Best Low Cost Tiny House Alternative – The Mongolian Yurt

Hey everyone! It's Danielle from Exploring Alternatives.

In this video, we're at the tiny house festivalin Lantier, Quebec and we're about to meet up with Rivkah from Groovy Yurts to learnmore about their traditional Mongolian yurts.

*Music Playing* One of our favourite things about Mongolianyurts is that they've been used for 3000 years, and you can tell by the structure that thedesign is constantly evolving.

And that's how it's become the structure thatyou see today.

It is extremely efficient and perfect forthe nomadic people of Mongolia.

Mongolia is a very harsh climate, we're talkingabout Siberia, right? People are surprised when you find out thatyou can live in a yurt year-round, in Canada, in Quebec.

Yes, absolutely you can.

And we recommend maybe a second layer of feltif you're going to be more stationary.

But with a good stove and a proper installationyou'll find that you're very nice and toasty.

You can heat it with wood, propane, even electricif you're plugged in that way.

My personal favourite is wood because it givesa nice warm, dry heat which is really good for this kind of structure.

In Mongolia they use a wood stove as well.

Starting from the outside in, the exterioris made from cotton canvas, and then we have a thick layer of sheep's wool felt to keepeverything nice and warm, and then we have an inner cotton liner, that you can see here,and then you have the wood structure which are like the bones of the yurt.

And then for North American climates we liketo add a house wrap.

We add the house wrap for water proof-nessbut in a traditional yurt that's being used again and again, it's actually the smoke fromthe fire that creates this sort of coating inside the yurt that keeps the water out.

All the layers are tied together with 3 largehorse hair ropes.

Everything is hand woven.

And you have to pull the ropes nice and tightto keep the yurt strong.

We have two central posts here in most yurts.

They're called bagans.

And in the standard 5-wall yurt you have 81uns.

The uns sit into the top of the toono, whichis the circular window at the top.

The uns fit in there and then sit againstthe walls of the yurt.

And the walls are this lattice.

So when we talk about a 5-wall or a 6-wallor a 7-wall yurt — that's how Mongolian people determine the size of their yurt.

So it's the number of walls.

Yurts are the traditional homes of Mongolianpeople who are nomads.

And they have a traditional way of settingup the yurt.

So usually the man's bed is here at the back.

And then the woman's bed to our left here.

If the family has children there'll be anotherbed here.

Or for any guests.

Mongolians don't tie their yurts down to theearth.

They have such a deep respect for the earththat they don't want to harm it.

And so if it is really windy then they'lluse this middle rope to tie it to a large rock in the middle or perhaps anything heavy.

When the rope is not in use they have it tuckedhere in a serpentine fashion to symbolize fertility over the woman's bed.

This furniture is also all hand painted.

There's a round back to it so that it fitswell in the round space.

And this one here as you can see has littledrawers and cupboards for storage.

And underneath as well.

Traditional Mongolian yurts are red or orangeand those bright colours symbolize the sun shining over the Mongolian steppe.

And if you look up into a yurt on a sunnyday like this one, it does very much look like the sun's rays.

Yves is the founder of Groovy Yurts and he'soriginally from Switzerland.

When he was a younger man.

He's a truckerby trade, and by love.

And he wanted to do the biggest road trippossible so he drove his big truck from Switzerland, across the trans-Siberian highway, all theway to Mongolia.

So he raised money and brought school suppliesto schools in Mongolia and once he got there he had this big empty truck to drive backso he thought hey, you know, maybe I'll sell a few yurts.

And that's how it started, and it worked reallywell and he was able to do many, many trips going back and forth bringing school suppliesand other necessary things to the impoverished areas of Mongolia.

And so began Groovy Yurts.

We plant 3 trees for every yurt that we build,and everybody that works for us is supported and paid a fair wage.

And we also promote that the yurts be builtas much as possible in the countryside.

Just the ropes that we sell, they supportan entire village.

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