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The yurt, or ger, is a portable shelter used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia for at least three thousand years. You read that correctly. 3000 years. Wow.

The yurt is a low-impact structure that causes no permanent damage to the land on which it is pitched. It is easy to erect and can be taken down in hours. It is cool in summer and, with a stove, warm in winter. Robust and versatile, the yurt has evolved into the ultimate portable dwelling.

Traditional yurts consist of an expanding wooden circular frame carrying a felt cover, and complete construction takes as little as 2 hours.

The very word yurt is originally from the Turkic word that means “dwelling place” in the sense of “homeland”. Today yurts represent an inexpensive and sustainable way to live full time or as additional room for work, play, guests or meditation.

If You Only Buy One Book On Yurts…

We recommend you check out Yurts: Living in the Round by Becky Kemery. It’s the most comprehensive printed resource we’ve found, and covers questions such as…

  • Which kind of yurt to buy
  • Where to find a yurt, find a builder, or get plans to do it yourself
  • Floor plans for a variety of yurts
  • Case studies and personal stories of yurt dwellers
  • Ideas on combining yurts with outbuildings or satellite yurts
  • Plus, an extensive resource section and index that will make your yurt project a lot easier

Build Your Own Yurt

Check out this free guide for steps to building your own mongolian yurt. Here’s another good guide.

Recommended Yurt Videos

If you want to see some real life yurts that people actually live in full time, then check out these top yurt videos we’ve hand picked for you.

Mongolian Yurt Tour

Check out the video below for a tour of Boyan’s yurt. It’s around 5 meters in diameter, or 21 square meters, and was purchased from a company in the Netherlands (see link below).

Couple Shares Experience of Living In 20′ Self Built Yurt

Here’s a great video from a couple who built a yurt as a temporary shelter while building their main house. Tota cost: $2000. Take the tour and watch them share the pros and cons of living in a yurt:

Yurt Construction Timelapse

Here’s what it looks like when you set up a yurt. It took 4 men 7 hours to get it done.

Yurt Manufacturers


American Yurts – Yurts built to last and made in America

MongoYurt – Imports and sells authentic Mongolian Yurts


Nooitmeerhaast – Builds, rents and sells yurts. Netherlands.

Featured image: CC BY-SA 3.0

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