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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cozy Yurts In Oregon Coastal Wilds

In the Chicago Tribune travel section today: Yurts Cozy Up Wild Oregon Coast
Somewhere between a tent and a cabin, these yurts make park guests feel closer to nature -- including the ocean right outside their door.

Bruce Sargent

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yurt Living in Style: Upstate New York

Louis Johnson’s yurt, in Willseyville, NY, just south of Ithaca, is from the Colorado Yurt Company. He has certainly "wintered over" in his yurt and from the looks of the photos at Tiny House, he is yurting with considerable style.

Bruce Sargent

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kyrgyzstan Adventures

Going Nomad in Kyrgyzstan posted today at Matador Trips has spectacular information about extreme trekking to lands with indigenous yurts.

Yurt, Kyrgyzstan

Definitely worth a visit.

Kyrgyz boy leading mules

Bruce Sargent

Alash Tuvan Throat Singers Tour USA

From The Valley Breeze and Peeptoad Coffee House in Foster, Road Island today:

Peeptoad Coffehouse to present Alash Tuvan Throat Singers

FOSTER - Peeptoad Coffeehouse will present the Alash Tuvan Throat Singers on Saturday, March 6, 8 p.m., at the Foster Country Club, 67 Johnson Road. The group will also be in Ellenburg Depot, NY on Feb 25 and in Dorset, VT on Feb 26.

(Ellenburg Depot, NY is about 2 hours from Montpelier by way of Burlington. Dorset, VT is about the same time and distance from Montpelier by the way of Rutland VT).

The ancient tradition of throat singing developed among the nomadic herdsmen of Central Asia, people who lived in yurts, rode horses, raised yaks, sheep and camels, and had a close spiritual relationship with nature.

Passed down through the generations but largely unheard by the outside world, throat singing is now the subject of international fascination and has become Tuva's best known export.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children if purchased by Jan. 31; and $20 for adults and $12 for children, after Jan. 31.

See Fostering the Arts on Facebook.

Bruce Sargent


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yurts and Solar Power

Delia Montgomery at her Feel Good Style blog today connected dots between yurts and solar power, John M Brown Style. She writes:

"Solar power potential is active in many minds these days. It really makes sense for the yurt

lifestyle, but creativity is required since you can’t rest solar panels on a fabric/vinyl yurt roof. Here stands John M. Brown on his yurt site in Glenville, West Virginia. He is so kind to share his knowledge on a yurt blog that dates from August 2005 to March 2008. Not only are the pics, info and floor plans great, but see dear John’s solar electric block diagram from his FAQ page."

Bruce Sargent

Becky Kemery's Book is Recommended Yurt Reading

Wonderful post today at Under $1000 Per Month/How a Family of Five HappilyThrives On Less Than $1000 a Month, recommending Becky Kermery's book Yurts: Living in the Round.
Emily writes

Yurts: Living in the Round by Becky Kemery

I know I said I would do reviews on Sundays, but this book became a part of my personal recovery, so I thought I would include it here.

Dan only checked the mail once while Daniel was in the hospital, even though he came back to town to go to work several days. In the stack of mail when we got home was this book for me to review.

Bruce Sargent

Wing Ridge Ski Tours

Wing Ridge Ski Tours in Northeastern Oregon offer accommodations in big heated tents. Way cool slide show from Wing Ridge Ski Tours:
Remember Colorado Yurt makes Cimarron Tents as well as yurts.

What makes more sense? A yurt? Or a tent? What do you think?

Bruce Sargent

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yurting in Alaska

Are yurts warm in winter? You decide after visiting a website, Round Things, by a young woman, Karis Koett, who is a school teacher in Alaska and lives in a yurt! Karis' yurt is in KOYUK, AK!!
Wikipeda tells me that "As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 297 people, 80 households, and 59 families residing in the city. The population density was 62.7 people per square mile (24.2/km²). There were 95 housing units at an average density of 20.1/sq mi (7.7/km²)."

There is a story here and you are just going to have read Karis' blog to learn about it.

Bruce Sargent

An Invitation to Stay in a Cotswold Yurt

Cotswold Yurts invites you to stay with them in the UK.

They are just off the A419 halfway between Stroud and Cirencester.

From the M4:
take exit 15 sign-posted to Swindon, then follow signs to Cirencester.

From the M5:
take exit 13 to Stroud.

Hege & Julian Usborne
Westley Farm

Tel: ++44 (0)1285 760 262

Bruce Sargent

How To Get a Yurt/Brand New Source in Oregon is a brand new source for yurts offering brand new ways of getting one.

Bruce Sargent

Five Advantages to Living in a Yurt

A real Mongolian Yurt
A post from on advantages of choosing a yurt for shelter:
There were so many reasons to go for it:
1. Economics. No bills...No rents
2. Environment. Yurts leave no footprint; Yurts have a low-impact on the environment
Yurts reduce energy needs
3. Personal. Trades modern life's little luxuries for less pressure to work and earn, meaning having "more time for things that really matter; friends, family and just generally enjoying life".
4. Social. Friends like to visit you in your yurt. Who wouldn't?
5. It's like living in a story book world.

Bruce Sargent

Monday, January 25, 2010

North Park Yurts: Tele/Trekking Luxury

Mike Johnson and Laura Friesell of WorldWide Trekking offer luxurious yurt living at their North Park Yurts.
You Tube Version at
You can also see them at their brand new website
Mike and Laura are definitely "going for it". They can help you go for it too.

Bruce Sargent


The Yurt Project: a website and yurt project by Chase Charlton is inspirational!

Bruce Sargent

Sunday, January 24, 2010

5 Good Reasons to Live in a Yurt

From Green Planet

5 Good Reasons to Consider Living in a Yurt (Really)

1. Yurts are the real green deal
2. Yurts are eco-friendly
3. Yurts have stood the test of time
4. Yurts can be modern, too
5. Yurts are cheap

30 Below at Tall Pines Yurt

Visits to Tall Pines Yurt on the Gunflint Trail, Minnasota can be done in 30 below zero temperatures with the yurt being toasty warm inside.

Bruce Sargent

Friday, January 22, 2010

From the Porch of Dancing Moose Yurt

See Dancing Moose Yurt at Never Summer Nordic. I love the site title. In Vermont Dug Nap says VERMONT: 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad skiing...
Bruce Sargent

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beautiful Comfort at Barefoot Yurts

Barefoot Yurts in the UK near Broad Oak Brede, Rye and Cranbrook offers beautiful Mongolian yurts for rent. The site is worth a visit just to remember how original yurts looked. With a wood stove in some pictures, it appears they might be open in winter.
Bruce Sargent

MacGregor Point Yurts

MacGregor Point Yurts are at MacGregor Point Provincial Park located on Lake Huron, off of Bruce Road 33 near Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.

According to the website
"These semi-permanent canvas-covered structures are 16 feet in diameter, mounted on a wooden deck about two feet off the ground. Yurts can accommodate up to six people. They have two sets of bunk beds, a table and chairs, plywood floors, electric heat and lighting, and a propane barbecue."

MacGregor Point Provincial Park
1593 Bruce Road 33,
R.R. #1
Port Elgin Ontario
N0H 2C5

Bruce Sargent

OK, OK, No Yurts. Best X Skiing. Prospect MT VT

OK, OK...No yurts here. But they have the most fabulous cross country ski trails that I have seen in my life...Prospect Mountain in Woodford Vermont is what I'm talking about...
(802) 442 - 2575

Simple website. Best skiing. Best Bread Chili Bowl. Best Ski Burgers. Best Cookies. Best Lodge. Best Groomed Trails. Best Traditions. Best Full Moon Tours And Dinners Anywhere. Next Full Moon Tour:

January 30, 2010: Moonlight Dinner and Ski Tour buffet dinner in the Base Lodge followed with a ski tour by the light of the full moon. The evening concludes with warm drinks & desserts back in the Lodge.

Prospect Mountain Olympians

A well known former olympian, Bill Koch, is seen here with Andrea, Prospect's Ski Shop Manager. Bill Koch was the silver medal winner in the 30K nordic race at the Innsbruck Olympics in 1976. He is the only American ever to win an olympic medal in nordic skiing. That may change in 2010!
Former olympian Dave Jarecki represented the United States in Albertville, France in 1992 and Lillihammer, Norway in 1994 as a member of the Nordic Biathlon Team. Here is a picture of Dave (on the left) chatting with his buddy, Dane LaRoche, a former Prospect Mtn. ski instructor. Dave was Prospect's head ski instructor and ski shop attendant in 2002 and 2003.
Another competitor in the 1992 Olympics in France was Jim Curran, Jr. Jim competed in the 50 kilometer ski race. In the early 1980's, Jim was the Nordic Director at Prospect Mountain Ski Center.
One of the fastest ski sprinters in the world, Andrew Newell is currently on the US Ski Team. Look for him in Vancouver in 2010! (

It's the love and working at 4:30 AM that makes them so good.

Bruce Sargent


An article yesterday in the Rocky Mount Telegram by Jim Holt says that Yurtfolk uses music, stories to entertain youth

"Local children were treated to an interactive concert Tuesday at Braswell Memorial Library from a couple that call themselves “Yurtfolk.”

Playing such diverse instruments as the bongo, violin and accordion, LuAnne Harley and Brian Kruschwitz incorporated children’s voices into sing-a-longs to entertain a diverse group of spectators in the Warner Meeting Room.

They call themselves Yurtfolk because of the circular, Mongolian-style dwelling they’ve built for themselves in 2006 in New Manchester, Ind., called a yurt."

Yurtfolk Website says "LuAnne Harley and Brian Kruschwitz are "Yurtfolk" and make their home in North Manchester, Indiana where they live in a yurt...with their two young children. The hold great affection for travel, experiencing other cultures and nurturing creativity. They spend a lot of time singing, creating stories and reading books to their children."

It appears to me that if you live in a yurt or visit one and have children in a school, you might want to have LuAnne and Brian come visit with their program. Would be good for everybody.

Bruce Sargent

Cabin Fever? Dial The Green Alpaca Yurt to Bust Out!

Green Alpaca Yurts in New Hampshire has a solution to Cabin Fever: Dial 603-335-2992 to reframe everything, (fancy way of saying busting out).
Located at
654 Second Crown Point Road
Strafford, Nh 03884
Email them at


A fabulous post on yurting Tuesday past, January 19 at ON THE RUN. Includes images of a young family's winter trek to a yurt, baby and all! Catch the adventure at Thanks, Chelle and Aaron for the incredible share. Way Cool!

Bruce Sargent

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yurts, Ski Tours, Hikes and Moonlight Dinners

"By the light of the silvery full moon, snowshoe or ski with a Crested Butte Nordic Center guide along the Magic Meadows Trail to a cozy, secluded yurt, where dinner cooked by Crested Butte restaurant Maxwell's is in its final stages of preparation," begins an article on yurt living from Colorado's Denver Post".

Family of Three Lives a Simple Life in a Yurt

Petite Planet: Check it out! Baby steps toward changing the world!! AND IT'S ALL BABY STEPS, RIGHT MICHAEL MERVOSH!!! HERO'S JOURNEY FOUNDATION!!!! SEE THEM TOO

Bruce W Sargent


Fun visit to A Mark on My Wall.

Bruce W Sargent

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


"If it's not fun, I'm not doing it!" Sometimes I get so serious, passionate and intense about things that I forget, that yurting is just plain fun. I found an Australian website that reminded me about what life's about: Check them out. Most likely you are going to smile. :-) We are calling it "glamping" or "glamour camping".

Bruce Sargent

Friday, January 15, 2010


Monday, January 11, 2010

Response to NYTimes, "Broadband, Yes. Toilet, No": Why not have both?

You may have already seen Sarah Maslin Nir’s New York Times article “Broadband, Yes. Toilet, No” (12/30/09) about an adventurous couple that moved their young family to a yurt in rural Alaska. The Higman-McKittricks are an inspiring example of a wave of folks who are moving to yurts, making nature a part of their everyday lives-- not just a holiday treat-- and staying connected to a broader community through the internet. It’s Back to the Land 2.0!

From a yurt-dweller’s perspective there are some great points in the article: I loved the concept that the amount of living space in a yurt expands and contracts based on need at any given moment. I also liked the fact that they have internet in the yurt-- this allows them to connect all the diverse bits of their lives, remain active, stay in touch, and get written up in the New York Times.

But, by focusing on this one couple, the article doesn't give the full picture of the yurt-living experience. Toward the end of the article Ms. McKittrick is quoted as having said, “I’m someone who doesn’t mind giving up some level of convenience for having an interesting experience.” Many bloggers found the story to be inspiring but said that the couple sacrificed more than is reasonable for your average NYTimes reader. The worst part? The frigid trek from the yurt to the outhouse. I can't argue with that. This begs the question: Is sacrificing convenience a pre-requisite for yurt living? Most definitely not.

There are plenty of good options for putting a bathroom right inside your yurt, even if you’re off the grid. Below are a couple of toilet possibilities that our customers have used with great results:

The Incinolet toilet is a good option for folks who are hooked into electricity, either from a power plant or solar. The toilet requires no digging and no water. It works by periodically incinerating waste, so all that's left is a small amount of clean ash. Below is a picture of our customer, David Stewart’s Inciolet:

One of my favorite toilet options (for homes of all kinds!) is the Sun Mar composting toilet. Sun Mar makes a couple of models-- some require electricity, some don’t. These toilets are self-contained and compact. Installing a composter in your yurt is as simple as fitting an outlet, similar to a stovepipe outlet, into the yurt wall. They are odorless and produce fertilizer that can be used in growing non-edible plants. The Colorado Yurt Company is now a Sun Mar distributor, so give us a call at 1.800.288.3190 if you’d like any information or to place an order.

Perhaps the simplest and most rugged option (but still a far cry from an icy outhouse) is the do-it-yourself composting toilet. These toilets are as cheap as $25. They require little more than a 20 liter bucket, a box to house it in, a seat, and organic material, such as sawdust, to aid in the composting process. The waste from these toilets is also processed into fertilizer. The only problem with these toilets is that you have to figure out a way to protect against freezing. Click here to read about this type of toilet at the Humanure Handbook. Here is an instructional youtube video on making such toilets by the folks out of Pennsylvania that make the "Loveable Loo."

This lovely bathroom with a homemade composter is in Everett Boutilett and Louis Johnson's Colorado Yurt in upstate New York:

All of these toilets can be installed in a yurt bathroom, which is built by constructing a few walls inside the yurt. The yurt WC pictured below is a literal closet but without the water:

By adding an energy efficient toilet, like one of these, to a yurt, you can have the “experience” without sacrificing a shred of "convenience." No subzero dashes to the outhouse for me!

Other parts of the Higman-McKittrick yurt experience struck me as not necessarily representative (albeit cool). For example, the fact that they have to walk an hour to town to take a shower. Even yurt-dwellers without grid-based plumbing find all kinds of creative ways to have plenty of water right in their yurt, but that's a subject for another post.

Happy New Year,
Sam Kigar

Ultra Simple Solutions for Haitian Disaster

Emergency plans for water, sanitation and housing for Haiti might look like this:

Water Filter from Top to Bottom"
  1. Unfiltered water
  2. Sand
  3. Charcoal
  4. Gravel
  5. Spout and collector for filtered water
  6. Boil filtered water at a rolling boil for 3 to 20 minutes
Sanitation/Three composting heaps:
  1. Heap currently being added to, containing waste, leaves, grass clippings, sawdust
  2. Heap resting and sanitizing for a full year
  3. Heap that has sanitized for a full year and is now being used in gardens
  1. Rectangular earth or sand bag walls, covered with tarps and a few wood rafters.
  2. Yurt style, circular, earth or sand bag walls, covered with tarps and rafters, with yurt style roof.
  3. Ultra simple yurts: see
Just remember, Haiti may just be first in the batting order. If food prices sky rocket, because of current northern hemisphere crop failures from winter freezes, the dollar will fail and we will be sending aid to ourselves.

Radio Broadcast on Yurt Building and Yurt Living

I will appear on a radio show, Definitely Dance this coming Sunday, January 17th, at 9 AM EST broadcast from WSBS.COM 91,4 FM. The show's theme is about living from passion, hence the life worth living definitely dances. The book For Love of Yurts, Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under a $1000, is now on sale in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, at Crystal Essence, 39 Railroad Street. The show can be heard at and eventually here, at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yurts: Housing For The Coming Hard Times

A yurt is a structure that can be home built for roughly one-tenth the cost of a yurt kit. Yurt kits create space at $40 a square foot for a sixteen foot diameter/two hundred square foot yurt. A home built yurt of the same size creates space at $4 a square foot. In a depressed economy, a home built yurt may be the only way to have independent housing for some people. (Check out to see how this can be done).
Building the yurt only solves part of the housing problem. The problem of where to put the structure will be key in creating a yurt home. One possibility is to put the yurt up in a friend's or relative's backyard. Because the structure in temporary, essentially a camping tent, the yurt might not fall under the jurisdiction of the town building inspector. You need to check carefully with local officials before putting your yurt up to make sure you are not bringing difficulties to your friend or relative. One advantage to a backyard placement is that the bathroom facilities and kitchen facilities might be available to the yurt dweller. The yurt serves essentially a living room, office and bedroom in this case. Depending on your relationship with your friend or relative, you become a part of their life in using the "big house" or you might schedule bathroom visits in the early morning to use the big house bathroom for a short time to empty a camp toilet and fill a water jug, never crossing paths with your host or hostess. Because the yurt comes down and is relatively easy to move, your friend or relative can be assured that the situation is truly temporary.
Another possible site for a yurt is a campground. A campground has the advantage of having bathing facilities, a water source and even electricity available to a yurt dweller. The disadvantage of campgrounds is that they are often seasonal and the often have campsites so jammed packed that there is virtually no privacy. Because yurts are not sound proof you will be living within your neighbors outdoor conversations and they will be living within your indoor conversations. You will have absolutely no privacy whatsoever. Some campground owners will allow you to pitch your yurt away from the jammed packed sites in an out of the way section of the park, but many parks are unable to provide this.
The best place to site a yurt is on your own rural land. Not everyone is in a position to do this and it may take collective efforts of groups of friends or relatives to manage this. Yet homesteading may be the only way to accomplish a productive life in the coming hard times. Visit Homestead Basics to see how.