Groovy Yurts March Update

A little bit of Groovy news for those who are waiting for their new dwelling or considering acquiring one:

 

The first bit of  good news is that the families of our supplier, and Mongolians in general, are doing well. Mongolia reacted extremely quickly and appropriately by closing their borders in January and forbade most travels within the country, including during the beloved celebration of TsgaanSar (the Mongolian New Year). In the countryside, they are used to living in isolated gers (yurts) and sustaining themselves, and therefore distancing measures have not come as a major disruption to their typical lifestyle.

In Canada, we have now gone remote and work mostly from home. We are still capable of shipping and are taking measures to do so safely. We are preparing for our delivery tour in the late spring but are looking at more affordable ways to ship yurts for anyone with more pressing needs or desires. If picking up your yurt is an option, we can make that happen safely as well!

The demand for yurts has seen slight growth this year, as people look to transition into more affordable, remote and sustainable ways of living. Recently, we were offered new ways of payments and barter and would love to take a couple sheep in exchange for a yurt. We believe that in the future, the world may need to reconsider the way it does business. For the moment, we are still only using standard currencies to secure yurt orders, purchases, and to guarantee their production in Mongolia. In the event we are unable to deliver, our restocking fees will be waived for all orders and full refunds issued.

Additionally, we are doing everything in our power to make sure all yurt parts and options are available to order, but should we fall short, we will deliver or ship at a later date. We are already thankful for your understanding and will do our very best to fulfill all demand.

Do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.

In the meantime, stay safe and may you be happy!

The Groovy Team

How Mongolian Yurts Are Made

Mongolian Yurts – The #1 Choice for True Yurt Enhusiasts

You’ll find essentially two kinds of yurts on the North American market nowadays:

Modern yurts and traditional yurts.

At Groovy Yurts, we’re all about authentic yurts, made in Mongolia. Mongolian yurts are not only made to be sturdy in the great tradition of the Mongolian people, these yurts are made with love, care and respect.

Want to know more about how yurts are made in Mongolia? You’ve come to the right place! On this page we’ll cover the specific process by which Mongolian yurts are made, including the materials used (still respecting and following the Mongolian tradition) and some of steps involved in the creation.

Having said that, some essential maintenance and precaution is necessary to ensure that your yurt is ready for winter and will hold up well as the storms and extreme temperatures run their course.

In this edition of the Groovy Yurts Blog, we’ll show you some winter tips for yurt living.

A Time-Honoured Tradition of Mongolian Yurt Manufacturing

Yurts have served as the traditional family home and housing structure in Mongolia for millennia.

Over time there has been the occasional improvement or innovation, but at its essence the Mongolian yurt you’ll experience today is very similar to the yurts used by Mongolian people in the nomadic steppes of Central Asia going back a millennium or more.

Why?

Because yurts are, quite simply put, one of the best residential structures ever created. They are simple and accessible to the masses, providing shelter to anyone seeking it. Yurts are warm in the winter and cool in the summer; they do a tremendous job of protecting inhabitants from the elements outside. They have been shaped by Mongolia’s extreme climate over thousands of years.

Yurts also have very spiritual elements, found in many of the components of the yurt structure both outside and inside. That’s why Mongolian yurts are not manufactured on an assembly line. Instead you’ll find that the Mongolian people create yurt components using a meticulous process.

Mongolian Yurts Are a Proud Family Tradition That Incorporates Respect & Spirituality

A yurt, or “ger” as it is known in the Mongolian language, is not a random assembly of prefab pieces. Each component of the yurt has meaning, and, as each is created by hand, no two yurts are the same.

The wooden pieces of the yurt – in particular the door, the pillars (bagaans), the roof rafters (huns) and the toono (the compression ring that is at the top of the yurt) are made to measure and painted by hand.

Other components such as insulation and ropes are made from sheep’s wool and horsehair, respectively (and respectfully). Horse hair ropes do not last forever in a humid climate and can always be changed to new ones or synthetic straps. We keep offer them as a standard as they are beautiful an create a direct source of income for the Mongolian herders.

As you can probably guess by now, Mongolian yurts are not made in a central “yurt factory.” That concept would be completely foreign and unimaginable for the Mongolian people.

Mongolian yurts are very much a family business.

At Groovy Yurts, we’ve lived and traveled extensively in Mongolia. As such we’ve partnered with a family in Mongolia who make yurts. In the video below you can see this family, led by a wonderful fellow named Baata.

These phenomenal people create most of the yurt components that we offer to you. Everything they make is done by hand, and each component – while following the traditions of time – is unique in the way it is created.

The Essential Components of a Mongolian Yurt & How They Are Created

The materials used in a Mongolian yurt are all natural.

Take the ropes that are used to wrap and secure the yurts. These ropes are made from horsehair. But not just any hair from the horse. Only hair from the mane is clipped and used to create yurt ropes. Why not take hair from the horse’s tail? No, this is would be sacrilege! The hair on the tail belongs to the horse and is considered sacred.

Sheep’s wool is generally used for insulation in a yurt. At Groovy Yurts we offer the “white felt” which is more dense and considered to hold up to humidity better.

The wood for the lattice walls is still split and cut by hand. Wood is carefully selected for each part and dried; Tamarack for the walls and huns and Siberian pine for the other parts

In the video you’ll see the family hand-painting the various wooden components. These paints are water based and we varnish the exterior parts. Painting is done by all the women in the family, who are known to sing traditional Mongolian songs while engaging in their work.

It’s not unheard of for the family to pause and take a break from the yurt-making to engage in a little friendly wrestling.

Mongolian Yurts Are a Truly Unique Product Made with Respect and Love

So you can see that Mongolian yurts truly are a one-of-a-kind product not just to own but to respect and appreciate, knowing they were made with respect and love.

Winter Yurt Tips

One question we’re often asked is, “Do yurts hold up well in the wintertime?” Our answer is always a resounding, “Yes!”

woman camping with her dog in a yurt

Blog #4 – Beige’s yurt Experience

Are you interested by off grid living??

In this case Amazing Alternative’s video of Beige’s yurt experience is a must see. She really pushed the limit of off grid living and this is an honest report of real life in a Mongolian yurt in the harsh climate of Ontario. 

Check out Beiges video below, she is truly inspiring.

https://youtu.be/12neLeeNPls

Super Ger Groovy Yurt in the BC countryside

Blog #3 – Can anyone live in a Mongolian Ger

Can Anyone live in a Mongolian Ger;

Yessss!!! … and No…

Yes, because the yurt can be adapted to almost any need and wish. Comfort is a very personal thing. For some, just having a roof and an insulated shelter is enough. For others, taking a warm shower, having a TV room, a gym, a bar and a hot-tub represents the absolute minimum requirements. It is really you who will define if a yurt is right for you. Most of our customers who have chosen a yurt as their primary dwelling have made similar discoveries during their transitions. Most agreed it was difficult to institute a level of organization in the beginning. Working with the thermodynamics of space would for most certainly take some time. Amongst this and other adjustments, the transition and fine tuning to a simpler life would soon prove to be extremely fulfilling, and thus creating time to enjoy what was really important to them.

 

I have seen a couple with very limited practical skills (at least in the beginning:-), quit their well paid jobs, sell their home, and live remotely off grid in their yurt. After three years they continue to be extremely happy and successful at living and loving their yurt lifestyle. They have adapted to their own needs and the needs of their yurt. On the contrary,  I have also experienced a customer who has left his highly paid job to dedicate himself to a simpler holistic lifestyle. After much research he was convinced our product was exactly what he was looking for. His dream to live in our hand made organic Mongolian Ger needed to include with absolute certainty all the amenities of home, including; plumbing, windows, high end flooring etc. Not that this can’t happen, but accommodations need to be made and understood.  Leaks rarely happen. However, a small leak into this yurt would most certainly prove to be catastrophic, and now we have on our hands, a very distraught client. Our yurts are as close as you will get to a living, breathing dwelling. Left to their own vices they will merge with the earth once again. Understanding the amazing advantages and the real challenges of our hand crafted Mongolian yurts is crucial to success in your yurt.

A Mongolian ger is perfect… and yet imperfect at the same time. If one is ready to adjust, modify and adapt, you will certainly be a happy groovy yurter.  If instead you expect the perfection of an industry manufactured product, you may however face disappointment.

My point is, that if you choose a Groovy yurt for your needs either to live in, for recreational purposes, special events, or term rentals it is important to understand the physical dwelling, the culture, the history, and the journey that brought it to your door. I can ensure you that understanding our yurts purpose, advantages and limitations will help you to succeed beyond what you ever would have dreamed imaginable.

Yurt at night with time-lapse of stars

Blog #2 – Common uses of yurts in North America

Sain baina uu!

Touring North America, the most common question our yurting crew will get is : ‘’ What do people use the yurts for?’’. It’s an interesting question because of all of the possibilities! I’ve also been quite surprised over the years to see the ingenuity and creativity of certain people towards this goal that totally fit with the Mongolian mindset! There are the very large yurts (30+ feet), they will commonly be used for big events whereas the smaller yurts will be used for more of the day to day activities.

Many yurts are erected for renting or airbnb’ing, and yurts have proven they could fulfill this requirement with ease. In the same way, people needing an extra room to the house have been able to use yurts to give the in-laws or the frustrated teens some space of their own. Offering a space for a bed and a few amenities has been proven thousands of times over throughout north America. It brings the question, can the yurt be even more?

What is one of the most encouraging trends happening is that increasingly, people are getting yurts to live in. This is promising because it shows that people are starting to use the yurts as they are meant to be used, the Mongolian word for yurt, ‘’Ger’’, means home. It is heart warming to see people adapt to this way of thinking, challenging them to see what it is they really want in their home being less space-wasteful than a traditional home. And what these folks are doing simultaneously is proving that this dwelling truly is a 4 season efficient way of life.

 

Cozy!

-Chuck