Gertee: An Alaskan Yurt Made From Scraps and Garbage

gertie yurt alaska photo winter

All images by Niki Raapana via Tiny House Blog

Niki Raapana tells a remarkable story in the Tiny House Blog about her Gertee, her name for a yurt "made from raw or salvaged materials. Unlike the Mongolian and Western versions (exquisitely crafted and covered in gorgeous fabrics), gertee is the budget variety. It utilizes many items that would otherwise go to the dump."

It is all scrap wood, scrounged plastic, billboard covers and bits of cloth, held together with zip ties. Yet it stands up to the worst Alaska can throw at it.

gertie yurt alaska photo frame

The frame is made of 2x4s and other lumber cut into slats and zip-tied together; the roof is made of longer poles.

A 16 foot wide gertee needs about 80 wall slats. If there are at least 20 2×4s in your mix (or fifteen 2×6s or eight 2×12s), these can be cut down into 1/4 inch slats. Even broken boards will work as your walls can be made as short as 5 feet. Pipe or other metals can also be used although not as easily as the wood. Short thin trees and bamboo work too.

gertie yurt alaska photo interior lining

The interior is lined with foil reflective insulation, old blankets and finished with fabric.

gertie yurt alaska photo interior

The interior is.....rustic. Niki writes:

There is something very nurturing about living in a round room, once you get the hang of how to arrange the furniture. We now think in circles and "pies" and not squares and rectangles.

gertie yurt alaska photo camp redington

It is set up at Camp Redington, which sounds like a hopping place; the description notes that it is a true Alaskan experience, "smoker friendly", "visitors may be exposed to a variety of dead things, especially fish guts in the summertime", "Alchohol is permitted on the premises, and there is no curfew."

More in Niki's article at the Tiny House Blog, and at her website.

More yurts in TreeHugger:
Portable Yurts from Go-Yurt
Be Careful Where You Park That Yurt
Yurts: the New Hotel
Yurts. Not Just for Hippies Anymore
The Nomad Yurt: Stick to the Real Thing
Yurta: The Optimized Yurt
Living in a Yurt