The yurt (not yurt tent) is a small circular shelter with a lattice wood structure to define the walls and covered in fabric.
In a few words, a yurt is:
This is a Yurt (not a tent). Image Source: @Yurts
Yurt Shapes Matter:
A “round” about way of saying it…we love circles. Circles are one of the shapes of connection and when we gather in them, you are brought together to see each other, to appreciate your companions.
The yurt is so fancy it wears a crown. The roof culminates in a cone with typically an opening or window at the top to let in the natural light. Many cultures keep this area open and adorn it in designs passed down from generation to generation. Told you it was fancy. Check out the Kyrgyzstan flag. Yup. That is the crown of a traditional yurt. Fancy.
Image Source: @yurtopiawimberley
And what’s under a yurt? A yurt skeleton of course! The skeleton is the lattice framing or a series of flexible poles that create the shape and outline of the yurt. It is then covered in fabric of choice dependent on origin and use. For example, the herding communities that call yurts home will cover it in wool collected from their herd. For the camping tent outfitters, canvas is the most common selection.
Image Source: Yurts of America
Where are Yurts From?
These shelters have been around (round!) a while…1000s of years awhile with origins in Central Asia, specifically Mongolia. The yurt was and still is the structure of hospitality to the herding and nomadic communities of this part of the world. It has now also become a more permanent feature as a home or a place to visit within campgrounds or natural locations.
Yurt is a phenomenal word. Starts with a “y” putting it already in a rarefied class including others like “yes” and “yak”. Comes from Turkish meaning “tent, dwelling, abode” and in modern Turkish is synonymous with “homeland.”
Pro Tip: In Mongolian, the word for yurt is actually “ger.”
What is a “Yurt Tent”?
See the above, now let’s make it canvas, remove the structured cone and replace with lattice walls with…nothing. The yurt tent stands erect due to guy lines a central pole and a door pole. In addition, these canvas tents are more readily available to transport (100 lbs) and pitch (20 minutes) on site versus the more standard decks and structures used to support the traditional stationary yurt structure.
So the biggest differences are the level of portability a yurt tent offers and the fact that you can’t run straight through it because…a pole.
Many people use the phrase yurt tent to describe our Life inTents bell tents when they first see them because they are a similar shape and color.
Want to Buy A Yurt Tent or Yurt?
Oh! That’s funny! We have some Life inTents yurt tent like options available right here on this website. But yurt tents can be found by several manufacturers and brands nowadays with a variety of sizes and features depending on your plans of use.
If you want an actual Yurt, then you should check out brands such as Yurts of America, Groovy Yurts or Rainier Outdoors.
Want to stay in a Yurt?
Typical yurts can accommodate up to 6 people comfortably depending on the size and furnishings available and act as both a sleeping pad as well as a hanging pad. They can be four seasons and are available to add electricity, water and a stove. Some of the selections in the below boast full kitchens, bathroom facilities, full-on glamping power!
Airbnb has created a yurt bucket list that spans the globe and range of rustic to fancy. And has a magnificent title:
We have been lucky enough to stay in one of these beauties on the Oregon Coast.
Coming Back Round:
So today we learned what a yurt is, where it comes from, what a fun word it can be to say out loud, where to stay in them, and even where to get them! I am exhausted. Would love to just put my feet up in a cozy, comfortable shelter and connect with my buddies after some outdoor exploring. Oh! I am in a yurt!
We got yurt feelings. That’s a good thing.
Source: Have to give credit where it is due and want to give a shout out to the main source on yurt’s history from the one and only: National Geographic
Father of two aspiring glampers, husband to one inspirational wife, and Co-Founder of Life inTents. Continuiously striving to help make camping more comfortable.