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jhkj14 08-31-2014 02:32 AM

Extra wall protection from bears
My wife and I have been looking into buying a yurt for a while now. Only concern we have is brown bears breaking in through the walls of the yurt. The region where we want to put up our yurt is problematic of brown bears breaking into cabins and even a few yurts. I have thought of sheet metal in between the outer shell canvas and insulation, building the yurt on top a garage/shop to installing a pulsating electric fence to be on when we're not home. I am leaning more towards beefing up the walls, but if anyone has any ideas or have already done some bear prevention/protection I am open to ideas.

Freedom Yurt Cabins 08-31-2014 12:25 PM

Re: Extra wall protection from bears

You might consider buying a new type of yurt we've developed called a Yurt-Cabin. It has solid walls, regular house windows, and a steel door as standard features. And it doesn't cost any more than a fabric yurt. Take a look at FreedomYurtCabins.com.

If you do buy a fabric yurt, someone told me once that bears hate the smell of ammonia. A bear had come into the basement of my cabin when I had left the door open. I was afraid it would come back and damage the door trying to get in again. I had stored some food down there. So I sprayed ammonia all around the door, and rigged up a bottle full of ammonia with some fabric stuffed inside to gradually "wick" the ammonia smell out. I left it by the door and I never had a problem again.

But I suspect if a bear really wants to get into your fabric yurt, he'll find a way. They are attracted to the smell of food, so if you control that, you shouldn't have a problem.

Good luck,

Bob Rowlands 08-31-2014 12:32 PM

Re: Extra wall protection from bears
A determined adult brown bear is capable of tearing through any standard 3/4" sized wood wall lattice. If you are really worried about brown bears, I think a high platform with a secured stairs is the $$$ solution to keeping bears out.

Ground level options. I'll assume you are planning to have your exterior wall 8' tall. An unorthodox approach would be to stucco the yurt wall. Bears won't get through stucco and the mesh it is attached to. Rip 4x8 sheets of OSB stucco backer to 1' width and install vertically. Staple the stucco lath to it, scratch and brown coat. The 'look' of the stucco wall wouldn't matter because it would be covered inside and out with standard yurt fabric cover.

Another offbeat option is to eliminate the lattice wall and frame a circular wall. Do the above stucco treatment on the outside and leave it visible like regular stucco. Advantage is not only protection but insulating is a snap and cheap. Your choice of interior finish matrerials. Your choice of interior wall treatments. T&G or ship lap boards installed vertically immediately come to mind.

Another alternative would be to wrap the exterior side of the wall lattice with chain link fencing, and cover that with the wall flashing you mentioned. Install the fabric, install the fencing, install the flashing and then whatever insulation and wall covering. All metal is covered by fabric.

Gopod luck. A dog and an 'Alaska special' - 12 gauge with extended magazine loaded with slugs- is a final suggestion.

Good luck.

Bob Rowlands 08-31-2014 12:42 PM

Re: Extra wall protection from bears
Pardon the typos. :D

ineffableone 08-31-2014 03:33 PM

Re: Extra wall protection from bears
#1 bear protection is odor control. Bears sense of smell is like sharks being able to smell blood in water. So controlling odors is the first step. Cleaning up after meals removing any odor causing food waste. Storing food in as air tight containers as you can find. Or up in an anti bear food cache. An elevated pantry away from the house with metal collars around the legs to prevent climbing.
The bear cache is the standard for people living in bear country. Not having bird feeders, pet food, dirty grill, etc all also help reduce odors. Be vigilant about trash, and store trash in a bear proof container double bagged to reduce smells.

#2 protection, electric fence. You can ring your yurt with an electric fence to shock any would be bear into leaving your place alone. Draw back is it does need power, and can look unsightly if just put up around the place. You can blend it into the landscaping or decking to make it less of an eye sore.

#3 avoidance, elevated platform. Raise your yurt up enough and gate your stairs so they don't allow a bear access.

Hopefully these ideas will help. Key to not having a bear problem is to not give them a reason to consider you place a food source. So odor control is the #1 thing to work on first. Once you have a bear problem because it was attracted to your place, it will keep coming back. so keep the odors in control and you will have a much easier time.

ineffableone 09-01-2014 03:44 PM

Re: Extra wall protection from bears
BTW there is a reason why most cabin doors swing out instead of in. It is due to bears. A bear can push a door in if the hinges swing in fairly easy, but having the door swing out and having a very heavy duty door jam prevents them from pushing the door in. Just another consideration would be to beef up your door jam and hang the door to swing out rather than in.

jhkj14 09-02-2014 01:59 AM

Re: Extra wall protection from bears
Thanks for all the ideas, will take into consideration. The main reason we want to start with a fabric yurt is affordability; our first (home.) Ideally I would like to raise the yurt on a platform, but given building on (tundra) accounts for re-leveling year round if not monthly. I would like to go with a framed wall yurt, but that adds $$$ fast. And recently viewing and learning about yurts from a builder/seller, it fits with what we want right now. I have also heard that bears don't like the smell of ammonia, but I'll have to do more research on the negative effects of it. I am not familiar with stucco, but will do more research into it, and how it can fit into the building process and the pros/cons of it. Chain link fencing I am against on, it would enable the bears claws to grab onto and pull. As far as personal protection from wildlife, there are no worries there, my wife may sometimes even think I am a little (over prepared) for something that can eat us. On the affordable side, I am leaning towards an electric fence, for when we are not home.
Thanks guys!

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