Whether you are considering living in a yurt for eco-reasons, to cut down costs or simply to try something new, our ‘how to live in a yurt’ blog will unveil all of the wonderful aspects that this lifestyle entails. It doesn’t matter whether this is simply going to be your summer retreat or your full-time home, you’ll certainly find it an interesting read. Our 10-step guide will help you to make an informed decision on whether living in a yurt is for you. If you decide that it is for you, our guide can help you to make the right preparations for your new lifestyle so that you get the full level of enjoyment from your new, unique home!
1. Explore your reasons for living in a yurt
There are many reasons why you might be considering living in a yurt. Maybe you are looking to find a home that is a little kinder to the environment, or you are looking to dramatically downsize and save on costs, or simply want to try out a new adventure! Pinpointing your main reason for wanting to live in a yurt and exploring this further is a good idea before becoming set on your idea. Living in a yurt is a big challenge to take initially, and it isn’t for everyone, so make sure you carefully consider all of the options. You may want to come on one of our yurt holidays for a little taster of what life could be like before committing, take your pick from one of our four yurts and we’re sure that you’ll fall in love with this way of living!
2. Decide where to place your yurt
Finding a good place for your yurt to be situated is of paramount importance. Think this decision though and weigh up all the options. For example, do you want your yurt to be off the grid completely? Where can you obtain resources such as water? How accessible is your yurt? You may have a friend or relative with some spare land which would make for the perfect setting for your new home, or might even want to invest in a piece of land yourself! Needless to say, you can’t simply build a yurt anywhere; you’ll need the landowner’s permission, and you might sometimes also have to apply for planning permission. You’ll also need to think about where you situate your yurt in terms of wind, rain and potential floods. Avoid anywhere that regularly floods or experiences high winds as this could be detrimental to your home. This is going to be a permanent structure, so you’ll want to think it carefully through and get a second opinion.
3. Purchase a yurt
Once you’re committed to this challenge, it is time to make your investment. You may wish to take on the task of building your own if you are handy with tools, in which case you can personalise it to your needs and really embrace the lifestyle early on. If you don’t feel quite ready for that then you still have plenty of options, for example, there are patterns and yurt making kits that can be purchased on the internet that are simple enough to build yourself. Or alternatively, you could reach out to a company or individual with experience in building yurts and commission them to build your very own!
4. Prepare your yurt
Building a good foundation for the yurt is vita if it is going to withstand the test of time. As this is a possibly permanent structure, rather than a 2-day tent experience, you will probably need to consider laying down a concrete foundation, cinder blocks, a wooden platform or something similar that offers a buffer between the earth and your belongings. This will give your yurt longevity, an extra layer of warmth and give you a more sufficient floor than wet mud and grass. If you are planning to uproot your yurt at some point and relocate in the future, this will affect your decision on the foundations, as a massive slab of concrete isn’t easily transportable, but a bolted deck platform will be.
5. Fill your yurt with home comforts
Once your yurt is complete, it is time to move in! You’ve likely opted to live in a yurt for a more minimalistic lifestyle, so be careful not to go overboard with furnishings, as this will make the space feel smaller. On the other hand, however, you want this to be a comfortable and cosy abode that you will enjoy. Deck your pod out with comfortable furniture, thick rugs and soft furnishings to give it a real homely feel, and make sure that you don’t forget any necessities. If you want to create the effect of ‘rooms’ in your yurt, then consider using furniture to break the space up. Open plan living is a wonderful thing if you can learn to adapt to this way of living, so try to embrace every feature of the yurt life for the utmost enjoyment!
6. Cooking facilities in/near your yurt
You can opt to have your ‘kitchen’ within the yurt, but this style isn’t for everyone. If you would like a separate space for your cooking facilities, then you might want to consider building a wooden shed-style kitchen nearby that has a sink, shelves and basic cooking equipment when you need it. During the summertime, a barbeque or fire pit will often suffice, but if you are living in a yurt long-term, then a kitchen shed or homemade pizza oven might be an enjoyable option!
7. Toilet/shower facilities in/near your yurt
It is unlikely that you will want to locate your toilet within your yurt for many reasons, so you’ll need to find an alternative area. Again, an outdoor shed style building could be of help. You can build a self-composting toilet into this for an eco-friendly option that doesn’t require a water source – just ensure that this is well maintained for hygiene reasons. For a shower, there are many simple devices that will collect natural rainwater, use solar power to heat and then can be attached to a tree or building to offer a quick eco-friendly shower. You may of course choose to have your yurt plumbed, in which case you can have running water and a flushing toilet, although this is a very costly option, it does offer you that little bit of luxury in the great outdoors!
8. Energy sources
If you’re feeling brave and are willing to go off the gird all together, then good on you! However, for those who are not ready to go quite that far, there are still ways that you can feel electricity into your yurt. Take a look into the options of solar power or wind power for the most eco-friendly option, or you can run a mains supply or generator alongside your yurt if you really must (this isn’t particularly advisable for anyone trying to opt for a greener alternative however). You might need to get an expert in to review the options available in your area, or to install the facilities for wind and solar power in particular. Battery operated lights are helpful for night times (ensure you opt for the rechargeable option) and keep your energy uses to a minimum.
9. Prepare the space outside of your yurt
Once the inside of the yurt is completed, you might want to consider how to best utilise the outdoor space. Growing a wildflower garden or vegetable garden is a fantastic option, making the most of your outdoor space and creating a beautiful look when you step outside. Growing your own fruits and vegetables will give you a new lease of life, cut down your costs and give you a real sense of achievement, particularly if this makes you almost 100% self-reliant. Utilising the outdoor space is a vital part of yurt life, particularly when the space inside is likely to be quite limited. Make the most of the great outdoors and explore all that our earth has to offer.
10. Enjoy the yurt life!
The biggest thing about living in a yurt that you should pay attention to is the enjoyment aspect. Living off the grid, or somewhat off the grid can give you a great sense of pleasure, getting back to nature and embracing the beautiful world we live in. All your worries will soon float away as you adopt the pace of nature and enjoy all the fruits of your labour!