A little background info
The journey to yurt living begins
The humble fulfillment of living close to the land
Some advice for anyone looking to try yurt living
– If you are moving somewhere with four seasons, move in the warmer months. Take advantage of the warm weather to prepare for the winter.
– Do not place items up against the wall in a yurt. Yurts need to breathe since they are not airtight. This will help immensely in minimizing condensation.
– Insulate your water reservoirs.
– Get thermometers. You will want to know the temperatures inside the yurt and of the wood stove.
– Have candles and flashlights nearby.
– Keep track of what is in your moving boxes. If you are like us and did not downsize enough prior to the move, you might have a shipping container full of boxes. It makes life ten times easier if you can locate an item without having to open all the boxes first.
– Rocks are your best friend when it comes to dirt roads. Collect large rocks and place them where it gets muddy and rutty. Then lay smaller rocks and gravel overtop. The large rocks provide a base so the gravel doesn’t get swallowed up by the mud. It also helps immensely for gaining traction.
– We opted for the standard, non-glass windows for our yurt. There is no insulation over them, so in the winter cold creeps in fast. Placing wool blankets over the windows, while impeding your view, will keep a lot of the warmth in. The toono provides all the natural light needed, so the windows can be covered up.
– Reliable internet is hard to get outside of major cities. If internet is important to you, research it before you commit to moving to a location. Also, shipping containers act as giant Faraday cages, so don’t expect to get the best reception or connection when inside of one.
– Try to locate your closest cell tower and/or satellite locations prior to placing your yurt or shipping container.
– Look into the Humanure composting toilet system. It is cost-effective, and brilliant, in my humble opinion. Zero smell, even when I add the cats’ business. It truly amazes me.
– Make sure your wood stove is rated to heat at least three times your square footage. We opted for the smallest Jotul wood stove, and it has far exceeded our expectations. In the future we may opt to get the larger Jotul, for the sole reason of not having to stoke it as often. Since I don’t sleep consistently due to my pain, having to stoke our fire every four hours or so throughout the night isn’t too bad. Though I can imagine it might bother others.
– Make sure your chimney cap is vertical. Ours was slanted slightly and it melted all the snow on a nearby tree, which ran right back down the chimney pipe, creating steam (which we originally mistook for smoke and thought our chimney was broken) and a goopy mess.
– Wood ash is an amazing resource. We use it in our composting systems, as well as on icey and snowy walkways. It provides great traction. We even have a bucket of ash in the car in case we get stuck in the snow somewhere.
– Get a good water filtration system. With the Berkey that we chose, we can melt snow on the stove if we needed to and filter it through. If it came down to it, we could even take river or puddle water, run it through the Berkey, and it would be safe to drink.
A typical day in the life…