Meet Sam and Zach, artists, creatives, and adventurers. Throughout the years, they have moved their yurt home all over the country, honing their skills in alternative building, herbalism, and all things off-grid living along the way.

Inspiration to Build a Yurt

Being creatives, having their own space was paramount. On their first date, Sam and Zach talked about tiny houses, not just conceptually, but talking about different structures and designs. Fast forward and the two moved into their own yurt in 2017.

While searching for the right living space, they hoped to find a structure that left room for creative expression, allowed for investment in their future, and stayed within their budget. Choosing to live in a yurt fulfilled these requirements and more. It allowed them to gain financial freedom and embrace the lifestyle they are passionate about. “Not only was it a financial investment as we stopped paying rent and instead bought a structure we could take with us into our future, it was an educational investment as well.” By paring down their living space to an ever-customizable yurt, they were able to focus on learning from others, flexing their problem-solving skills, and creating together in their new space.

Why Pacific Yurts?

The pair first came across Pacific Yurts by visiting state parks throughout Oregon. These visits introduced them to these structures and the possibilities they offer. “When we decided we wanted a yurt for our home, we were lucky enough to be able to visit Pacific Yurts. Once we set foot in the 20’ diameter Pacific Yurt, we knew we were home”.

The Challenges and Rewards of A Portable Home

A major bonus of yurts for the couple is the ability to transport their living structure, which has allowed them to stay in multiple, beautiful places across the country. “It has been an incredible feeling to take a few days to build and suddenly be in our home again, a thousand miles from its previous foundation,” the couple explained.

Three of the four places the couple has built their yurt have represented vastly different climates, and these varying climates definitely bring their own challenges when it comes to rebuilding. “With each iteration of the yurt, we did not know what challenges each climate would bring until we faced them”. From unrelenting heat in the high desert to surprisingly loud swaying trees in the hardwood forest to extremely cold temperatures in the Northwoods, the couple has learned from each unique climate challenge saying, “We’ve become accustomed to accepting nature and living within it, instead of striving to be separate from it. It is both a gift and a challenge”.

Adapting to Off-Grid Yurt Living

Over the years, Sam and Zach have tested different systems each time they have built their yurt. For power, they once ran a circuit from a local power source and another time, an extension cord from a neighbor’s house. Other more manual systems have included carrying water, permaculture greywater, composting toilets, and wood stove heating.

Currently, the couple is living off-grid with their yurt and plans to incorporate solar energy in the future for a more long-term solution. While they admit that the lack of electricity and cell service isn’t a sustainable solution for a home long-term, they are enjoying the electricity-free lifestyle, using oil lamps and candles to illuminate their evening entertainment of books and board games.

Advice for Prospective Yurt Owners

When asked what their advice is for others looking to begin their own yurt living adventure, Sam and Zach say:

  1. Don’t be intimidated by the build. You have more in you than you know. It is a great beginner project that will give you a lot of confidence.
  2. Now is the time! When Sam and Zach started doing research about living in a yurt, they couldn’t find much information. Now is a great time to embark on this journey due to the accessibility of resources and helpful information available online.
  3. Permits and building codes are becoming less scary. Since yurts are more popular, it is becoming less and less likely that your municipality has never heard of such a structure. 

What’s Next for Sam and Zach? 

Sam and Zach, are bringing their homesteading goals to life and are in the process of choosing the location and design for their future cabin on their new property. Their plans also involve food sovereignty goals, including gardening, farming, and raising animals for meat and eggs.

“Our hope for the future of our land is to be able to provide something similar to what we found when we were in need, looking to escape the rent vortex. We’d love to be able to offer a spot on our land to a creative friend wanting to embark on a building project of their own. We hope to empower others in self-reliance, while also recognizing the importance of living within community. We are who we are because of all of the incredible folks that have helped us along our journey“.

You can follow their journey on their YouTube channel, where they’ll detail their progress and learnings along the way.

yurt in snow covered field.

Visualize Your Own Pacific Yurt Online

If you’re interested in taking the next steps towards building your personal yurt, get started by building a yurt with the 3D yurt builder tool and submit a quote to our team!