What Is Yurt Camping? (Your Complete Guide)


One of the best characteristics of camping is that there are so many different ways for you to do it. You can camp in a tent, a trailer, a motorhome, or anything in between. One thing that I have recently been thinking about is Yurt camping. Yurt camping has gained a lot of popularity recently in the camping community, and that is for good reason.

So, what is yurt camping? Yurt camping is when you go camping in a yurt. A yurt is a circular tent historically used by Mongolian nomads that have recently developed into a luxurious way to go camping. Yurt camping is often referred to as “glamping”.

There is a lot to know about the history of the yurt and how it came to be synonymous with glamping. If you want to go camping in style then you should definitely check out using Yurts for your camping experience.

By the way, If you are in the market for a new tent, then you should click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.

What Is A Yurt?

A yurt is a round tent-like structure that can be portable or fixed. It has been traditionally made of skins wrapped around a dome-like structure that is collapsible. Modern Yurts often have several layers consisting of different material that serves different purposes. The outside is usually made of canvas so that it is waterproof and the inner layer is most likely a warm material like wool. The inside base is still typically made of wood.

Modern yurts have become a way to allow families to go camping with a bunch of amenities. This style of camping is typically referred to as “glamping”. Yurts can have all sorts of amenities built in such as electricity, plumbing, air conditioning, heating, and running water. Historically, yurts weren’t so luxurious as they are today.

What Is The History Behind the Yurt?

Yurts can be found throughout history in many cultures, predominately in Asia. Perhaps the most famous account of yurts is their usage by the nomadic Mongolians. The word “yurt” is thought to derive from the Turkish language. “Ger” is actually the word to describe a yurt in Mongolian. The Turkish origin of the word actually referred to the imprint left on the ground when the structure was moved. Yurts were used by many nomadic people in Central Asia for thousands of years and now we have adopted them as a unique way to go camping.

What Is Glamping?

Glamping is short for glamorous camping. It is a broad term used to refer to camping styles that are much more luxurious than typical camping accommodations. Yurts can definitely fit into this category for the most part, but not always. Just because you are camping in a yurt does not mean you are glamping. Yurts can be rustic and lack amenities just like regular camping, but more often then not, Yurt accommodation does come with plenty of amenities.

It is the amenities and creature comforts that transform camping into glamping. Yurts with a toilet, shower, sink, kitchen, air conditioning, heating, and other luxuries would be considered glamping. Yurts that are just used in place of a tent with no other resort-style amenities could fit into regular camping instead.

How Large Are Yurts?

There is typically no limit on how large yurts can be built (within reason) but the most common sizes for yurts range from 12 feet in diameter to 30 feet in diameter. 12-foot yurts usually offer 115 square feet of living space while 30-foot yurts offer about 706 square feet of space. Yurts are sized usually anywhere in between when you are looking for a yurt for camping, make sure you take the size into account.

How Many People Can Sleep In A Yurt?

The answer to this depends on the size of the yurt and what style of beds are inside the yurt. Obviously, bunk beds will provide more sleeping space than just beds on the floor. It also depends on how much space you will require when otherwise not sleeping. It is not uncommon to see the limit set at about 5 people per yurt, but it really just depends. The more amenities the yurt has, the less space there is likely to be since furniture and appliances would take up a lot of space.

Are Yurts Portable?

Yurts are made to be portable since their inner structures are collapsible for transport. Many yurts are built onto a structure to make them more permanent. Yurts are not as portable as a regular tent, as dismantling them and moving them often is a bit of a process although it is technically possible. Historically, yurts have always been built to be portable for nomadic tribes to move around several times per year.

Where Can You Go Yurt Camping?

Yurt camping is available throughout the world, mostly in highly trafficked tourist areas. Popular destinations to find Yurt camping include (but certainly are not limited to):

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Hawaii
  • Spain
  • France
  • Portugal
  • Malaysia

Yurt camping is popular near the beach and in heavily wooded areas. Some camping yurts are made to be secluded and offer lots of space while others are set up in a campground like fashion with neighboring yurts close by. Keep in mind what kind of experience you want on your yurt camping adventure before you book.

When Can You Go Yurt Camping?

The great thing about yurt camping is that it can practically be done year-round. This is because modern yurts are built very strong and they can handle extreme weather temperatures. Most people enjoy yurt camping during the regular camping season of summer, but they are just as fun in the spring, fall, and even winter. Since some camping yurts come with utilities like air conditioning and heating they can be enjoyed at any time of year, often out of season leads to better prices for you.

How Can You Go Yurt Camping?

You can go yurt camping all around the world. I would suggest that you start your search on Airbnb (If it’s your first time using Airbnb then you can get $$$ off by using my link). You can use the more filters tab to select unique accommodations and specifically search for yurts. Another great resource for finding yurts is GlampingHub.com. There are some state parks located in the United States that also offer yurt camping, but they usually are not as glamorous as the private companies.

Related Questions:

What is the difference between a yurt and a tent?

A yurt is a stronger and more semi-permanent structure than a tent. Tents are lighter, more compact, and much more temporary. Yurts are typically built with several thick layers and a collapsible wooden frame inside.

Are yurts warm?

Yurts can keep you much warmer than regular tents because they can have multiple layers and those layers can be warm fabrics such as wool. Some yurts even come with heaters so that you stay warm inside.

How much does it cost to stay in a yurt?

The cost to stay in a yurt will carry dramatically based on location, size, demand, and included amenities. I suggest you do an online search for the area and general dates that you want to go yurt camping in.

My Favorite Camping Gear

  • Air Mattress: click here to check out my favorite on Amazon.
  • Tent: click here to see my favorite tent available on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Pad: click here to check out the one I love on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Bag: click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.
  • Camping Stove: click here to see the best camping stove on Amazon.


Zachary Smith

Zach is an avid outdoorsman that loves going camping with his Prius every chance he gets. He also regularly enjoys hiking and fishing. When he's not outside you can probably find him writing about it on this website. See his full bio here

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