May 3, 2007 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Modern yurts. Not just for hippies/nomads/ren fairs anymore.
posted by jasonsmall (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've got my mint copy of Mongolian Cloud Houses sittin' all nice and yurty on my bookshelf for when I decide to build my yurt and abandon right angles forever and ever, amen. Yurt it up, yo.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2007

We stayed in a Pacific Yurt owned by the Oregon state parks dept. It was comfy and nice. I don't think these are really that portable, however. Here's a good link from those listed above discussing the history of modern yurts:


I think it would be a blast to have some land by some water, in a nice setting, and go yurt camping with the family for a month each Spring.
posted by craniac at 10:57 AM on May 3, 2007

My limestone cave is just fine, thankyouverymuch.
posted by billysumday at 11:02 AM on May 3, 2007

"It yurts so good" is priceless.
posted by popechunk at 11:14 AM on May 3, 2007

One thing I don't like about Yurts is their 1:1 incidence with crank-operated compost toilets in my personal experience.

That was on Orca Island in Resurrection Bay, AK.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:34 AM on May 3, 2007

I stayed in a yurt rental in Hawaii and it was a great mid point between an over-priced hotel and camping. And we had a shower in the sun!
posted by 2sheets at 11:48 AM on May 3, 2007

Oh baby, it yurts so good.

Funny mostly if you don't know that the actual Mongolian pronunciation is much closer to "jert."
posted by jefgodesky at 11:52 AM on May 3, 2007

Yurts are also ideal winter backcountry shelters. The city of Pocatello and Idaho State University, for example, have a system of yurts in the mountains around town. They're in USFS backcountry areas, which means no permanent structures or machines. Every fall a team of volunteers carts the yurts (including bunks and a woodburning stove) into the hils and assembles it; every spring the volunteers disassemble it and bring it down.

Having the yurts means you can go on multi-day backcountry ski trips going yurt to yurt, without having to take along a tent, stove, or pans and utensils; all this through some of the finest slopes and snow in existence. And if you get in trouble in the backcountry, you know there are emergency supplies (and possibly people) in the yurts.

(Of course you need to be competent in winter backcountry travel. In a good snow year you might have to dig down 10 feet to get to some yurts.)
posted by phliar at 11:53 AM on May 3, 2007

I stayed in a yurt rental in Hawaii too and it was a dank and leaky skuzz fest, of course I rented it from some super-relaxed windsurfers who got me terribly high with a homemade weed vaporizer consisting of a bong and a paint stripping gun. "Gunners Brah!" At that yurt there was a 1:1 incidence of a dubious looking five gallon bucket that used to hold pickles or grout or something for the bathroom, that or a long walk down a three legged dog infested hill to the outhouse. I loved that fucking yurt.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:54 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]

Oh baby, it yurts so good.

Funny mostly if you don't know that the actual Mongolian pronunciation is much closer to "jert."

Actually, Mongolians don't use the word "yurt." The Mongolian word for the building is "ger" - hard g, rhymes with hair.

If you really want to sound Mongolian use the "tip of your tongue" Spanish "r" sound. Just don't roll it.
posted by Grundlebug at 12:06 PM on May 3, 2007

Hmmm, I heard some Mongolians calling them what sounded an awful lot like "jert." I suppose it could've been for the benefit of the dumb English-speakers, or maybe there's regional variations?
posted by jefgodesky at 12:13 PM on May 3, 2007

I once stayed in a concrete pseudo-yurt holiday home in a park in Chengde, former summer retreat of the Manchu emperors. Most bizarre.
As if the tacky patronising co-option of minority ethic lifestyles wasn't enough, once we left the well-watered park and chatted with some local farmers we met around and about in the surrounding dust-bowl, we discovered that the area had been suffering a bad drought for three years. Sort of took the shine off. The 1/10th-scale Potala is quite something though, to take this pointless anecdote even further off-topic.
posted by Abiezer at 12:41 PM on May 3, 2007

If you are ever up our way, you may want to visit one of the Yurts of Manitoba...
posted by sporb at 12:41 PM on May 3, 2007

Mongolians call them Gers.
posted by the cuban at 12:57 PM on May 3, 2007

jefgodesky, where in Mongolia were you? Some Turkic speaking people use something like jort or jert as a word for camp. (iirc)
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:01 PM on May 3, 2007

I have to say, this was one of those specialized posts where I clicked on the "favorites" link to see who marked this as a favorite post (not that it isn't a good FPP, mind you). I was sad that they didn't include usernames like "yurtlover" or "madaboutyurts." I may have to register a new username.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:38 PM on May 3, 2007

We live or at least sleep in a yurt. The best bit is being so connected with the outdoors: the morning chorus; hearing the wind from afar; owls telling each other where their hunting-gounds are; rain on the roof. It's very cosy when our wood stove is on, tucked up in bed and not being separated from nature.
posted by anadem at 2:34 PM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm going out tonight with my friends who live in a yurt they built in Vermont three years ago. Their Yurtsite.
posted by alms at 2:58 PM on May 3, 2007

Does living in a yurt actually make you want to crush your enemies? See them driven before you?
Hear the lamatation of their women?

I’d go with Divine_Wino on a yurt off. Be all yurted up and yurty, n‘shit.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:59 PM on May 3, 2007

Does living in a yurt actually make you want to crush your enemies? See them driven before you?
Hear the lamatation of their women?

Actually I think it was the fermented mare's milk that made them that way.
posted by wilful at 5:41 PM on May 3, 2007

Anyway, ever since Rhino Records came out with "Woe Unto Us! The Lamentations of Your Enemies' Women, 525-1987, Volume 1", the fun's kind of gone out of it.
posted by arto at 5:47 PM on May 3, 2007

Yurts are trailers for yuppies.
posted by recurve at 6:23 PM on May 3, 2007

I wish I could afford a yurt, or had the time and energy to built one as they really are the most luxurious way of camping I've come across. I love the large ones that Albion Canvas make. But they do sit there taunting me for my lack of money to buy them *sigh*.
posted by invisible_al at 7:59 AM on May 4, 2007

So, my local bar is run by two Mongolian brothers (fine gentlemen) and I asked them for a ruling on the ger/yurt issue. I was told that ger is pretty universally the modern word used across Mongolia (these lads are from the part that's currently part of China). He'd herd the word yurt but thought it was probably Turkmen, as thirteenkiller suggest above.
posted by Abiezer at 1:56 PM on May 4, 2007

Erk, forgot to say that he said that there was a much more detailed and diverse vocabulary in the past, with different names for different styles and so forth, but that modern communications had unified the nomenclature.
posted by Abiezer at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2007

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