How do I live off-the-grid in a yurt?

The benefits and solitude of living in a remote area come with the significant responsibility of knowing how to manage your yurt, its utilities, and your surrounding property. While yurts in less secluded areas may have greater access to water and full plumbing, an off-the-grid yurt typically doesn’t have quick ways to reach traditional services and require more expertise. We recommend you keep these five tips top of mind as you go through the process of buying and building your off-the-grid yurt.

1. Purchasing the Right Yurt for Your Lifestyle 

Are you planning to live in the forest, where the trees and natural scenery will provide additional shade and shelter? Are you hoping to become a desert dweller, where your yurt will be your primary shade (and water source)? Regardless of what camp you fall into, the process of purchasing a yurt should always include a realistic assessment of your lifestyle and its needs. We offer yurts in multiple sizes ranging from 12’ in diameter (115 square feet) to 30’ in diameter (706 square feet).

Each provides a vastly different living experience. If you’re planning to live off-the-grid with others, a larger yurt may be the better choice. If you’re planning to use the yurt as your own personal woodland glamping haven, then the smaller size could be fine. Pacific Yurts offers several resources for yurt buyers to help you find one that fits your lifestyle. We have a helpful yurt gallery, virtual tours of our model yurts, and a 3D Yurt Builder to make things a little easier.

2. Customize Your Yurt to Fit Your Needs 

Once you’ve decided on the right size, you need to consider the amenities or add-ons you’ll need that match the climate of your area. Pacific Yurts has several options for customizing yurt designs, including everything from extra doors, glass windows, and reinforcements for heavy snow and wind climates. Depending on where you want to live, these customizations could be critical and make remote living more efficient. For more information on the plethora of customizations available, check out our 3D Yurt Builder Tool!

3. Consider Your Ability to Assemble a Yurt

Our yurts are designed to be assembled with ease. However, one of the most important factors to consider when buying a yurt for off-the-grid living is your ability to build it. If you’re considering a location that isn’t readily accessible by a major road, or you’re building it with fewer hands, there’s a strong possibility that you may experience some challenges along the way. That noted, if you’re in good physical shape (and the weather cooperates), and you have friends who can help, most Pacific Yurts can be assembled in a short amount of time, ranging from a few hours for smaller yurts to a couple of days with larger models. 

The great news is that Pacific Yurts offers detailed step-by-step installation manuals for new yurt owners to make the process easier. If you find yourself unable to construct your yurt individually, ask a family member or friend for some help, or hire a contractor. We also recommend watching our video series with Jake and Nicole for additional tips, which showcases their experience building an off-the-grid yurt in the rugged wilderness of Canada.

4. Planning for Water

Whether it’s for drinking, gardening, or plumbing, off-the-grid yurt living means you have to have a dependable source of water. Will you be bringing water in from elsewhere, or capturing rainwater on site? Pacific Yurts offers options for capturing rainwater for non-potable projects and functions. Additionally, a DIY drip irrigation system can be installed to channel rainwater to your yurt garden. In drier off-the-grid living situations, salvaging rainwater is still a good idea, but the option of installing a well adjacent to your yurt could be a more effective route. Regardless, if you’re planning to spend any amount of time in your off-the-grid yurt, be sure to address your water plan during the design phase–and before construction–so that efficiencies are in place before breaking ground.

5. Knowing Which Electricity is Right for You

Perhaps the biggest question we receive from off-the-grid folks concerns installing electricity. Solar power is one of the most popular and efficient ways to provide electricity to an off-grid yurt and doesn’t require any customizations to your Pacific Yurt. That said, solar power is more appropriate in sunnier areas or places with less shade. Traditional electricity may also be wired underneath the yurt platform, but that depends on the availability of grid power in your area and your level of electrical expertise. For a true off-the-grid yurt experience, a popular form of electric lighting is low-voltage LED lights, either with battery-powered tracks that run around the entire structure or through lamps placed strategically throughout your yurt.


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