Yurt Living : What is a Yurt?

A Guide to Off Grid Yurts

Yurts as Off Grid Homes

Yurts are circular dwellings that originated as portable homes used by nomads in Central Asia. These round, domed tent structures offer many benefits for off grid and sustainable living. Yurts are inexpensive to build, easy to heat and cool naturally, and have a smaller footprint than conventional houses. They provide a cozy and comforting shelter perfect for embracing a minimalist, natureconnected lifestyle.

off grid yurt

What is a Yurt?

A yurt is a circular framed tent structure traditionally covered with felt, canvas, or hides. The standard components include:

  • Collapsible wooden circular frame and roof wheel
  • Lattice walls made of wood or bamboo
  • Insulating coverings and door flap
  • Central smoke hole at the top for ventilation

While traditional yurts were designed to be portable for nomadic peoples, modern yurts are often built on raised decks as permanent dwellings. DIYers put their own spin on yurts using reclaimed materials and unique construction techniques.

Benefits of Yurt Living

Why choose a yurt as an offgrid shelter? Some top advantages include:

  • Cost – Yurts are affordable, with DIY kits starting around $6000. Much cheaper than conventional home building.

  • Sustainability – Made from natural renewable materials. Smaller footprint and less waste.

  • Temperature Regulation – Round shape and central chimney allows for excellent natural airflow.

  • Flexibility – Yurts can be converted into guest houses, offices, studios, or temporary lodging.

  • Coziness – The circular floorplan and domed ceilings create a comforting, huglike environment.

Yurts vs. Other OffGrid Options

How do yurts compare to other offgrid dwelling options like tipis, tents, RVs or tiny homes?

  • More sturdy and insulated than tents or tipis. Offer better protection from elements.
  • More cost effective and ecofriendly than RVs or motorhomes.
  • More unique layout than tiny square homes. Provide efficient use of space.

For many, yurts are the ideal balance of affordability, sustainability, and comfort.

yurt with solar

Finding Land for Yurt Living

When searching for land to set up a yurt, look for:

  • Secluded, wooded parcels – Privacy and access to nature
  • Space to garden – Grow your own food and medicinal herbs
  • Solar access – Ability to utilize passive and active solar
  • Fresh water – Spring, stream, or area for rain catchment

Always research local zoning laws first, as yurts are not permitted everywhere. Some rural towns are more yurtfriendly than suburban areas with tighter regulations.

Designing and Building a Yurt

Constructing your own yurt is very doable, especially from a kit. Top tips:

  • Choose durable, waterresistant materials like canvas, wool, or wood composite for coverings
  • Consider insulation – Fiberglass, wool batts, or spray foam
  • Include a raised floor – Essential for access, airflow, and insulation
  • Select windresistant lattice material – Laminated wood or bamboo strips
  • Add a roof vent – Critical for airflow and cooling

For beginners, going with an authentic yurt kit is recommended for proper structural engineering.

OffGrid Resources for Yurt Homes

Some options for offgrid power, water, and utilities:

  • Solar panels – Can be mounted on yurt roof or nearby pole
  • Composting toilet – No need for complex plumbing
  • Propane – Useful for cooking, heating, and refrigeration
  • Rainwater harvesting – Collect from roof into tanks or cisterns
  • Wood stove – Provides heat for colder months

The circular shape and efficient space of a yurt makes offgrid living easy.

beautiful yurt living life


Lifestyle Benefits of Yurt Living

Yurt residents report profound benefits from embracing the yurt lifestyle:

  • Freedom from clutter – The limited space encourages living with just the essentials
  • Community – Group yurt neighborhoods foster sharing and collaboration
  • Peacefulness – Nearness to nature and quiet promote calm and focus
  • Creativity – Open and whimsical structures inspire innovation
  • Presence – Beautiful surroundings and cozy spaces encourage mindfulness

For many, yurt living allows them to live their best lives.

FAQ About Yurt Living


How much does a yurt cost?

 Basic starter yurts can range from $6000$15,000. DIY builds can lower costs.

How long do yurts last?

 With proper maintenance, 2030 years. Proper moisture regulation is key for longevity.

Are yurts energy efficient? 

Their shape and shelter orientation allow passive heating and cooling. Insulation upgrades can improve further.

Can you live in a yurt year round?

 Yes, with sufficient insulation and heating. Some may relocate in extreme winters.


For those seeking affordable, sustainable housing with minimal environmental impact, yurts are a great solution. The circular structure and communal nature fosters preservation of tradition, mindfulness, and healthy living. By building a yurt home, you can reduce clutter while getting closer to nature and community.