Thank you for your interest in one of the world’s most practically and attractively designed habitations. The Mongolian yurt, or ger as it is known in Mongolia itself, has been used for thousands of years by the nomads of Central Asia and is still a common sight in many countries in the region.
With its unique design, structure and practical features, the yurt is still a popular habitation. Mongolian yurts (ger) are attracting interest from people in many parts of the world as an ecologically friendly and attractive living space that can be used for a variety of purposes.
The terms yurt and ger are interchangeable and describe the traditional portable Mongolian habitation consisting of a wooden frame and felt walls.
Yurts (gers) are designed to be easy to take apart, transport, and reconstruct. Despite this portability, they are warm enough to keep the coldest winter temperatures at bay and strong enough to withstand strong winds and the demands of a whole family.
The yurt (ger) is a circular structure built using a wooden, accordion frame that can be easily taken down, made compact for carrying, and reassembled. On this frame are placed three to four layers of felt, traditionally made from sheep’s wool, and an outer layer of waterproof canvas. The felt and canvas are secured to the wooden frame and the resulting structure can stand securely in one place for months or even years at a time.
The wooden frame of the yurt (ger) is held together by opposing stresses designed into the structure and by horse, yak and camel hair straps. A central column holds up the struts of the roof, which fan out from an opening that accommodates a stove pipe and can be opened up to the elements on a warm day or covered in the event of rain or cold temperatures. The lower sides of the outer wrapping of the yurt can also be raised to allow air to circulate freely to cool the interior on warm days.
What are yurts used for?
If you have been to Mongolia, you will surely already have an idea of how you wish to use a yurt. However, we would like to provide some ideas on how a yurt (ger) might contribute to your lifestyle for those who do not have this experience. Although nomads in Mongolia use yurts all year round in temperatures as low as -35 and as high as +40 degrees Celsius, we recommend using yurts (gers) in temperatures between about -10 and +30 degrees Celsius as it takes special care and expertise to keep the interior of a yurt warm during conditions colder than -10 degrees Celcius.
A yurt provides not only the atmosphere of a nomadic lifestyle but has many practical and enjoyable uses for people in North America and elsewhere in the world.