DIY Nomadic Shelter: tents and yurts

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(Andrew) #21

In my experience, this is eliminated when transitioning between seasons without artificial heat. One’s body adapts when given the chance. I know I know, everyone is different. Also, human DNA is pretty cool if given a chance to unlock metabolic pathways not used by most modern people.

(Dennis Lanigan) #22

It gets plenty cold but I am starting to not notice. I figured out how to wake up with hot coals in my little kni-co packer stove so I am getting some heat all night. Mostly my body has adjusted. My sweetheart says I am very warm to sleep next to anyway.

The only thing is I crave saturated fat all the time.

I keep my water from freezing by just filling a big stainless steel pot next to the stove. Sometimes a little ice forms but nothing major.

(Mandy Szostek) #23

Yes, the Arctic Oven. :slight_smile:
That’s true too, about the body adjusting… I’ve just never gone that
extreme. I used to ski, and I was happy in the cold… layering was
everything, with like what Dennis said, the long underwear, and then
fleece overlayed.

(anon96722942) #24

What a cool idea :grinning: a worthy skill to learn. Keep us updated with pictures please! :+1:

(Dennis Lanigan) #25

Update: I am now refocused on making a small 9’ diameter camping yurt. I am working with an experienced yurt builder who is showing me how step by step. I am currently working on the crown (or toono in Mongolian). Next weekend I will make the lath for the lattice wall.

I have made a yurt before and prefer them to my wall tent I am in now or any tent. They seem the best nomadic structure I have come across. Better in the wind anyway. The Connover pyramid tent is pretty nice, but doesn’t work for me for long periods. I like that yurts have a detailed skeleton that keeps it’s integrity. I like living in the round as well.

I’m working with poplar which I am nervous about but my teacher seems to think will work. Hopefully it will be light enough to carry in a sled or canoe. I’ll probably paint it just so it lasts. A big advantage of poplar is that it’s easy to find boards without knots. Getting hem/Doug fir boards from a big box stores doesn’t work unless you dig deep for good stuff.

I’ll likely sell this yurt and then build a bigger 12’ if I feel I figured this style of yurt out. The hardest part is the crown. But the one I am making now is much easier than my first yurt that’s for sure.

I’ll post pictures when I get farther on the project.

(joan underhill) #26

wishing you smooth sewing on your new & upgraded project. reading all your posts in this thread is reminding me SO much of the time i lived in missouri, where i first homesteaded. i lived in a tent for about two years before i finally got a more solid shelter fitted comfortably. i was there for the polar vortex winter, and saw weather in the minus teens (with winds down to -30s). fun times. so i feel ya, on bodies adjusting to sleeping cold, loving the f*ck out of some heavy fats, dealing with critters, and breaking through ice every morning. i kept a 55-gallon barrel of water INside my unfinished (read: cold) little hut to keep it Slightly warmer… because i had livestock to water. i busted through a good 2" of ice every morning to water them.

anyway. i don’t want to de-rail your topic, but i did want to throw some empathy your way. here are links to three posts about a paddock shelter i made for my critters in the style of old viking tents. it was 10.5x13’, and i hand-sewed the 10oz canvas in flat felled seams. it was an epic undertaking, especially because the pieces of canvas i was working on were actually larger than the hut i was living in, and so piecing them together on my bed was kind of a circus. hopefully you’ll enjoy seeing someone like-minded in a similar plight. i wish you all the luck in finding/using a sewing machine for your project.

(Dennis Lanigan) #27

Here’s some work I’m doing on the crown. I’ll explain sometime how to do this stuff.

Sanding down the inside. I know it’s not a perfect circle. Oh well. It’s my first shot at this crown style. It’ll make more sense what’s going on as I progress. I’ll be cutting in a 30 degree angle into the circle and drilling in holes for the rafter poles soon.

(Dennis Lanigan) #28

Here’s a previous yurt I did with more traditional looking crown. This one is 18’ diameter.

yurt 1

Here’s what the crown looked painted. You can see some roof poles in the background too.

(Dennis Lanigan) #29

Here’s the crown now. I got to use a bandsaw at a 30 degree angle to cut the crown. The roof poles will enter at that angle. Just working on making the inner circle an actual circle now.

Drilling in the holes for the roof beams comes next.

(Dennis Lanigan) #30

And just because I don’t have enough going on already, I am assessing how much it would cost to make a felt cover. I live in a sheep breeding area with a long fiber arts tradition. Supposedly there’s tons of free to cheap wool around. I would need to drum card it all and luckily there’s a fiber arts center that has drum carders I can use.

(Dennis Lanigan) #31

Here’s an almost exact replica of what I am trying to build.

(Mandy Szostek) #32

It hit me after i logged out of here: the DNA ,that sounds amazing … if you have a link to more on that… i’d love it! I get sick too much in civilization…when i was a bike messenger and out in the cold and weather- strangely— i was healthier. The contrast of air conditioning to 95 degree heat is torture!!!

(Dennis Lanigan) #33

Here’s the yurt I worked on setup at Winter Count. The canvas cover is one piece, wall and roof sewn together.


How large/heavy do you expect the packed up yurt to be?

(Dennis Lanigan) #35

Not sure. But pretty heavy. About 50-75 lbs.? It is made of poplar which is light yet there’s a lot of it. I think it fits into a large bag. At least that’s the goal. I’ll find out for sure soon.

(Dennis Lanigan) #36

I am close to finishing my yurt. Haven’t had time to make a felt cover but I still might. More important may be making a vinyl rainproof cover. In other words making different weather appropriate clothing for the yurt.


Check out Wim Hof.

You don’t need to buy anything to learn his method. There are lots of videos and blog posts. He’s really figured out a way to quickly reconnect with systems that modern humans rarely use. It’s amazing how adaptable we can be.


Let me know if you run into any problems sourcing vinyl, I have a stash from my truck tarp making days and can get it through my current job as well. the less picky you are on color the more I can help.