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Yurt / Ger

Updates

Sun, January 20, 2008: Added native yurt example from Afghanistan.

Wed, January 2, 2008: Added examples of native yurt from Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Mon, January 8, 2007: Added a dedicated page of Chris Aeppli I just visited incl. a small interview, and added links of others e.g. Claudius Kern and Yurt Village (Switzerland).

Sat, September 3, 2005: More introduction infos, link sorting.

Russian: Yurta, Mongolian: Ger - which means dwelling or house.

While preparing my wintertime (2005/2006) living in nature, or close to nature, either tipi or another shelter form, I discovered the Yurt, a highly transportable shelter which can be put up and taken down within a few hours, and possibility to thermal insulate fully for whole year habitat in colder regions - ideal for nomadic living.


One must pay close attention that "original" mongolian yurts come with felt which leaks rain water, and in more wet climate zones (such as central Europe) it requires a 100% waterproof rain cover.

The yurt is very light in weight, and in particular when bamboo for the wall and roof poles is used. The thermal insulation can be felt, or quilted blankets filled with straw, hemp or shredded treebark, or for low-budget bubble wrap does it as well til -5°C only (4 layers), and keeps the interior of the yurt daylight bright.

Simplicity
Portability
Comfort
Size Flexibility
Overall (3.5)
The yurt is rather simple in the construction, but in the planing some calculations are required unless you go for predefined and precalculated numbers (see my yurt notes with calculator). The portability is excellent, e.g. 20m long lattice wall can be compressed to 1m width, and then still be rolled - indeed the highest rating. The comfort is great as well, with suitable thermal insulation suitable as four season habitat.


2006/11/26 16:01
 
Roof poles a bit too long (need to cut for the final version), cord hole at 2.90m position (2.88m calculated roof pole length)
2005/10/07 15:34
 
2005/11/15 12:57
 
Yurt interior: cloth shelf & paintings
2006/03/06 13:21
 

Yurt interior: overview from entry
2006/03/06 13:22
 
All 13 segments put up ...
2006/11/25 12:59
 

In order to get to know yurts I visited a yurt village here in Switzerland in 2005, and met other people who built their own yurt. The past years since I built my own yurt (fall 2005) I wrote down some notes and started a diary, both are listed below.

My Yurt / Ger Notes, Calculator & Diary


My 6.4m yurt I built for winter time 2005/2006

  • Yurt Notes, yurt math and online calculator to calc the yurt geometry, and details on various parts of the yurt:
    • Yurt Math: some math definitions and expressions
    • Yurt Calculator: interactively calculate all parts (poles, canvas, etc)
    • Crown Wheel / Toono
    • Wall / Khana
    • Door / Khaalga
    • Insulation
    • Floor / Shal
    • How to develop a standard
    • How to pitch / erect / put-up a yurt


My 6.4m yurt in winter 2006/2007 with upgrades

  • Yurt Diary, my personal endevour building a yurt according the notes I collected:
    • Starting building my first yurt (6.4m diameter)
    • Going through winter 2005/2006
    • Extensions, considerations, heating, wind
    • Spring 2006, warmth; Summer 2006 with heat
    • Starting building more bigger yurts, and a few wonderful photos
    • Moving to new place for 2006/2007, nearby
    • Adding new straw filled jute blankets as winter insulation
    • Building a small 4m travel yurt

In case you plan to build your own yurt, check the "How To Manuals" before you study my notes more in-depth.

How To Manuals


Overview of Yurt/Ger Construction
Following handbooks (some in PDF format) I collected from the net:

Other People's Yurts

People I visited myself:

  • Chris Aeppli, Winterthur (Switzerland), lives in a 7.5m yurt insulated with hempmats and has a travel agency offering guided trips in Mongolia
  • Claudius Kern, Graz (Austria), developed a 2-level yurt he lives in
  • Yurt Village (Switzerland) aka Jurtendorf, Huttwil (Switzerland), group of people living in yurts and offering seminars, workshops during summer

Other personal diaries I found on the net:

Links

  • YurtInfo.org , dedicated organization promoting yurts, initiated by Becky Kemery

Forums

Commercial Sites

References

  • "The complete Yurt handbook" by Paul King , ISBN 1-899233-08-3
    Covers traditional mongolian yurt, good as a start
  • "Mongolian Cloud Houses", Dan Frank Kuehn , ISBN 0-936070-39-0
    Only read an excerpt but seems very good, paperback


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