I'm building a ger. You may know it as a yurt, or you may not know it at all. It's a type of Mongolian tent, the design of which has not changed for centuries. It's round, with no center pole, and withstands the winds of the steppe like no other style of tent. I've written a precis of my plans and procedures below.

Note: the author assumes the the reader has a basic knowledge of shop safety and safe use of power tools, and accepts no responsibility for any accidents that may occur to individuals using these plans.

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The framework that makes up the wall of the ger
The roof ring that supports the rafters

Materials: I recommend getting the materials as you need them, so as to spread the expense out over the time it takes to complete each phase of construction. For instance, you need only purchase the materials for the khana at first, while you prepare to get the materials for the toono and rafters, and save your money for the canvas -- that's where the major expense of this tent lies. Unless you don't already own the tools, or have friends/family who do; then there will be expenses for tools, as well.

khana & toono

  • 1"x3" furring strips
    • Approximately 32 for the khana (you may need a few extra for repairs)
    • Approximately 26 for the rafters (we made 4 extra for back up)
  • 1 gallon decking stain with water repellancy
  • 1/8" latigo leather lace. Think leather bootlaces. You will need many yards. I don't know exactly how much, as I bought bags of scrap lace at the craft store.
  • Four 8' 2'x4' studs (for the door frame)
  • Half-sheet (4'x4') of 3/4" interior-grade plywood
  • 26 1" screw eyes
  • 30 decking screws
  • Household Goop (brand name for a particular construction adhesive)
  • 3" wide heavy-duty filament tape


  • Approximately 155' of 60" wide boatshrunk Sunforger marine canvas
    • Four 20' panels sewn at the selveges for the roof
    • One 47' length for the wall
    • 3' for the door (if you want a canvas door)
    • 5' for the smoke hole cover
  • Grommet setting kit and 1/2" grommets (approximately 40)
  • 200' of 1/4" poly-cotton clothesline

tools and other miscellaneous stuff

  • Chop saw (a circular saw can be substituted for a chop saw)
  • Table saw (a circular saw cannot be substituted for a table saw)
  • Drill press (you can use a hand-held drill, but it's more difficult and will tire you faster)
  • Power drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • Rotozip Spiral Saw (or hammer and chisel)
  • Clamps
  • Square
  • Big heavy hammer (for setting grommets)
  • Bolt cutters
  • File
  • Safety goggles and dust mask
  • 8" galvanized spike nail (for measuring compass)
  • Several packages of polypropylene clothesline (I find it frays the least and the ends melt the easiest)
  • 100' of 1/2" or 3/4" rope (for bellybands)
  • Geometry textbook
  • 3 reams of paper
  • Scientific calculator
  • Sense of humor

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