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The Mongolian Yurt: A Beautiful and Low Cost Tiny House Alternative – VIDEO

Groovy Yurts started off as a simple road trip by the company’s founder and trucker by trade: Yves Ballenegger. Over a decade ago, he raised money and supplies to bring from Switzerland to Mongolia in his transport truck.

Once his truck was empty, he picked up some yurts to bring back home to sell.  It worked so well that he continued making these trips in his transport truck to bring supplies to Mongolia, and to return with hand-made, hand-painted yurts for sale.

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The Mongolian Yurt: A Beautiful & Low Cost Tiny House Alternative


Image © Exploring Alternatives

Mat and Danielle from Exploring Alternatives had the chance to learn more about these authentic yurts, and to set one up during a visit to the tiny house festival in Lantier, Quebec this summer.


Image © Exploring Alternatives

They learned that the yurts are made 100% from natural materials — cotton for the cover, wool for the insulation, wood for the frame, and braided horse hair ropes to hold it all together.


Image © Exploring Alternatives

It’s an incredibly affordable, natural, and portable structure which makes it an interesting alternative to a tiny house in many ways.  It can even be used year-round in North America, although Groovy Yurts does recommend adding a house wrap beneath the cover for cold & rainy areas.


Image © Exploring Alternatives

Look just how nice and stylish it can be inside!


Image © Exploring Alternatives

The Mongolian Yurt: A Beautiful & Low Cost Tiny House Alternative – VIDEO


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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Gigi
    October 29, 2016, 12:48 pm

    It’s called a “ger” in Mongolia, and my son who recently visited there stayed in several of them. Not sure how they would fare in rainy climates.

    • Natalie
      October 31, 2016, 8:35 am

      Yurts are my absolutely FAVORITE tiny houses 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Silver Gypsy
    October 29, 2016, 2:58 pm

    I really love the look of yurts; especially the ones that are heavy on the Mongolian decorations inside and out, but the big problem with the felt is that it is vulnerable to mold and mildew. Even though it would not be traditional, the yurt people should come up with an overcoat (possibly one with lots of decoration on it,) to keep the rain, dust, microbes off it, plus a slot to install some kind of solar operated split-air system. Otherwise, this is really appealing and I’d love to own a place that had all of the Mongolian furniture and decorations.

    • Terry
      October 29, 2016, 3:48 pm

      Lol ‘the yurt people’ 🙂

    • Natalie
      October 31, 2016, 8:36 am

      It would take away from the amazing cultural aspect, but I have seen yurt-styled homes that are wood-covered, which I think could be a great solution! — Tiny House Talk Team

      • Silver Gypsy
        October 31, 2016, 4:09 pm

        I think one of the greater appeals of the yurt is that it easily collapses for transport, but if the owner has a permanent location, a wood interior could also be added leaving the outside looks in tact. Felt “draperies” could be added to the interior over the wood walls. This would give added insulation and help to protect the inhabitants from any respiratory problems. An interior heating system would keep everything nice and dry on the inside. For anyone who wants suggestion about exterior or interior Mongol decorations the movie serial “Marco Polo” by Netflix is a fiesta for the eyes!

  • Roberta Stanek
    October 29, 2016, 3:52 pm

    Did I miss a price for these yurts?

    October 29, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Since I first saw a yurt on Tiny House a year or two ago, I fell in love with them. I liked the fact that yurts don’t have corners to make rooms awkward.
    Hoping one day to own one if I can find a land that allows yurts. Till then I will keep looking at them and enjoying seeing TH as well.

    • Natalie
      October 31, 2016, 8:37 am

      Yurts are what got me into tiny homes, Rosee! They are by far one of the coolest styles of builds! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • October 30, 2016, 6:08 am

    I have never owned a yurt, and I like the idea of a traditional yurt, especially the lovely hand painted woodwork.

    But traditional yurts are very low. At 6 feet (1.8 meters) I think I would constantly hit my head on the ceiling (not to mention having to stoop to get in and out via the short door. I lived in a house in the Swiss alps for years that had ceilings in part of the house less than 1.8 meters. So I have no interest again in short ceilings. But there are “modern” yurt manufacturers in the USA that do have higher head clearance. If I were ever to buy a yurt, that is probably the type I would look into.

    • Natalie
      November 1, 2016, 8:32 am

      Yes Kevin I totally agree! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Jim Kuhn
    December 15, 2016, 10:14 am

    A question was raised about Yurts, and adaptation for rainy weather…Pacific Yurts, in Cottage Grove, Oregon is a Manufacturer and distributor of Yurts made here in the USA…

  • Betty
    November 6, 2017, 9:04 pm

    Needs windows. At least for me.😏

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