We did not attempted to build a traditional ger.
We have built a 23ft or 7m diameter yurt to suit our simple Northern needs. The wool walls and styrofoam roof are both 6 inches deep and we heat with a woodstove. At -15 degrees Celcius we keep the yurt warm for 24hrs with just an armload of wood. We share the shower facilities with some wonderful neighbours and we use the outhouse throughout the year. In the summer we bath in the creek. We built the yurt out of many repurposed materials (wool from a sheep farmer, timber from the property, windows from used building store, roof poles from Jeds dad) and some store bought materials (the polycarbonate dome, plywood and styrofoam insulation for the roof). All in all the yurt cost just over $4,000 CAD. It sure beats rent in Montreal. To outfit the inside of the yurt (stove, stove pipe, kitchen etc) the cost was another $500.
Depending on whether you build a Pakistan, Turkey or Hungary etc style home you may call your round, wood-framed nomadic dwelling a
Yes, but whats a yurt/ger/jurta… anyways?
While there are some notable differences between the Mongolian, Turkic and Western style yurts the fundamentals are the same:
o- Wall Frame (four or more lattice sections)
o- Door Frame (with or without a wooden door)
o- Roof Wheel or Crown
o- Roof Ribs or Poles
The walls are made from a lattice work which is usually steam bent (like ours!) whereby it expands like an accordions hinges. At the centre of the domed roof there is a wheel type ring or crown that serves as a smoke hole to ventilate and/or serve as a window to the sky. The roof ring is connected to the lattice walls via straight ribs (Mongolian), curved ribs (Turkic), or many other rib variations (Western). The top of the wall is prevented from collapsing under the roof ribs because a tension band opposes the force. The traditional way to cover the structure in Central Asia is made of sheep’s wool and cloth felted together for insulation and weatherproofing purposes. Two or three tension bands are also added to the exterior covering. Canvas and/or other available sun covering materials are sometimes placed over the felt. In Western styles the felt is usually abandoned and the treated canvas is used.
This depiction shows the engraving on a bowl found in a 6th-c. BCE tomb. Clearly its a yurt thus making this the earliest known evidence of such a dwelling! They have been in Western Asia for more than 1500 years before the rise of the Mongolian Empire.