DO YOU REALLY NEED FELT???
If you want to live in a Ger, YES
If you want your Ger to be strong, YES.
If you want your Ger to stay where you pitch it, YES.
If you don't want to have to peg your Ger down,YES
If you think you don't need FELT because you are going to use the Ger in a warm climate, know that the felt keeps the Ger COOL and DARK.
Felt makes the Ger STRONG, and the whole frame is actually made TO SUPPORT THE FELT.
If you want just the frame, and cover it with canvas, because of it's beauty (understandable), go ahead, but it will not be a Ger.
WINDOWS? Our ger and yurts have windows in door or doorframe, and in the openings between the wheel-dividers, or 'Unuk".. After living for seven years in our tents we
know you dont need windows. You live outside,
a ger is no house! All possible constructions for windows have been tried
by our collegeus-builders, but raise as much problems as they solve; either
they leak, or pitching and moving gets much slower, or the
insulation-value is lost and/or the strength of the tent is yeopardized.
FLOOR? A wooden floor is nice, and in some places necessary, but on a
reasonable flat and well-drained terrain so much
warmth gets stored in the ground in a few days of firing up the stove, that there is no need for a wooden floor. A layer of plastic with carpets was all we did the first five years. The troubles with a wooden floor are: expensive, and heavy in transport. A good wooden floor is 30 mm thick, and weighs over 500 kgs.
CAN I LEAVE A GER STANDING EMPTY?
Yes, but not for long
For us, two weeks is the maximum to leave a Ger standing.
If we have to leave for a longer period, we take it down and with us! A Ger with it's multiple layers is susceptible to all kinds of diverse biological activity, so we don't mind to give it a good shake-up every now and then.
A Ger is a TENT, not a house. If you are looking for a nice round building, build it.
How long does it take to pitch a Ger?
We pitch our 4-wall living-ger in 45 minutes, 1 hour with all the furniture. It also takes 1 hour to pitch the 5-wall rental Gers, but they are usually empty (they have only floor-carpet and stove of course). The big rental-Yurts on the rental-page usually take less than two hours. Going down may take the same or more, or less time, depending on the amount of STUFF that has accumulated inside the Ger.
TRANSPORT? A bare 5-meter 4-wall pack away in about 2 cubic meters, 200 kgs, longest parts 2.25 mtr and fits inside a stationcar. With interior it goes up to 5 cubic meters and about 1000 kgs, without the floor! When we move house, we move a ton. For the bigger sized tents these figures go up by the square in relation to diameter.
CAN I BUILD A GER MYSELF? With the right knowledge and tools a handy person can build a 5 or 6 meter ger in two or three months. For a couple of winters we have built tents in cooperation with students who built their own tents and worked alongside on the big yurts. As of spring 2005 two of them have set up a new workshop specifically to build and sell our quality of Ger. They will gladly discuss participation in the process
DRAWINGS/PLANS? Because of the patent of the mongolian governement , we had to keep the knowledge under embargo, but as of 2004 things have changed. The REAL MONGOL GER BOOK is now available!
Mail for more info.
WORKSHOPS? The buidling of a real ger is so much work, it doesn't fit in the standard definition of 'workshop'. A small five-meter Ger takes 400 hours, or three months to build.
Do you really need so many rafters?
We stick to the original Mongolian numbers, which gives a spacing of about 7-8 inches. The technical reasons behind this eluded me a long time, but now I think it has to do with the compression of the Felt, if it rests on too little rafters. This will give a cold-leak, and consequently condensation. Less would also make the roof not strong enough for a snow-load.
SIZES? Can you build any size yurt or ger you like? We think a 5-meter
is the smallest option, because we have the stove
in the centre; with a bed on either side it leaves just enough room to walk around. Tents with the stove out of the centre lack a kind of anchor in the space, which leads to chaos. Tents without a stove are not for living, and rot to easily.
We stick to the mongolian sizes and principles, trusting that 3000 years of experience needs no discussion.
More about sizes in our COMPANY POLICY
CAN YOU PITCH A GER ANYWHERE? The legal situation for
living on the free land is different for every country, so good luck!