Yurt Life / Off Grid Frequently Asked Questions

We get many of questions about how we live the way we do. We’ve included some of the most often asked questions below… and stay tuned for our E-Courses, In-Person Workshops and Retreats — coming soon!


Where can we see your HGTV Episode?
You can download it on Amazon for $2.99 here: Shredding The Backcountry
What brand of yurt do you have, and how did you choose?
During the winter months of 2014, we decided to build (and live in) an off the grid yurt. We had been looking at Shelter Designs, as we wanted to buy local — they are a Montana-based company. As I recall, their yurt was slightly more expensive (not sure if that’s true anymore). Sean was able to have a phone call with Hayes, one of the owners of Shelter Designs, and it was a completely real, down to earth convo — Sean was instantly convinced that SD Yurts was the real deal, and totally the company we should go with.
Days later, we found a woman selling her Shelter Designs yurt on YurtForum.com that lived only 15 miles away.
After we told Hayes about the used yurt we bought, rather than turning his back because we didn’t buy new, he embraced us as customers, and personally provided feedback for us throughout the build process, checking in once and a while and answering any and all questions we had. We visit Hayes and the team in Missoula whenever we’re there—and he even makes an appearance in our HGTV episode!
How big is your yurt?
It’s 30 feet in diameter, which means about 700 square feet on the main floor. We added a loft, which contributes another 300 square feet. Somehow, we built this little home with 1000 square feet of living space — more than the last house we owned!
If you’re using cell phones and LTE internet in your yurt, how do you consider yourself off the grid?
This is probably the most annoying question we get, so if you’re going to comment, or interview us, don’t ask it. “Off-the-grid” simply means living without city services — the electric grid, city sewer, and city water. So yes, septic tanks and wells are considered off the grid. We get all our power from the sun (Goal Zero solar power), our water comes from a spring fed well on our property, and we use a commercial grade composting toilet. Yes, we have cell phone service at the yurt, and yes, we rely on our cell phones to tether internet to our computers.
Just because someone lives off the grid doesn’t mean they’re disconnected from society completely. That’s actually a whole other thing called “ghosting.” Our mindset is that we intend on participating in society… we just live in a place where city services aren’t available (or would be SUPER expensive to tap into). 

Still wondering about something? Due to the heavy influx of emails, we aren’t able to respond to every inquiry. However, if you’d like to sweeten the deal and get a fast response, consider donating to the cause: