The Truth about Long-Term Yurt Living

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Minnesota Public Radio)

Yurts were at the center of a really fascinating trend in 2014: glamping. Or glamorous camping, if you will. And while most yurts featured in the design community are in warm, scenic locations – this one struck me. It’s just north of Bemidji, Minnesota and it’s the full time home of two very brave souls.

Grace Brogan and John Kamman bought a used yurt for $5,000 and moved into it last year, full time. It’s not their vacation home. It’s their home. In one of the coldest place in the United States. Their story is fascinating, because it reveals some hard truths above living in a yurt full time:

  • While the space may be more compact and eco-friendly, it’s freezing. They have to regularly set an alarm for 3AM to stoke their fire for fear of getting frost bite.
  • Showers are not an option, so the couple uses a sauna to sweat and then douses with a bucket of water.
  • In the coldest months, it’s not uncommon for the outhouse toilet seat to be covered in frost.

I admire these people. Not only is it a more affordable way of approaching home, but they are truly living greener. However, it takes the boho hotness of yurts and completely turns it on its head for me.

You can read the full story and check out more pictures at Minnesota Public Radio. If for no other reason than to see the frosted toilet seat.

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.3.15-NT