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First Time Yurt Builder With Question...

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Old 03-29-2015, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default First time yurt builder with question...

Hello- I am building a camping yurt for the first time. My question is...can I just use a circular roof canvas to completely cover the opening above the compression ring? Every singe yurt photo I've seen has an opening above the compression ring, and then an umbrella or

dome

is used to cover the opening. But it just seems way easier to cover the whole thing with one piece of canvas. Is there any reason I should NOT cover the opening? Any response appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 03-30-2015, 12:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

Traditional yurts use a square piece of material, actually (called an orkh or such). Tie three corners down, use the fourth corner to open/close the crown/compression ring.

The main reason I can think of not to do this would be for lighting--a transparent dome/cover allows light in. You could accomplish this by sewing vinyl sheeting into your orkh. Also, an acrylic

dome

would probably seal the opening up better (not really an issue for camping yurts). Umbrellas I think would be great for ease of use (collapsable & comes with a handle) but I don't know about durability or use in high winds.

There's probably a few other reasons and suggestions someone else could add...
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

Congrats on choosing to build a camping yurt. I've built two. You are gonna learn alot.


I've scratch built two yurts. Let me fast track the learning process and tell you to go ahead and spend the time constructing the roof hole and making a flap when you make the cover.

Why? The smoke hole makes the tent easily adaptable to weather conditions, and makes tent life nicer. All nomadic Mongolian yurts have operable roof holes because it turns the yurt into a home. A woodstove heated hot tent is a SUPERB shelter in foul weather. While a stove pipe can exit the cover anywhere, the advantage to a central hole exit is it also allows the tent to be easily cooled in hot weather. Roll up the wall cover a foot or so, uncover the roof hole, and the cooling breeze that's created is real nice. Hot air exits fast. The resultant breeze is very nice. Yes, you could just keep the door flap rolled to the side, but it's nice to have cooling and the privacy of a covered door.

Either way, good luck with the build.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

Off topic comment. Regardless of what you may have read about yurts being 'good in wind', I highly reccommend you anchor your yurt to the ground. Drive four stakes equidistant around the perimeter, and tie the yurt to them by crisscrossing ropes thrown over the cover. My first yurt was destroyed in a blizzard. I learned the hard way that 'good in wind' doesn't mean don't anchor the yurt. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

Thanks for the helpful replies!
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
Off topic comment. Regardless of what you may have read about yurts being 'good in wind', I highly reccommend you anchor your yurt to the ground. .
traditional Mongolian yurts are good in wind because they've been shaped to a very aerodynamic form over hundreds of years. By rasing walls and roof pitch, one looses a little of this aerodynamic quality.
Mongolians do not anchor their yurts, not to "harm the earth". However, above a certain wind speed, the yurts tend to be "sucked" in the air (Bernouilli effect, like on the airplane wing). Mongolians attach a big stone (or an old engine block nowadays;-) to a rope hanging from the toono (dome). It does the trick mostly, although you see also the type of anchoring mentionned by Bob (with stones used instead of stakes).
Back to topic: They woudl never cover the dome completely, as it regulates air, ventilation and allows the stove pipe out and light in.... but why not in a camping yurt?
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

I read somewhere about the 'hanging stone' anchor. Thanks for bringing that to light.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

What are the best portable yurts
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

That depends on how you define portable.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: First time yurt builder with question...

A bit off topic. My 16' unimproved, home made yurt, is very portable. It easily fits in the 6'4" bed of my Tundra with plenty of room left for other gear. The walls and rafters are just under eight feet and fit diagonally across the bed. Tear down and set up takes about two hours by myself. I would imagine a yurt made by a pro company in that size range would be similar in erection time.

As for portability of other yurts that are larger, I'm sure there is more work, but unless you have a massive yurt like 24' and larger, setup and take down would still be less than a day.

As for quality the makers that advertise here make VERY good yurts. I don't know where best fits into this but there you go.
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