I happened into the Waters family with their portable yurt while RVing in Sonoma County, California. I knew what a yurt was but must admit that I had not seen one used as a portable tent in a campground before. Being curious, I asked if I could look closer and take photos.


Yurt full setup

The Waters family’s portable yurt.


Mongolians have used Yurts for hundreds of years. The circular portable tent structures are used as permanent cabins in some of United States national  and state parks. CampingYurts.com was created by Richard and Alicia Waters from Summer Lake, Oregon to distribute the portable camping yurts that he builds himself.

“We love camping but tired of crawling around on hand and knee.” Thus came their family business and their manufacture and sell of yurts. The roof wheel has seen the most improvement since they began their business. “Being integral to the yurt’s structure and strength, many hours have gone into developing and improving it.”


Yurt minus canvas top

The round roof structure has experienced many improvements and a person can actually stand on top of one.


The sturdy lattice-work-like frame of the yurt was made of fir. Richard said that the entire structure weighs only one hundred twenty pounds and can be constructed from a variety of woods. He said that the frame folds down and can be moved about on a car roof.

On his website, Richard states that he usually uses a 16 foot yurt (with about 217 square feet of space) when he goes camping. With that there is enough room for a queen bed and three full-size cots for his kids. Of course with a 52-inch wall height extended by the height of the round roof ring, there is plenty head room too.


Yurt frame of fir

Yurt frame made of Fir.


Evidently there is no other portable structure that utilizes space as efficiently as a yurt. Having spent the last four years in a thirty-foot fifth-wheel trailer, I know the value of space efficiency when camping. You can witness the ease of setup and take down of the structure at the Camping Yurts website http://campingyurts.com/index.shtml. They say it is simple to set up and that a person can do it in 30-45 minutes.

Of course I wondered about how the yurts hold up in bad weather. Camping Yurts informational material states that the yurts can withstand gale force winds and that they are actually strong enough to hold someone standing on top.

One day I am going to camp with a yurt. I’ve just put it on my bucket list. Have you ever slept in a yurt?

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