Guest post by: Brody Leven
I’ve camped in the snow, skied on the snow, eaten snow, and peed in the snow. But this was my first time ever staying in a yurt in the snow.
Mid-January 2015 found me getting pulled behind an enormous snowmobile with two of my friends, David and Rachel, in front of another snowmobile pulling three more of my friends, Kt, Bobby, and Tyler, toward a yurt far into western Montana’s Swan Mountains.
I didn’t exactly know what I was in for. Yurt camping is just like winter camping, only more luxurious. Or, as it turns out, it’s just like staying in a hotel, just way less comfortable. Falling somewhere between snow camping and hotel-ing, it’s just about right for my friends and me.
Like snow camping, you have to work for anything that you want: melting snow for water, shoveling the roof, etc. Unlike snow camping, you’re able to actually dry your ski boots at night.
Like hotel-ing, you have a bed and a variety of clothes to change into. Unlike hotel-ing, you’re in a sleeping bag on a bunk bed, and you’re probably sharing it with another smelly dude.
The Yurtski yurt has no electricity or running water. It has a wood stove for heat, a propane three-burner for eat, and an outhouse for sheat. The electricity, though, still lacked.
Because I do most of my excursions without the assistance of machines like snowmobiles, I haven’t been able to use the Yeti product line very much. This time, though, the Yeti 150 and Yeti 400 Solar Generators were the perfect tools for the job. Along with two Switch 10 Multi-Tool Kits, a Flip 10 Recharger, a Sherpa 50 and Sherpa 100 Power Pack, our power needs were met for four days in the backcountry.
With this power array, we were able to maintain a charge in two drones, laptops, and professional cinema cameras, in addition to everyone’s phones, headlamps, personal cameras, and odds and ends. Equally important, we didn’t have to be stingy with our power, and were able to keep the yurt comfortably lit with an assortment of Goal Zero lights and lanterns illuminating the interior from sundown to sunup. This lighting was a surprisingly powerful boost to morale and eased the preparation routines every morning and cooking routines each evening.
I will stay in a yurt again. If it’s with the same friends in the same place, I wouldn’t be remotely disappointed.
Go do something a little uncomfortable this weekend. If you get to cook one-pot meals and stoke a fireplace in the middle of the night, all the better.