I’m looking for a yurt, and its not cuz I’ve gone all hippy-dippy, its because a yurt is a damn good tent structure. Years ago, when I did my version of moving back to the land, I lived in a small yurt for over a year with my young son. It was quite the hobbit home, sod roof and all – the outhouse was up a sweet little path along the side of the hill. An old waterbed was just off the deck and I’d sit up there sloshing around as I read to my son. Oh, I’ve got some pleasant memories of yurts.
Now I am looking for a guest space or perhaps a “community” space for a group of tenters and I thought of the yurt again. Relatively inexpensive, easily movable, elegant and comfortable – this seems to cover it with the yurt. The internet offers any number of configurations on the yurt, even including varying construction techniques. American yurts are really only the distant cousins of the Mongolian yurts. Yurts in the United States are more engineered, use higher tech materials, take longer to put up and are not intended to be moved often. My search took me to a number of websites – each was interesting in their own way –
http://www.coloradoyurt.com/yurts/index.php This was the first place we looked. We decided that we liked their tipis quite a bit. They make a pretty yurt and their prices are competitive, but they are a long way away and I wanted to get a break on shipping somehow… so I kept looking…www.livabletent.com/ This was a very useful website. Seems like someone had already done this looking around stuff before and here was a list of what they found. I visited several.  – http://www.atuktents.com/ This is where I would go if I wanted to get a yurt that was closer, traditionally, to the original Ger of Mongolia (“yurt” was the word for the imprint that the Ger made on the ground after it was taken down). From their website, they seem genuine. – http://www.exclusivetents.com/ Very, very cool canvas structures – elegant. Way expensive. And in Belize. Damn! – http://www.soulpad.com/ Another very cool, natural looking adaption of the yurt. They wouldn’t ship to California. I was seriously thinking of buying one (price was competitive) until I found out. At this point I got intrigued by all the canvas tents I was seeing and I thought maybe a yurt was too fancy. So, I took a look at a Reliable tent over at http://www.outfitterwarehouse.com. This was a great big canvas tent with a smoke hole – and dirt cheap. And, for my purposes, dead ugly. You can find alot of canvas tents out there, so not everyone thinks they are ugly. About this time I was ready for a break and I went on over to http://www.interstellarmarines.com/ to check what I heard was a very cool game promo. I’m a Myst kind of gamer and I like my graphics very crisp. This one looks promising. I have a slow country connection so on-line gaming can be a challenge. Anyway… Still no yurt. I had seen some ads for tent stoves and I thought I should check prices. Well, my favorite stove is a Jotel, but they are like $700 pricey and I wasn’t ready for that. Perhaps something more akin to the “Tin Wonder” that I have seen around.  – http://www.kni-co.com/ These folks offer several “Sheepherder” stoves meant for tenting with pack animals. Very clean lines. Not a $75 cheapie, but also not a Jotel. The prices ranged from $200 to $400. Worth a visit. I may buy one of these. – http://www.fourdog.com Wow! You will get heat and cooking out of this one. Their five dog stove runs for $310. Even boils water. I don’t care about cooking and the firebox looks too small, but I want one. – http://www.tentipi.com/ Looking at the stoves, got me thinking of how I admire Swedish craftsmanship and, just for the hell of it, I visited Tentipi. Real interesting tent – but very far away. Not surprisingly, they also offer stove – Hekla fire boxes and Finnmark fireplaces. After all this searching around, I remembered a friend who had described a yurt he had seen. He had mumbled something about Pacific Yurts(www.yurts.com/). The name sounded familiar. I was pleased to find that they had a very attractive 20 foot yurt and an excellent reputation. I could pick the yurt materials up myself at their factory and save myself the shipping. Their staff has been very helpful. My new yurt is shipping to me as I write.