October 25, 2023
Yurt Resources

Winter Traditional Yurt Maintenance

Winter Traditional Yurt Maintenance

Mongolian Yurts in Canada & Other Winter Climates

One question we’re often asked is, “Can you live in a yurt in the winter?" Our answer is always a resounding, “Yes!”

After all, yurts come from Mongolia. And Mongolia has some of the coldest winters in the world!

Fun fact: The only world capital that has a colder winter than Ottawa, Canada, is Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar), the capital of Mongolia.

Since yurts (or Mongolian gers) have been the traditional, time-tested dwellings of Mongolian nomads for thousands of years, we know that yurts are venerable structures that can withstand cold, wind, snow, ice and other harsh elements. Having said that, some essential maintenance and precaution is necessary to ensure that your yurt is ready for winter and will hold up well against storms and extreme temperatures.

Below, we've included some winter tips for yurt living.

Winter Yurt Maintenance Checklist

If you live in a winter climate like we do (we’re located in Alexandria, ON, Canada), you and your yurt will benefit from some simple but beneficial maintenance and precautions that will go a long way toward ensuring that you have a safe & comfortable winter.

  1. Tighten your inside and outside ropes regularly – the top two outside circling ropes are particularly important.
  2. If your yurt has windows or extra openings, it might be a good idea recommended to add a strap circling the entire yurt, on top of the door/window frames
  3. Remove excess snow and ice from the roof of your yurt regularly by raking and/or tapping from inside the yurt
  4. It is important to monitor the humidity inside the yurt in cold winter climates. Excess moisture can create condensation or frost under the cold house wrap/canvas and accumulate to the point of dripping back into the yurt. Ventilation is crucial in such cases, especially if you cook, dry clothes or wood, bring in lots of snow, etc. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate...
  5. For areas experiencing strong winds, we have published information and offer anchoring rope wind kits for sale.
  6. To increase insulation in colder months, consider a second layer of felt or a set of inner curtains.
  7. Insulate your windows by hanging a layer of felts in front of them at night or by using window insulator kits, a shrink film that helps with insulation, frost and condensation
  8. It is also always a good time to consider caulking doors and windows and if it is warm enough, re-sealing the outside facing wood parts (door, toono, windows) with a good varnish.
  9. Consider a reset or maintenance package: Our reset team goes out a few times a year to make adjustments to your yurt where and when needed. Contact us about this awesome service!

If you’re experiencing winter issues with your yurt, or are curious about further winterizing tips, we’d love to hear from you! #AlwaysAtYurtService

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