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Thread: Teepee -vs- Yert

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    Guide Nerual the Mad's Avatar
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    Default Teepee -vs- Yert

    I put this in a prep thread because I'm thinking about alternate housing after SHTF. I know we have a lot of teepee guys here but, do we have any yert guys? What are the pluses and minuses to both? Long term what would be a better shelter. Both are mobile and both can be made of wood and hide. What would you chose to build and why?

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    If it were me, and I planned on needing it for sure I wouldn't build I'd Buy, you can also think of buying a larger Military Surplus tent, or a wall tent. If you are thinking of a SHTF scenerio I would have the shelter bought and paid for with a location in mind to set it up with. Just me
    Maranatha, Kyrie Eleison

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    Default yurt - teepee

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerual the Mad View Post
    I put this in a prep thread because I'm thinking about alternate housing after SHTF. I know we have a lot of teepee guys here but, do we have any yert guys? What are the pluses and minuses to both? Long term what would be a better shelter. Both are mobile and both can be made of wood and hide. What would you chose to build and why?
    I lived in teepee for the winter in central illinois and froze my ass off until i installed a wood burner and insulated the walls with straw.

    In montana I spent a winter living in my yurt that i bought from some bush hippies.

    it was a lot warmer, had a real door, a window , and a decent wood burning stove in it. I also insulated is with some felt carpet pad.

    my personal chioce for winter living in the north would be a yurt.


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    Default tipi/yurt

    A tipi is the better of the two IF you plan on setting up and moving to different locations on a frequent basis. It's ENOUGH of a shelter to keep you out of the elements and preserve your hide. With a proper stove they are great. The down side is that they have sloping walls and the heat radiates quickly up to the top of the cone and not as much out to the sides of the tipi.

    Yurts have thick felted insulation, aren't as tall and have an vented adjustable cap in the center. They have more usable space because the walls aren't sloped and you can set them up just like an normal house.

    It really comes down to this.

    If you would be moving and setting up more frequently the tipi is the best. That's why the plains indians and the Russian Evenki tribes use them.

    The yurt isn't as easy to assemble and is more of a HOME. In Mongolia it's only disassembled during seasonal moves (less frequently).

    Bottom line is that you need to decide hoe frequently you will move around, if at all.

  5. #5


    Teepees are usually simpler structures and made of hides.

    Yurts tend to have more complexity and are made out of felt.

    If you cheat and use modern materials I suppose it comes down to
    an issue to taste and time invested.

    For manufactured versions the teepee tends to be much less costly
    that the yurt, which is more exotic. I've seen prices on yurts exceed
    that of a motor home.

    Let see. Here's a basic third world yurt construction page.

    and then there's a semi-sane american yurt company version, only
    $4-9 grands for a base model.

    Looking around on the net, the most expensive teepee I found was
    still only about 600. If you get one made out of zebra hides you might
    get prices to match that of the yurts.

    I suppose speed of breakdown and build would be the biggest difference.
    A teepee is more like a tent and made to go up fast and come down fast.

    The yurt tends to be more of a longer term structure, although how long it
    takes for sheep to graze mongollian steppe grass down, I don't know.

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    Claire Wolfe; has an article on living in a yurt.

    I have met her.

    She seems to prefer them, and surprisingly I have been contemplating one.

    Claire used "bubble wrap" for here insulation, and put the yurt on a "deck" built on her land.

    The whole thing could be packed and moved with a pickup, but it seems a bit more challenging to put up and down than other choices.

    A quick check at backwoods home magazine should find a link to here articles if youwant to read more.


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    This is cut and pasted from an old post on my blog from a while back. We did two nights in a yurt up in the White Mountains of NH.

    I have always been fascinated by this unique form of portable dwelling developed by nomadic peoples living on the steppes of Mongolia. The yurt , or more properly called a ger, is similar to the American Indian tipi found in the Great Plains of North America. I have contemplated ownership of a yurt after reading many positive articles on the structure. How it is efficient, wind resistant, relatively low cost compared to a more permanent structure and lets be honest. There is a sort of "cool " factor involved with a yurt.

    Mary and I were in need of a break and wanted to get away from things for a short period of time. I don't have the time off like I used to. One of the things that I sorely miss from public education is the summer vacations. You needed that time off to recharge your batteries, so to speak. Now I don't have that option. Ok. I know that sounds a tad bitter and it is but such is life.

    Mary doesn't like camping all that much. She made the statement," I tolerate it" is the best way to describe it. The biggest issue of all is the cleanliness of the bathrooms. Many places we have stayed at do not clean the bathrooms and showers very well. Well, I don't want to get too off topic so here is what we can say about the yurt.

    I'll not belabor any details but in a nutshell I discovered a number of downsides to the yurt. In the summer the shelter can get very hot and stuffy unless you open up all of the windows. This model had three windows and that brings up another problem. The flaps that cover the windows are on the outside. So in order to get fresh air you need to go outside and roll up the clear plastic and the green fabric and secure it with the velcro tabs. Now the problem is that people passing by can look in. In addition, if it rains you need to go outside to close the windows. The White Mountains recieved about two to four inches of rain on Thursday night thus necessitating the closure of one window. The sound of the rain pounding on the roof was very loud and did have the effect of lulling one to a state of sonambulism. Mary noted that at the roof and wall juncture there were a couple of gaps that insects could make their way in. I did get bit by no see um midges a couple of times but no amount of screening would stop them. The roof is supported on a spoke pattern of what appear to be 2x3's and the walls are supported by a lattice work. The roof is held on by a cable that cinches around the top of the wall similar to a hatband. It is there where a gap or two could lead to some problems.The yurt is very bright. The roof has a skylight. Traditionally this was an opening in which the smoke from a cooking fire would waft upward like a giant chimney. I have seen images of yurts with woodstoves so that is one way to heat a yurt when it is cold outside. The skylight on this model had a clear plexiglass dome. The owners put an opaque tarp over the top of it. I suspect that is necessary in order to keep it from overheating in the summer. Again, we found it to be very hot when we first arrived. I thought that this shelter would be comfortable in mid to late September or early October. One thing that Mary noticed was that the skylight needed cleaning. It was full of dead bugs. In a nutshell the yurt is a step in between a tent and a cabin. For ten dollars more I think you would be better off with a cabin.

    I am somewhat of a dreamer. I have thought of owning a small campground in Maine or New Hampshire as a retirement business of sorts. In addition to some sites for tents and RV's it would be nice to have a couple of yurts. I am not sure if this daydream will ever come to fruition but I do believe one needs to have more experience in order to make such a decision. We had stayed in a yurt for two nights and both concluded that there are a lot of downsides to the structure. So if this dream ever comes true, I don't believe we will have any yurts available.

  8. #8
    Elder Super Moderator GreyOne's Avatar
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    Good picture of some yurts in Russia circa 1910:

    Nemo me impune lacessit ! Wisdom is knowing what to do; Skill is knowing how to do it ; Character is what lets you actually do the job.
    Turley Knife Club #59

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    Our first choice for a temporary house when we moved to Montana was a yurt. I kinda chuckled, but somebody compared a teepee vs. yurt to a p/u camper vs. a travel trailer. Not only comparing the comfort, but the portability, too.
    A lot of folks around here bult stick and permanent log homes in the yurt style, for ease of heating if nothing else.

  10. #10
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    I've Always Like the "Yurt" A few People In Maine Have them has summer camps.

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