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Yurt / Ger Diary

written by Rene K. Mueller, Copyright (c) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, last updated Sat, January 3, 2015

29. 4. 2007: Fixing Door and Crown-Wheel

I likely will put up the yurt within next 1-2 days again as the dome isn't as stable as desired.

Having taken down the yurt allowed me also to fix the door (the door itself got loose a bit, enough to jam it when closing) and the crown-wheel, which was under much stress as the main rope pulled the circle in a slight oval (hardly noticeable) and tilt the wheel, which usually isn't a problem but with the winter insulation with straw that tension had 100kg weight now - fixing that too and strengthening the wheel further (octagon with segments).

28. 4. 2007: Yurt Taken Down - Dome Raised

Yurt & Dome
I removed today the winter straw insulation and then took the yurt down while the interior and floor remained, in order to put the dome on it.

This ends the 1 1/2 years non-stop living in the yurt. I'm in a geodesic dome now from today, read more at Geodesic Dome Diary. I plan to stay in the dome at least a couple of weeks, depending on my experience I will switch back to the yurt again.

Removing winter straw insulation
2007/04/28 10:54
Yurt & Dome
2007/04/28 13:10
Yurt taken down while interior remained . . . ready for the dome
2007/04/28 16:38
Dome skeleton moved on floor & interior (me inside)
2007/04/28 16:55
Preliminary dome setup (no robes & fixation, no door yet)
2007/04/28 19:49

17. 4. 2007: Some Impressions of an Early Summer

These days are wonderful over here - all is blooming, mild or even warm winds during the day.

2007/04/17 17:34
2007/04/17 17:37
2007/04/17 17:41
2007/04/17 17:42
2007/04/17 17:46
2007/04/17 17:47
2007/04/17 17:48
2007/04/17 18:50
2007/04/17 18:53

14. 4. 2007: Premature Summer

Sunset of 14th April 2007
The last few days the temperature rose to 25°C with föhn (a warm wind), and so the grass grows fast (noticeable from day to day) flowers and trees are blooming, a couple of weeks ahead than usual.

The usual "April" weather over here is unsteady (like sun and rain changing during the day) - but this year it's like summer time already, and inside the yurt up to 30°C (with closed door but open skylight), with both opened (door & skylight) the temperature doesn't rise above 28°C as a nice draft enters the yurt by the door and rises up through the opened skylight.

The nights have been at midnight at 20°C outside - incredible.

7. 4. 2007: Easter Weekend

Easter Weekend (7th April 2007)
Wonderful sunny days, 1-2°C at night, at day up to 18°C and clear sky, inside the yurt 28°C - today I open the skylight to have some nice draft (wind is still fresh). Yesterday I took the first shower of this year outside with the camping shower bag, two weeks ago still 40cm snow, now I'm showering outside on green grass and blooming flowers.

Easter: first weekend after the full moon in spring (or fall for southern hemisphere), quite a pagan way to calculate a christian day, isn't it? It's a complete denial over here in Europe (maybe elsewhere too), the symbols of rabbit, eggs etc, all pagan symbols of fertility, and then an ascended saint of Jesus - a packed celebration, a mixture of symbols - pagans and christians united finally? Or never separated but not aware of it? Anyway.

27. 3. 2007: Getting Warmer

The 40cm snow are melting away during these days, up to 12°C in the shade, strong sun - and the yurt heats up to 26°C so I open the door. The skylight is still fastened, but it's getting time to open to cool off the yurt during the day. It's 19:00 and warm 24°C inside the yurt, let's see how long the heat now lasts, around 22:00 still 19.2°C, outside maybe 4-5°C.

Until now I had four cords to fasten the skylight on the crown-wheel, but I like to have a simple mechanism to open and close the skylight without using a ladder as I do it now - so pondering on a simple but reliable mechanism.

21. 3. 2007: Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox 2007
Two days snowing just after weeks of mild days, apprx. 40cm snow - spring equinox of the northern hemisphere or fall equinox of the southern hemisphere (or maybe better named as March equinox), when daylight and night is the same length - "aequus" (latin for equal) and "nox" (night).

As you maybe noticed, I really love sunsets like this one . . .

On the photo you see some snow still "hanging" on the roof, due the ropes/cords (which I otherwise used to fasten the yurt for previous storms as mentioned before) which prevent easy sliding - otherwise with PE as rain- or snow-cover snow just slides down, which is really is a nice feature and I recommend for snowy regions, because otherwise you have to clean the snow from the roof regularly (e.g. in the midst of the night) when it snows to prevent too much snow and thereby weight piling up - of course it depends what kind of snow, either cold, fluffy and dry snow isn't heavy, but snow like in spring we have here, is warmer, wet and therefore heavy.

19. 3. 2007: Winter is Back . . .

Winter is Back - 19th March 2007
Tonight we got snow, and temperatures fell and it got apprx. 8-10cm snow, inside the yurt I had 8°C, strange enough outside the same temperature at 10:00 outside too, quickly raising temperature due the sun. During the day it warmed up more and it began to melt quickly - in the afternoon some thunders and a little more snow. So I fire the stove tonight again.

At 20:00 more snowing, heavy wet snow - at midnight push some from the roof from the inside as it's just 10cm high but heavy and bending the roof bamboo poles significantly. It's now more obvious the 110kg of the roof thermal insulation plus the heavy snow to make ~10-15cm dent of the 2.88m long roof poles, by flattening them at the dent the snow doesn't slide as easy anymore. Additionally the cords I used to fasten the roof because of storms in January also hinders the slide of snow.

16. 3. 2007: Spring Approaching & Planning Yurt/Dome Swap

Sunset of 17th March 2007
After one of the warmest winters since recording (1880's) here in Switzerland, the last weeks lot's of rain and then mild days up to 15°C cloudless, inside the yurt up to 26°C which lasted long enough like 18°C around 22:00. So I didn't fire the stove anymore for the last three weeks, except one evening I stayed up to 03:00 in the morning working on Geodesic Polyhedra.

Today I raise the geodesic dome skeleton for the first time, and see if the diameter is the 6.328m as calculated.

The next week colder weather is expected, maybe even snow again - once this cold-front has passed I will plan the swap of the yurt and geodesic dome:

  • taking down the yurt, leaving the interior and floor intact
  • raising geodesic dome aside, and move the complete skeleton over the interior and on existing floor
  • putting interior cotton from the yurt on the dome, then part of the thermal insulation, and then the rain cover

19. 2. 2007: Mild Days

The last days the temperature during day around 10-12°C, inside the yurt it heated up to 24°C. I'm riding the bike with shorts and t-shirt. Until now through this winter I only used 0.82 of a ster or apprx. 0.54m3 of wood (1 ster equals 0.66m3 wood).

14. 2. 2007: Working in the Yurt

Working on a geodesic dome in the yurt
I'm currently working on a geodesic dome, and today decided to continue to work in the yurt all day, and so added another table to work on.

It's certainly nice to work in heated workspace, but I won't work with heavy duty machines like the table saw which create lots of dust. So I'm pondering how to resolve this in the long term, e.g. finishing another 6.4m or larger 8.4m yurt to have more space for everything and then also do the shower which I have postponed since I have no space left for it.

I expect to finish the 4V geodesic dome skeleton this week, but will put it up when there are a few dry days.

9. 2. 2007: Warm Day & Mouse Caught

Today warm day around 10°C outside at almost cloudless sunshine, inside it warmed up to 22°C around 16:00 - so it's the first day I didn't heat the stove in this year while I stayed the whole day in the yurt, 22:00 it was 14°C.

Tonight also the mouse got cought in the trap, and I dislocated it this morning to a distant forest - it started not just going through my straw insulation, but also nagged on fruits and food boxes - so I lent out a "alive trap" (a trap which doesn't kill the mouse). There is surely a way to seal up a yurt against mice (e.g. use fine grided fence to seal rain cover to floor junction), but I would suspect it would be quite an overhead and a mouse trap seems an easier or simpler solution, for me at least at this point.

31. 1. 2007: Warmest January Recorded

Sunset of 4th February 2007
Now it's official, the warmest winter recorded here in Switzerland (official recording started 1864), average 3-6°C too warm. The last week was -2°C at night and 5-7°C at day, in the sun it warmed up even more.

The snow from last week is almost gone again. Temperatures in the yurt, without heating the yurt for 36 hours cools down to 0°C at midnight, when there is -8°C outside. I assume with the series of recorded temperature I have enough samples to calculate now the R of my straw-based insulation.

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