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Winterized Yurts

topic posted Wed, November 28, 2007 - 7:42 PM by  Pias
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I was wondering if anyone has lived in a Yurt in the winter months?... i like here in the East, and the winters can get pretty darn cold and with lots of snow, I was was wondering if anyone has experienced Yurt living in the winter?...
posted by:
Pias
Vermont
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  • I remember seeing a documentary about the reindeer herders in Siberia, Nomads who live in yurts . . . it was interesting because it showed some of the aerodynamics of the traditional structure, how even the fiercest winds would glide over the wide, low structure, and the snow did not seem to compile on the roofs . . . of course the temperature were severe with wind chills nearly 100 below zero, but with the inner yurt lined with felt blankets the coldest temps within the yurt were 40-50 degrees . . . then they had these enclosed beds (like a canopy beds, lined with felt blankets), they slept nude within this chamber as it was nearly body temperature inside. The inner dynamics of the yurt, with stove/fire heat, and circulation of air with the low, open circular structure, and breathability of the natural materials all work together to make these structure ideal for severe weather; they are what the Nomads developed in response to their conditions.

    I found the inner bed chamber and interesting feature . . . it makes sense, like dressing in layers, that the more insulation layers created would increase heat . . .
    AP
  • I live full-time in a yurt, and through a coupla winters now.
    Keep the woodstove burning.
    If it goes out, you'll freeze.

    But then I've only got that reflectix stuff for insulation. Shoulda added some yak-fur, I s'pose.
    • This doesn't seem to be very practical advice ("Keep the woodstove burning."), nor does it say very much about the effectiveness of your "insulation! I'd find it impossible to get a (decent) night's sleep if I followed this suggestion.

      What kinds of materials, in what layer order (and thickness!) do people find acceptable to keep the inside of the (vinyl-covered) yurt at least 50 degrees (with a nighttime temperature "low" of, say, 35 F), and be able to sleep for 8 hours ... or am I kidding myself with those parameters?
      • Unsu...
         
        Heh. Sounds like you've never heated solely with wood before.

        Also sounds like you sure won't like it.
        • Srsly, heating with wood *can* keep you toasty all night long.
          We get a nice bed of coals going and just before retiring for the night, place two or three logs on the coals, bank the stove and slumber off.
          First one up in the morning sets a new log on, and makes tea.

          We're toasty as bugs in a rug, all night long.

          BUT, if we go off to town for a long day, it can be nippy as all get-out until we get the stove fired back up again.
          (this doesn't just go for yurts in the middle of nowhere, but also for wood-heated 'regular' homes all over the northwest. It's just how wood-heated homes *are*.)
      • We've got 25mm of Rockwool plus a layer of Reflectix. Works a treat all winter. The fully insulated platform is important though and when it gets really cold we use a 500w electric heater.
  • the Mongolians would collect many blankets, or rugs, and hang them around the lattice work as insulation. The idea is layers of insulation, nothing magical about it, right? They did it thousands of years ago with no technology by our standards.
    • Unsu...
       
      "The thermal insulation can be felt, or quilted blankets filled with straw, hemp or shredded treebark, or for low-budget bubble wrap does it as well til -5°C only (4 layers), and keeps the interior of the yurt daylight bright."

      www.simplydifferently.org/Yurt
  • People also used to place fire warmed bricks or stones under their "mattress".

    The inner sleeping chamber idea seems creative and practical, wonder if marrying the two ideas would be cool.

    Snow has insulating qualities, so does seagrass(fireproof)

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