Families — Parents — Kids

Family Lifestyle: Living in A Yurt Imparts a Beautiful Home & The Best Backyard

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You might think that a family that chooses to live full-time in a tent in Alaska would be marshaling a flighty Walden-esque, "greener than thou" bent. For the Schneiders, the truth is far more interesting and down-to-earth than that. When they learned about yurts, they did what any of us would do and kicked the idea around with a "wouldn't it be funny if . . ." And there you have it - the family of four lives in a yurt on a choice piece of land in Alaska.

When you dig mountains, rivers, trees, clean air and all manner of human powered adventure, you may as well raise your kids in one of these.  The downsides are few.

So what is a yurt?  Think of it like a semi-permanent tent with origins going back to ancient Mongolian nomads. Yurts are round shaped - kind of like Native American hogans of the southwest U.S. - with dome-ish roofs, and are therefore pretty efficient for set up and maintenance.

Ben and Nicki built their 30' yurt (translated for us suburbanites: 706 whopping square feet) in June of 2008 and they've lived there ever since. Yes, they have two children, a son, Leo, and a baby daughter, Kaya, who just turned one year old. And their motivation for yurt living is neither heady nor over-reaching: "We are not doing this to change the world or anything, but it has been a great lesson in how much space you need to live.  A lot less that most people think." Ben says.

Let's be certain not to romanticize yurt living to the point of no return. The world only needs one Henry David Thoreau, anyway. The Schneiders have all the essential niceties of life: running water, electricity, heat, and internet. I'll reiterate, watch the video. Shortly into it, Ben takes you into the bathroom and Nicki chimes in, "It does the trick." I love that. Ben also tells us, "We are not roughing it too much any more.  We have a dish washer."

I have to say, though, that you really should admire a guy who has a garage that's bigger than his house. Just look at the photos below. Are you also blown away at their absurdly awesome backyard?

Watch the video for a tour inside their yurt, you'll really dig it. They're a beautifully friendly family, too.

On the web: www.movingtoak.blogspot.com/

You want a yurt? www.yurts.com

Comments   

 
Pseudonym
+3 / 0
# Pseudonym 2011-02-10 11:38
You have a beautiful home.
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Mark
0 / 0
# Mark 2011-02-11 10:51
I really like the picture with the fog. Looks so cozy inside there, with a killer a view.
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Robyn
+3 / 0
# Robyn 2011-03-05 12:56
So cool! Live in Alaska too, so that's awesome to see.
Btw- love the blog!
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Rachel Denning
0 / 0
# Rachel Denning 2011-04-13 12:03
This is very cool. We'll be driving right past Eagle River on our trip through Alaska - would you be interested in meeting up?
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Harmony
+2 / 0
# Harmony 2011-06-20 20:10
They are a really wonderful, down to earth family making some wonderful choices and willing to share what they've learned without smothering you with it.
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