Thursday, March 5, 2009


Kathy & I just returned from our second successful yurt camping trip to the coast, and I just have to say, thank God I read an article about yurts in the newspaper a year ago. I don't remember the article very specifically but I'm sure my reaction must have been at first, "What the heck is a yurt?" and then, after finishing the article, "Man, yurts sound awesome!" Well guess what, they ARE! They are essentially a combination of a cabin and a tent, and they are found in lots of Oregon State Parks, especially on the coast. Although even within the state, when you tell people you are going to be staying in one, you will get one of two replies: "Man, yurts are awesome!" (Yes they are!) or, "What the heck is a yurt?" (Most of the time it's this one.) We just found out on this trip that the name actually stands for Year-round Universal Recreational Tent, which, although this makes much more sense, I actually felt kind of disappointed by, to know that the name actually had a meaning and wasn't just a random silly name somebody weird made up, as I previously liked to believe. Regardless, the most important thing to know about yurts is this: they have heat! & electricity! And the second most important thing to know is that they are cheap! They generally cost $27-$30 a night (at least in Oregon) and aside from the heat & electricity, they have a futon bed, table, chairs, and big bunk bed inside, so all you need to bring is bedding.

I also just now learned through some Googling that they are modeled after the traditional structures used by nomadic tribes in Central Asia, their circular design being easy to collapse and transport. Who knew. In the modern United States, however, yurt camping is essentially camping for wussies, which works pretty swell for us. I picked up a pamphlet at the state park which likes to call it "Camping Lite," which is polite of them. And in this pamphlet, which includes information on cabins, teepees, deluxe yurts (!!) and other awesome things you can also rent on state campgrounds when you want to camp like a wussy, the paragraph on yurts begins:

"'Yurtin' for Certain!" is the motto of veteran yurt enthusiasts, and their numbers swell every year." Which obviously made me giggle, because of 1) the phrase 'Yurtin' for Certain!', 2) the idea that there are in fact 'veteran yurt enthusiasts', and then 3) the realization that by the end of our time in Oregon, I will probably be one, which I will then add to my Really Geeky Things About Jill Resume.

This trip we also, for the first time, made a fire in the fire pit outside, with some help from our friendly Camp Host who chopped some wood for kindling for us -
(The initial conversation went like this:
Me: "Can we buy some firewood from you?"
Camp Host: "Sure. You girls got an ax?"
Us: *blank stare*
Camp Host: "You got an ax?"
Us: "Uh, no.")
- and made s'mores, all of which made us feel pretty accomplished. I mean, I really could not remember the last time I made an actual s'more over an actual campfire. But now I can. It was last night.


  1. oh man, yurt. we call our boss yert, cause his name is trey.

  2. Yurts are awesome! We stayed in one for the first time last year. I'm not sure what is so great about setting up a tent- but I don't feel the need to ever do it again now that we discovered these things. We brought the coffee maker the second time we went. That is camping super light