What is a Yurt?

Since our decision to move into a yurt, we have been telling people about our plans, and have gotten an array of responses.  Most say, “what is a yurt?”. A small portion have heard of yurts, but don’t really know anything about them, as was the case for both myself and my husband. Then there have been a select few who have known exactly what a yurt entails, and how awesome the idea of us moving into one really is.


So after a lot of research, here is what I have discovered a yurt to be. A yurt can be a home. A yurt can be a sanctuary, meditation room, or a man-cave on someone’s property in addition to their home.  A yurt can be a vacation home, vacation rental, or a retreat center.  A yurt can be a wedding venue, a restaurant, or a ski house. A yurt can be really anything that four walls can be. A yurt for us will be a permanent residence.

  • But can it be heated? Yes.
  • Can you put electricity or plumbing in it? Yes, or it can be off the grid.
  • Can you put multiple rooms in it? Yes.
  • Can it have windows? Can it have doors? Yes and yes.
  • Is it as safe and strong as square houses? Yes, and it can be even safer and stronger.
  • Can it withstand a snowstorm? Yes, yurts originated in Mongolia where frigid temperatures, wind, and snow is common, and many yurts exist in very cold, very snowy areas.

Okay so after all of that, why get a yurt? What makes it special? What sets it apart? Well, with conventional square, or ‘stick-built’ homes, you are both protected from the elements and separated from them.  With many houses, the moment you walk in the door, you can be very separated from the earth. With yurts, you are protected from weather, but you are still a part of nature. The sounds of birds singing in the morning, or crickets chirping in the evening are all around you. Yet you and your belongings are still kept dry from rain, and kept bug and critter free thanks to good engineering. You can lie in bed and look at the stars through the dome in the ceiling.

Living off the grid is a popular and easy option with this type of space if that is something you desire. Your environmental footprint can be much smaller than stick-built homes. Being mortgage free is not just a dream, it can easily be a reality without being financially wealthy, especially since the nicest possible yurt is only about $40,000. yurt-interior-with-fireplace

We are people who love the outdoors.  We love a good hike on the weekend and practically spend every waking minute outside when the weather’s nice. We love to go camping, but the idea of living permanently outdoors is a little outside of our daily desires.  We still very much enjoy and appreciate the luxuries we have, like running water, hot showers, and a cozy couch to curl up on with a good movie. While we enjoy sleeping in tents and ‘roughing it’ when camping, it is always a relief to come back to our nice apartment and be in comforting, modern surroundings.

When the idea of living in a yurt came on our radar, it was like everything shifted into place. We could have it all.  We could be immersed in the peace and wonder that nature has to offer, while still enjoying those daily amenities that stick-built houses offer. Believe it or not, we are not the first people to think this way.  After about two minutes into our research, we discovered that it is not only an accepted concept to live full time in a yurt, but a common one all over the country, and all over the world.

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