This Yukon family is living in a yurt in the woods, and they love it


This Yukon family is living the dream in a traditional Mongolian yurt that has no electricity, windows or running water.

Melissa Antony says this Mongolian Yurt might be small and a bit dark, but living in it has been wonderful. (Melissa Antony)

It’s made of sheep wool felt, camel hide, horse hair ropes and mostly natural products.

There’s no electricity, running water or lights.

For this Yukon family, it’s home.

“It’s a traditional Mongolian yurt that was brought over to Dawson city this past summer,” said Melissa Antony.

Melissa Antony says there might only be one window at the top of the yurt, but it makes for an excellent view of the aurora. (Melissa Antony)

The yurt is situated on a plot of land they purchased about 20 kilometres south of Dawson City.

She moved there with her husband, son, six sled dogs and a cat in September. Shortly after, they knew the yurt was a permanent solution for their housing needs.

“We are blown away by the engineering of the structure and how the lifestyle keeps us in check with reality and the nature around us,” Antony said.

The Yurt isn’t very big — it has a six metre radius — but that’s a part of its charm.

Isaiah Antony really likes living in a yurt, it’s a great place to practice his fiddle. But he does wish there was a little more room for his Lego. (Melissa Antony)

“A person needs to be really organized and tidy living in such a small space,” she said.

Her nine-year-old son Isaiah also sees the perks of such tiny quarters.

“I like that it’s small and I can always find my cat,” he said.

This time of year it’s covered in snow, and comes with challenges.

This window is the only source of daylight in the yurt. Melissa Antony says they have a second set of doors with windows that they will use in the summer months. (Melissa Antony)

“We need to keep the roof clean of snow to avoid structural collapse from too much weight,” she said.

There’s also just one window, and it’s at the top of the yurt.

“I’d rather look out a window at the side because there’s not much to see out the top,” said Isaiah.

“Living in yurt can be dark in the winter because my mom always loses her headlamp and then uses mine.”

The Antony family have custom furniture in their yurt that fits its round shape. The beds fold into benches during the day to allow for more room inside. (Melissa Antony)

On the bright side “the dome is fabulous for looking at the stars or northern lights at night,” his mother said.

The family decided to go without windows to ensure they’d be warmer during winter months.

“We wanted as much insulation as possible and windows would cause a lot of heat loss,” Antony said.

They added an extra layer of felt insulation and with their wood stove have no issues getting it warm and toasty, even when it’s -50 C outside.

The Antonys have six sled dogs. Here are Melissa and Vincent Antony giving hugs to their furry friends. (Melissa Antony)

Inside you will find their beautiful handmade furniture. 

“We had to custom build all of our furniture to fit the round shape and build our beds so they fold into benches during the daytime to create space to move around,” said Antony.

Underneath is where they keep their food.

“Our fridge is below a section of the floor that lifts up and is cooled by the permafrost below and our freezer is the rooftop,” she said.

It’s definitely been an adventure for this family as they adjust to their new life.

“We appreciate the lifestyle so much and don’t wish for anything more elaborate than the basic lives we live in the yurt.”

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