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Bjurt Projects

Bjurt Yurts - Documentation - Covering

bjurt with standard tarp walls and roof

The last step was assembly.

So, you've got the frame built. Now it's time to cover it.

The roof is trickier to fit than the walls. Luckily, the octagonal shape means that a square tarp of the correct size can attach to the horizontal braces of half the walls (along the edges of the tarp). The corners of the tarp correspond to the other walls, and these can be bungeed down to the crosses. The commonly available 20' x 20' size is a good fit for for the 17' bjurt. For a solid convering such as a tarp, a central opening is usually made, somewhat wider than the center ring but the exact diameter is up to you.

A 24' cargo chute has been demonstrated to fit the 17' bjurt well (available from Colemans' Surplus). It's also tough and already comes with a central opening. Unfortunately, parachutes let too much light through but don't ventilate at all. This is less of a problem with a bjurt, since the roof is high. If enough wall space is open, the heat bubble is vented above everyone's head. Still, a more opaque roof is generally better.

Non-solid roof covers can also be a reasonable option. Camo netting is a sound choice; it can be trimmed to the desired size with no hemming required, drapes naturally, looks good and is easily secured with ball bungees. Various colors are available online, used and new. I have also ordered a 21' x 21' Aluminet/shade cloth tarp, and will test these and report on the results.

canvas bjurt yurt

Sewing a custom-fitted roof results in a handsome effect. One of our customers made one out of tarp material, and others have used canvas. Plans for making your own cover are coming soon.

Once the roof is fitted, it can be left attached and folded up with the bjurt. This allows for rapid deployment and stowage. It can be hard on the roof though, so not everyone chooses to do this. Camo netting would fare fine folded into the bjurt, and tarp is cheap enough that the convenience may be worth the accelerated wear, but you wouldn't want to do this with Aluminet.

The walls cannot be left attached but are simpler. Since the wall panels are square, and of standard dimensions (7', 5'), well-fitting commercially available tarps are easy to find. Two long narrow tarps can be chosen for the walls, leaving two door openings. You may not want walls at all, or you may not want solid walls. A solid roof and air-permeable walls provide the best cooling in hot conditions. You may choose mesh tarp (available on some sites selling solid tarps), camo netting, or Aluminet to achieve this.

Floors are optional. A rug may be nice. If you want to completely cover the floor you could cut and tape the rug into an octagon. Or, one floor solution that maximizes ventilation is to have a square tarp floor attached to the inside of the bjurt frame. Like the roof, the corners of the tarp can attach to the cross poles of every other wall. With the floor attached to the inside of the frame and the walls attached to the outside of the frame, air can come up along the insides of the walls and vent through the roof hole. This should allow you to have an indoor fire, but do so at your own risk.

Finally, you may want to cover the roof hole, to keep the sun or rain out. Traditional yurts do without this, but it is a nice feature. One solution is four standoffs attached to the center ring, topped with a wooden disk or something like a round children's toboggan. We're currently working on a new design involving this idea plus a small tarp, and hope to post results soon.

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