Cheap Portable Yurt from PVC Pipe

I’ve been missing my Yurt a lot lately and have been pondering how to construct a Cheap Portable Yurt that I could easily store in my truck.

It suddenly occurred to me that PVP Pipe would make an awesome frame, and a single layer of Aluminum Bubble Insulation could keep heat in or out and serve as the wind and rain protection at the same time.

I ran to the hardware store and purchased about $250 worth of supplies, and threw it all together with some help from the Jeremiah the Nomad Man.  Here’s a look at what the whole thing looks like when deconstructed and ready to be transported to the next campsite with a backpack placed for scale:

Cheap Portable Yurt - Stacked

The individual parts are pretty simple. There are the floor pieces which form an octagon on the ground, wall pieces which form the side walls, roof pipes which connect the walls to the roof ring. Then there are the two types of insulation pieces – rectangular pieces for the walls and triangular pieces for the roof.

Cheap Portable Yurt - Components

The floor pieces are connected using 45-degree elbow joints, and all have a T-section in the middle for the wall pipes to attach to. The floor is 8 feet wide giving me plenty of space to lie down inside.

Cheap Portable Yurt - Base

The wall pipes attach directly the ground pipes and go straight up from the connect point. I believe mine are around 4 feet high, which allows me enough room to walk around inside without hitting my head on the roof until I get right near the walls. One downside it that this length requires I duck down to enter the yurt, but that’s pretty normal in my experience.

Cheap Portable Yurt - Walls

The ceiling pipes connect to the top of the wall pipes using the 45-degree joints again. The angle upwards and inwards to meet at the roof ring in the center.

Cheap Portable Yurt - Roof

At this point the structure of the Yurt is complete! All that’s left is to attach the wall and roof panels.

The wall panels are cut into rectangles. They have velcro stapled to the edges which attach them securely to the wall pipes. This strategy makes the wall easier to manage and store, and also drastically increases the stability of the Yurt in the wind.

Cheap Portable Yurt - Wall Panels

The roof panels attach in almost the same way as the wall panels, except that they also attach to the top of the roof ring using velcro.

Cheap Portable Yurt - Roof Panels

And that’s all there is to it! It only took me about 15 minutes to put up, and I bet I could go much faster as I do it more and more. Here’s a view from the inside while lying down and looking up to the sky:

Cheap Portable Yurt - Roof Panels

On a hot day it reflects all of the heat and gives me a nice cool place to hang out. In the mornings and evenings I can warm up the insides while I’m cooking using my Rocket Stove which is fueled by small sticks and twigs I find laying around… no cutting firewood!

Cheap Portable Yurt - Rocket Stove

I plan to eventually build a small dome that attaches to the top to block the rain while still letting smoke escape. For now, there isn’t much rain and even if there were my bivy sack shields me from it, so no rush.

If you’re ever in the need for some shelter, you can have it for a couple hundred dollars! Everything you need can be purchased at your local hardware store, and there’s no heavy machinery involved!

Cahlen Lee

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