The Yurt: A long winded introduction

Right now I’m broke without a job. I’m in the same boat as a lot of people my age. My close friend went to an interview for a dish washing position, something like 200 people showed up. Thankfully, she now has a full time position but a lot of my peers don’t. This is the world we’ve entered in our young adult lives. And thankfully I’m not in danger of becoming homeless. But this unemployment could have destined me to homeless if I wasn’t lucky.

Lack of money gets in the way of a lot of my plans and it definitely doesn’t feel empowering. I want to live life to the fullest. But what does that mean? If I asked my grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression, what would they say? Something like “Make the most out of what you’ve got.”

So what resources do I have access to?

For one I have time, and that’s something not a lot of folks have to spare. I have the internet and vast pool of knowledge it shares. I have determination, almost sound mind and working body. I can search craigslist and freecycle, dumpsters and construction sites. I can saw down bamboo on the side of the street a half mile from my townhouse, so long as I don’t mind looking like a damn fool trying to drag it back home.

I started thinking about this as a way to make an almost free home, as an example for people who are perhaps homeless, or want a portable structure for camping or seasonal living, a (hopefully) longer lasting alternative to relief tents or year-round living if properly insulated. I looked at a lot of people’s projects. I looked at bamboo geodesic domes, tiny homes, yomes, relief tents, all the wonderful example from the $300 house open design challenge, hexayurts (A great design, if plywood was as free as bamboo, I’d have chose the H13)  and after mulling it over opted for a yurt.

Project Goals

-Utilize salvaged and or recycled materials and locally harvested bamboo.

-Not be prohibitively complicated to make, or require a plethora of expensive tools.

-Be comfortable inside. Meaning there is a place tall enough to stand and change, that the structure can take wind and be dry in rain and is adaptable for different climates.

-Portable, hopefully lightweight. My original goal was something that can be transported by person or bike trailer but we’ll see how close I get. I’m hoping that if you like me don’t have a car, you could still get this somewhere.

-Relatively easy to put up and take down.


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