Shelter Masthead

Mongolian Cloud Houses

Table of Contents

Sample Chapters
Putting it All Together

The Sweatlodge

About the Author


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Mongolian Cloud Houses
How to Make a Yurt and Live Comfortably

Mongolian Cloud Houses cover: click on cover for larger image
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…this sensitive, friendly book is the first I've seen that really does the subject justice
- CoEvolution Quarterly
A rare ‘must’ for any interested in alternative do-it-yourself construction.”
- Midwest Review

By Dan Frank Kuehn

160 pages 7" x 9" Trade paperback
$16.95 2006 ISBN 978-0-936070-39-1


- Build a low-cost yurt -
- Use natural materials -
- Homestead, widerness, or backyard -
- Clear, step-by-step illustrations -
- Gers in Mongolia -
- Yurt history -
- Yurt resources -

Written for those interested in alternative lifestyles, outdoor living, camping, and do-it-yourself projects, this lively book recounts the author's experiences building his first yurt. Dan Frank Kuehn carefully guides readers through every step of the creation of a 13' diameter, 10' tall model. He covers everything from the poles and lattice that form the basic structure to the pluses and minuses of various materials to the "luxuries" like solar windows and lofts.

This book is intended for the individual who has lots of time but not much money. Many materials are scrounged for free (rubber inner tubes), or gleaned from nature (willow sticks). New updates to the book show alternative materials (bamboo) and new techniques that you could incorporate into your own personal take on the form.

The Appendix contains a wealth of information he's assembled on yurt designs, ready-to-erect yurts available from a wide variety of manufacturers, plus tools, material suppliers, yurt books, videos. A wonderful last-minute addition is a section containing photos of modern-day gers in Mongolia.

Throughout the book, he shows alternative ways of doing things. On pp. 122–126 are old drawings by Donn P. Crane depicting the life of Genghis Khan. There are tips in “Other Ways” (pp. 31–45) on putting your yurt together.

On pp. 88–91 you can learn about keeping clean in the woods by building a sweat lodge. The yurt and sweat lodge are from opposite sides of the globe, but the sweat became such a part of his life in the yurt that he felt this book would be incomplete without it.

In the last part of the book are references to yurt companies (if you’re inclined to buy a readymade yurt), information on yurt-building supplies, and other books on yurt building.

What People Are Saying About MONGOLIAN CLOUD HOUSES

I showed Lawrence Ferlinghetti your book. He liked what he saw. He sez the word ‘yurt’ reminds him of ‘grits’ and ‘yogurt’. Lawrence thought about it for several days, then came up with an idea of a wonderful luminous cloud-like black-and-white picture with the title, ‘Mongolian Cloud Houses.’”

- Nancy Tucker

…this sensitive, friendly book is the first I've seen that really does the subject justice. The author is a good directions writer, a skill that is not as easy as one might think. He also gently helps you build the proper spirit for the task, yet retains a commendable realism about it all – something often lacking in enterprises of this sort. And I think it might be nice to sit down with Mr. Kuehn over a pot of yak stew and see what else he knows.

There's a lot more here than sewing directions.”

- Jay Baldwin
Co-evolution Quartrly