What is a yurt? A yurt is a type of portable home that originated in Mongolia, that can be used either temporarily or permanently. Traditional yurts consist of a expanding wooden circular frame covered with some type of waterproof covering. What makes the yurt different than most homes is that it is round. A yurt is designed to be set up or taken down in just a matter of hours and to be able to be carried compactly by draft animals to another location.
In the United States and Canada, yurts are made using hi-tech materials. They are highly engineered and built for extreme weather conditions. In addition, erecting one can take days and they are not intended to be moved often. These North American yurts are better named yurt derivations, as they are no longer round felt homes that are easy to mount, dismount and transport. North American yurts and yurt derivations were pioneered by William Coperthwaite in the 1960s, after he was inspired to build them by a National Geographic article about Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas's visit to Mongolia.
In 1978, Oregon-based company Pacific Yurts became the first to manufacture yurts using architectural fabrics and structural engineering, paving the way for yurts to become popular attractions at ski resorts and campgrounds. In 1993, Oregon became the first state to incorporate yurts into its Parks Department as year round camping facilities. Since then, at least 17 other US States have introduced yurt camping into their own parks departments.
Different groups and individuals use yurts for a variety of purposes, from full-time housing to school rooms. In some provincial parks in Canada, and state parks in several US states, permanent yurts are available for camping.
Check out the slide show for how a yurt can be designed into a comfortable, affordable home!
To see and read more about yurts check out the following links:
White Mountain Yurts