght deminsions of some of the more "do it yourself" yurts. i mean 5/16 to 3/8th or even 1/2 inch lattice is tiny in the home world and likewise a 1 1/2 x 3 for rafter the same. just curious now really. if the permenant yurt is more a traditional "stick" framing combined with traditional methods. seem super easy and fun to build. alot more fun than a rectangle made of 2x6s lol. I found a site called Yurta out of canada that does a crazy beautifull yurt but iam shocked at its light weight frame? says its snow worthy? thanks again. ill find some land to buy just so i can build a real yurt lol. charlie

Stea 01-26-2017 10:19 AM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
My yurt was built by Shelter Designs in Missoula , Montana, so close to you.

Yes the rafters are 2x6. Google them up and the site will give you the specs for the full wind and snow load kit.

Love my yurt and they build a top notch yurt.

Bob Rowlands 01-26-2017 10:26 PM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
I have a 16' yurt. For a family I suggest a 16'er for size at a minimum. I can get that in the 6'4" bed of my pickup, but the lath is 90" long when folded up, so rides diagonal. The whole yurt is probably 150 lbs. Not even kinda close to portable for hand haul. I want to park my truck immediately adjacent to the spot I erect the tent.

As for erection time, that would be bout an hour from disassembled once you've done it a couple times, and that assumes go weather and not clearing snow, mud, etc. For a few days or longer, like a five day hunt camp, go for it, IF you can get the yurt to the site.

However, for a much more portable camp, get a 12x14 wall tent like the outfitters use. Nowhere near as nice as a yurt, but a whole lot more portable, and faster to erect by far. You could get four in there but that is very tight.

A small yurt in the 12' range is a lot more doable, but that is less room then a 10x12 wall tent. Three rafter wall tent frames, like for a 10x12 are 18 pieces of emt and nine fittings. WAAY less parts, shorter tubes, and a whole lot lighter frame and tent both. Have fun good luck.

Bob Rowlands 01-26-2017 10:30 PM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
If you're thinking wall tent, call Davis Tent in Denver Colorado. Great tents at reasonable prices. Every guy I know with a wall tent, has a Davis wall tent. They are #1 around here, for a reason.

Make the frame yourself. Cut EMT to the size they tell you, and buy fittings from MY TARP, like I did.

Bob Rowlands 01-26-2017 10:33 PM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
Also, a portable hunting camp wood stove would be HIGHLY recommended for winter. Hot tent is THE way to go. Dry clothes, that alone is worth it.

OK I'm done. lol

Jafo 01-28-2017 07:56 PM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
You can also brace a yurt in the winter to better cope with load. A few 4X4's will work wonders.

Charlie 01-30-2017 09:53 AM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
Thanks for the replies everyone i appreciate it. Wall tents are heavy to but i think your right much less work and far more portable than a large yurt. I have been speaking with some yurt builders about it and it would be relatively simple to do just heavy and not very portable. Ive heard nothing but good things about davis tents also and we have montana canvas right down the road too. have you ever heard of snowtrekker tents? they are pretty cool light weight wedge tents made for trappers and ice fishermen. a small tent i think its 9.5x11 is 37lbs or so.hilleburg mountainering tents now makes a silnylon yurt inspired tent thats awsome tooits called the atai i think at only 9.5 lbs i think. we have a silnylon tipi only problem is condensation is really bad. off topic but fun. Ive also seen Yurta out of canada and i must admit they have a very nice looking product. maybe it wouldnt work for my application at over 500lbs but for a seasonal set up they look awsome. Its stuck in my head now ,so ive decided to buy a little piece of land near by just so i can build a yurt there lol. It makes perfect sense to use extra framing around the lattice and also posts on rafters when you are away to make it a bit more snow worthy. Iam still a bit shocked that the average yurt uses such small deminsional lumber. another thing that makes them so awsome. So as far as the yurt coverings go, what are the options there for a more weather friendly set up? i know army canvas but are there others that may be lighter or more weather resistant that still breath?what do you guys think of yurta? it reallt looks nice and has a good price point in the yurt world. thanks again charlie

Bob Rowlands 01-30-2017 05:20 PM

Re: Yurt for backcountry skiing?
I reread your initial post. A small treated canvas yurt or wall tent can be horse packed. Leaving it erected in the Rockies around Bozeman is something you need to consider.

The 12' yurt will sleep 2 plus the stove. 3 plus stove in a 14'. 4 plus stove in a 16'er like mine. The entire frame is wood so if you stash it it needs to be painted. If you leave it erected uncovered, it needs to be painted VERY WELL with two coats of enamel prefered. If you remove the cover roll it in a plastic tarp such that water will not get in. Also you'd have critters to deal with. Here in town I don't have to deal with anything but mice rabbits fox dog cat etc. Never had a problem with them on the frame. My canvas and plastic tarps site perfectly protected in an old tool box. All the above storage is a guess. Haven't stashed anything in the montains except a wicker frame basket, and mice got into EVERYTHING.

An emt frame and wall tent is the way to go imo. If you stash canvas on site it needs to be bone dry before rolled up in plastic tarp or it will mildew badly. That is an absolute certainty. Air dry is GOOD for canvas. Rolled and even slightly wet is not.

If you leave the tent on the frame it will get wet and stay wet unless someone fires the wood stove. I get away with it here because it is a dry climate, there is little snow load, and the cover dries quickly in the sun. Even so my roof canvas is dang near done after 3.5 years. A hd dry box with a lid that can be strapped down and keep critters and moisture out would be best for tent storage. Getting that up there is another thing. A dry attic that mice can't enter is the perfect place to store a canvas tent.

i have read some outfitters stash emt wall tent frames, or their wood tent poles, and set up/tear down for seasonal use. So much work goes into making a yurt frame I wouldn't stash it in the woods, but that is jmo.

Based on having my little 16' lightweight camping yurt up continuously since 6-2013, there is NO way I would leave it up through the winter here in the high Rockies for fear of snow collapse. If the cover was off and carfully stashed, I would. That's also assuming no two legged vermin were likely to see it.

Long post but there you go.

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