Helping You to Get a Yurt

Searching for the least expensive, most direct, simple, sustainable yurt solutions, to bridge you from longing to living, in the yurt of your dreams

Friday, December 18, 2009

You Are the Master or Mistress of Your Life: Blessings!!!

As the longest night of the year comes to the Northern Hemisphere, we are remembering our ancestors linking the return of light to the generative forces within plants and animals. May you and yours feel the gentle touch and holding of the energies of life, of the heart and of the soul. Health and abundance, to you, your orchards, your gardens, your lands and may your next year's crops fill your barns to such overflowing that you are forced to store heaps in the corners of your house and even under the stairs.

Bruce W Sargent

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Yurt Life in Winter

I found a wonderful post about yurt life in winter at the Gazette today. David Johnston took his family to Jacques Cartier park, north of Quebec City and spent two winter nights in a yurt with temperatures dipping below freezing. His story is well worth the visit, because it is dead-on accurate. Check it out.

Bruce W Sargent

Sourcing For Love of Yurts

Currently, For Love of Yurts: Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under a $1000,
can be purchased at website, at The Book Garden, Bear Pond Books, Hunger Mountain Food Coop, in Montpelier, Vermont, at LACE in Barre, Vermont, at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont and at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Workshops on Building a Yurt for Under a $1000

Details for workshops on building a yurt home for under a $1000 are being worked out for two sites in Vermont this summer and for one site in Arizona next fall. More information will be available here by next week or email me at for the latest.

Bruce W Sargent

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mujaan: The Craftsman (of Yurts)

If you are interested in DIY yurt building and you can go the $19.95 for purchasing a DVD, checkout Mujaan (The Craftsman) at and/or checkout a bit at You Tube.

Bruce Sargent

Physics of Yurt Walls

What I have noted in constructing yurt walls is that when the assembled wall is erected, placed in a circle and attached to the door frame, an extremely interesting event occurs: individual wall rods behave like an archer's bow, especially if straight rods are used rather then steam bent rods. Imagine a straight piece of wood bent around and imaginary cylinder, and now imagine the straight piece of wood at a diagonal being bent around a cylinder like a yurt wall rod and you will get that each piece of wood is being bent like an archer's bow. The wood attempts to straighten under tension and gives strength to the wall. How this all interacts with the vector forces of the roof resting on the wall heads, I've not worked out yet. Maybe someone is or knows a physicist or engineer who might contribute to understanding this interaction. Please feel free to comment or find a friend who can comment on this curious fact about yurts, especially those Mongolian yurts built with straight wall rods.

Bruce Sargent

Friday, November 27, 2009

Laurel Nest Yurts: NC Source Near Asheville

A North Carolina source for yurts near Asheville has a beautiful website, displaying beautiful yurts made by beautiful people. Visit them and share them freely.

For Love of Yurts: helping you get a yurt home!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Colorado Yurts Builds the Ultimate Backcountry Shelter

Colorado Yurts has built the ultimate backcountry shelter called the Winter Stout Alpine Yurt. Check out Stout's slide show at

It is well worth the visit.

Snow loads can challenge yurt constructions. A cubic foot of snow weighs 10 pounds. In the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, snow can reach a depth of 5 feet on a yurt roof. On my 16 foot yurt that could come to 6 or 7 tons of weight. Stout's engineering takes snow load to even greater extremes and looks to me to be good for it.

Stout's center metal ring support reminds me of a Mongolian bagana or a "tree of life" that supports the roof ring and opens to the "eye of God." The center treatment is clearly functional, designed to hold many tons of snow, and is beautiful as well as functional. Bravo, Colorado Yurt Company! You make yurts with heart and courage. You are clearly expanding your product line into shelters for extreme conditions and for the people who thrive in them. I would love to see one of your Alpine Yurts at the top of Vermont's Bromley Mountain Ski Resort to greet backcountry skiers, boarders and hikers on their return.

Bruce W Sargent

Two More Stores to Carry FOR LOVE OF YURTS

Two more stores will carry For Love of Yurts: Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under a $1000.

Hunger Mountain Co-op is now carrying the book in its wellness department.
623 Stone Cutters Way
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 223-8000

LACE will carry the book as of December 2nd in the Art Gallery
Local Agricultural Community Exchage
159 Main Street
Barre, VT

Bruce W Sargent

Monday, November 23, 2009

For Love of Yurts: Bookstores and Web sources

For Love of Yurts: Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under a $1000 is now available at
Bear Pond Books
77 Main St
Montpelier, VT 05602-2931
(802) 229-0774

Northshire Bookstore
4869 Main St
Manchester Center, VT 05255
(802) 362-2200

The Book Garden
50 State St
Montpelier, VT 05602-2957
(802) 223-2824


as well as at

Sunday, November 22, 2009

For Love of Yurts in Seven Days

Seven Days, Burlington VT Newspaper

Gutenberg Redux, Part II: Vermont Gets Another Espresso Book Machine

State of the Arts

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Love of Yurts Featured on Tiny House Blog

For Love of Yurts has been featured on Tiny House Blog this past week. Check them out at They have many wonderful articles on sustainable and essential shelter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ebook Availability of FOR LOVE OF YURTS

For Love of Yurts: Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under a $1000 is now available electronically at Scribd's store and at Amazon as a Kindle book at $12.95. The book is also available as a PDF file at at the same number. Consider green reading. Save the money along with saving the trees.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For Love of Yurts is at Amazon,com (Sort of)

For Love of Yurts is at, sort of. At searching for "Bruce W Sargent" and for "For Love of Yurts" goes to the book. However, searching for "Yurts" doesn't. What's with that?
The book is available at Shires Press by putting "For Love of Yurts" in the search window and at my website www.forloveof

Monday, November 2, 2009 goes live! again!

Thanks to Aaron Handford, and Floating World Web Design, the website, is again up and running. Check it out!

Sunday, November 1, 2009 is down :(

My website, is down. It seems to be working for Mac's but not PC's.
Those wishing a paperback book can obtain one from the printer/publisher Shires Press . Those wishing an ebook will have to wait for Aaron Handford at Floatingworld Web Hosting to work his magic.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Site Preparation Illustration from New Book

Source of New Book

An ebook of For Love of Yurts: Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under a $1000 will be available at the website in several days. The ebook price is $12.95 for a downloadable version. The site will be taking advanced orders of a paperback version that is $19.95 and will ship November 1st at the latest. By November 1st I expect that the book will be available at Shires Press website and at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, as well as at Scribd and at Amazon.

Introduction to New Book


Ten years ago, at Spirit Hollow, a shamanic school tucked back in the
Taconic Mountains of Vermont, I fell in love with yurts. I was bedazzled
by an exotic tent, with a framed door, wooden floor, diamond latticed
walls and rays of rafters, arching out from a central sky light. I was
dumbstruck by the complex beauty and warmth of a tent in Green
Mountain winter.
We fall in love with people and things that invite us to live an unlived
aspect of ourselves. All my life, I’ve longed to live outdoors, close to
nature and yet I have found myself laboring to survive. living in a
mortgaged house, driving a bank owned car to commute to work that
allowed me to live an indoor life that I didn’t really want. I was forever
running short of time, energy and money. Getting to the mountains
became a chore. When I did get to the mountains on weekends, I didn’t
want to leave them and return to work when the weekend ended. If I
had known how, I would have run away from civilized life and lived with
In the yurt my divergent worlds came together. Conflicting life needs
and intentions found unity. My natural world and my civilized world
intersected. A yurt was more beautiful than any camp, house or even
mansion that I had ever seen. Light beamed in from a center circle in the
roof, through radiating wooden rafters to fall on a familiar wooden floor.
In a yurt I was warm, dry and comfortable and yet open to the sounds of
the wind in the maples and water in the nearby stream. I loved the
experience. I wanted a yurt. I wanted a Pacific Yurt like the one at Spirit
Later as I worked in Boston, seventy hours per week, at a Fortune 500
company, making more money than I had at any point in my life, I daydreamed
of yurts. I sketched yurts set beside a roaring brook, in
Arlington, in Vermont’s Kelly Stand. I made calculations of the cost of
acreage, cost of a bridge to cross the river, cost of a floor and the cost of
a Pacific Yurt sixteen feet in diameter. I would calculate the month of
next year that I could afford to actualize my dreams.
In the next year, down-sized by life, aching for simplicity, living in an
attic room and tending an organic garden belonging to friends, my head
was still full of yurts. Purchasing land and a Pacific Yurt was now out of
the question. I obtained books by Len Charney, Paul King and Dan
Kuehn and down loaded a paper by Charles Lokey, works that would
comprise the books of my yurt bible. I studied with religious fervor.
Could I build a yurt, bit by bit, over the next several years?
How hard could it to build a yurt? Could I drill six holes in an eight foot
stick? Could I drill six holes in sixty-six, eight foot sticks? Could I tie a
knot at two ends of a cord after threading the cord through holes that I
drilled? I knew I could do all of this and build a yurt wall, and from this
place, I believed I could take on the rest of it. But could I really?
“A year and a half to complete everything”, I thought, but could I design
and construct something that would fit and hold together, would actually
work? To my amazement and joy, within two months, I moved into a
new sixteen foot diameter yurt, my “ger” (Mongolian for “home”) all at a
cost of less than $1000 or about one tenth of the cost of a Pacific Yurt.
Baku, a Japanese friend of mine said, “It wasn’t that God helped you
build a yurt. It’s more like you helped God build it.”
How this all happen, step by step, the ideas, the calculations, designs,
construction ideas that led to the simplest plan possible, the good
fortune and blind luck that completed my yurt-home is the story that follows.

Table of Contents to New Book

Introduction 6
History and Traditions 9
Words and Meanings 10
Sky-Blue Yurt-Home: The Love 12
An Ultra Simple Yurt-Home 14
Plans: An Overview 17
Tension Band 19
Site Preparation 23
A Flat Spot is a Floor 26
Door Frame 29
Walls 33
Rafters 49
Roof Ring 51
Some Assembly Required 56
Scaffolding 59
Roof Ring Supports 61
Covering 63
Insulating 65
Custom Doors 67
Snow, Wind and Rain 69
Dome Covering 72
Heating and Cooling 73
Spirit Hollow Yurt-Home 75
Math 78
Understanding 16 Foot Plans 82
Understanding 12 Foot Plans 84
`` A Story Ends/ A Story Begins 86
Photographs 88
Bibliography 102
Resources For a Yurt Life Style 103
Index 104
Links 105

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cover for New Book on Yurts: Final Proof

Today I drove to Manchester Center Vermont to meet with Debbi Wraga at Shires Press. Things are moving forward and I hope to have copies to sell on Oct 22. An ebook will be offered at Scribd at about the same time. After I went to Arlington Vermont's waterfall and spent a sacred moment.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009, with locations in Columbus, Ohio, USA and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is the source for beautifully made Mongolian Yurts/Gers and is a fantastic site to visit for yurt lovers everywhere. Don't miss visiting this site!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Proof Book Cover

Above is a proof of book cover. Final will have background picture in geater detail and will loose the word "the" in the title.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ultra Simple Yurt-Homes

The process of writing a book on building an ultra simple yurt-home has been interesting. It forced me to deeply reflect about what I had done. I think that it was just pure luck that I tripped over the design that was the simplest and most direct one. The ultra simple yurt has straight rafters and straight wall rods and hour glass shaped walls. The design is one that originated in Mongolia and my sense is that it was the original Mongolian design. What's especially great about the design is that it requires only the simplest of wood working skills to make.
The original yurts were Turkic and had steam bent rafters and steam bent wall rods. Steam bending does not strike me as a very simple wood working technique. Nor is the alternative water soaking method strike me as very easy to do. Turkic yurts are domed in roof and flat in wall as a result.
The Mongolian yurt derived from the Turkic design and simplified it. Mongolian people had a long way to go, far from the treeless steppes where they lived, to get Larch wood for their dwellings. In simplifying the Turkic design, the Mongolian design creates the simplest, most direct shelter of magical and complex beauty on Earth. What is truly amazing that such shelters can be created with such simple skills at such low costs.

Monday, September 21, 2009

For Love of Yurts: The Book nears completion!

For Love of Yurts is nearing completion, as an ebook and as a paperback published by Shire's Press, Manchester Center, Vermont and will soon be offered on a website under development by Floating World in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sailing and Yurts

Sail boats and yurts depend on fabric arts to function. Sails are designed to catch the wind. Yurt coverings are designed to shed the wind. The three bands of rope that hold the wall covering to the frame and the crossed ropes on the roof that are lashed to the wall ropes are there to prevent your covering from becoming a sail.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Yurt Cover

A new yurt cover was made for a material cost of $10 using fabric from RESTORE in Barre VT and a gift of sewing from Maggie Neale. WOW!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For Love of Yurts: The Book 2

For Love of Yurt, a book scheduled for publication near the end of this coming September, is now being edited. The book describes the step by step story of creating a yurt-home for less than $1000.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Days of Summer in Vermont

Summer is for swimming at Boulder Beach at Groton Lake birch high in the mountains, so very cool compared to the dog day of August in the lowlands.

Or summer is for performance dance at Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover, Vermont. Thank you Peter Schumann.

For Love of Yurts: The Book in Progress

The beauty of the woodwork against a white background amazes.

An early version of temporary polytarp cover.

"The simplest yurt design will allow the least expensive version of a yurt to be built with the simplest of skills."

Monday, August 10, 2009

For Love of Yurts: The Book

The step by step story of building a sixteen foot diameter simple yurt-home for less than $1000 is being edited for publication, this September. The title of the book, in the moment, is For Love of Yurts and will be offered as an e-book.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happiness Is Messing About In Yurts

Yurt gazebo visited today after visiting Montpelier's Farmers' Market. Great produce coming out of Cate Farm this time of year.

Yurt doorway opens to Central Vermont in summer.

I love the rafters meeting the center ring and the view of the outside that intertwines with the view of ring and rafters.

Rafters meeting the heads of the gate like fence.

Detail of a rafter meeting a head of the fence like wall. The tension band behind the head is made from a military surplus towing strap and holds the fence in place and the roof up.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Third Home for My Home Made, Hand Made 16 Foot Yurt

My home made, hand made yurt has found its third home in Central Vermont. The two previous homes have been in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I love the look of the spruce strapping material, stained red with an off-tint version of Cabot stain. The red against the green leaves of summer are one of my favorite times for my yurt. The other is lying in bed, looking up at the night sky in the central sky light, with the rafters radiating out from the ring in candle light. The strapping material came from Home Depot and cost me about a dollar per rafter and fifty cents per wall rod which are halved strapping or firring strips. The framing material of the yurt was under a hundred dollars, a good choice for housing, extra rooms, etc. in difficult economic times.
The first two times I put the yurt up, the center ring was placed on top two by threes resting on a cheese bucket, duct-taped to the top of an eight foot step ladder. This time I built some scaffolding to hold the ring while the rafters where inserted. I was happy with the result, which was safer and allowed a more relaxed rafter placement than the cheese bucket procedure did. Right now I've covered only the roof and am enjoying the gazebo like structure the yurt is this way. What a wonderfully flexible design, that can fold up and move hundreds of miles away, leaving no trace of where it was. I know it is a tent but in my mind it is a glorious tent. To call a yurt a tent is a little like calling a mansion a log cabin.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Last night, while visiting Santa Terra, in Arizona, I noticed a sign: "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL". The moon was full and the sign reminded me that each of us is sacred. Our problems only come when we suffer from amnesia from this fact. From this perspective all healing comes from remembering this fact. A man trained by an old one, by Tom Brown, Jr., spun a fire using a yucca spindle and sagauro fire board. It was my third experience with spinning of fire. The first was in an athropology class viewing a black and white film of a !Kung bushman spinning a fire. The second was while training during Tom Brown's classes. The third was last night when Danny and Patrick teamed to create the spark. Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart. Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor's sake. Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. ---Hannah Senesh
People drummed to the rising full moon and I danced with the stars and my friends, admiring the life force expressed by so many generations. So in the life beyond our politics "Eat, laugh. cry, sleep, dream, being wild, brave and friendly" to quote Martin Prechtel.


Click to see a thirty minute video of pitching a Mongolian yurt in the Netherlands:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Click on to see Mongolian people taking down a small hunting ger/yurt. (And of course, many more links to yurts)


Click on to see a Mongolian Buddhist temple, the largest yurt in the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Sixteen Foot Yurt

My sixteen foot in diameter yurt that I built in the Massachusetts Berkshires and wintered over in last year. It was warm and dry and a wonderful home to me in all weather. I've grown to love the wooden frame that holds the cover. I've grown to love the sky light in the roof that opens the space to the heavens. Some of my best moments over a life time have happened in this space.

Spirit Hollow Yurt

For Love of Yurts

The mongolian yurt is a "ger" or "home".

Windhorses from the South come to our home and share our lives.
Windhorses from the West come to our home and share our lives.
Windhorses from the North come to our home and share our lives.
Windhorses from the East come to our home and share our lives.
Windhorses from the Earth come to our home and share our lives.
Windhorses from the Sky come to our home and share our lives.

Visit for a beautiful image of a mongolian yurt: