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What Is The Difference Between A Yurt, Bell Tents, and A Teepee

The major difference between a Yurt, Bell Tents, and a Teepee are:


A Yurt is a portable circular building made from wood, canvas and felt. The wood plays an important role in fencing the wall and providing support for the crown and roof poles.

Bell Tent

The bell tent is differentiated by its walls, guy ropes, and raised larger entrance. It is built without the smoke hole or extendable tripod. The design is simple where it is covered with cotton canvas and supported by a single central pole.

Teepees (Tipis)

A teepee is a tent built like the shape of corn. The material used is similar to Yurt which is also wood, canvas, and felt. The main difference is that they don’t have walls and a roof like Yurt does.

Yurt Tent

Yurt homes are becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason. A Yurt is a portable circular building made from wood, canvas and felt that’s been used across Central Asia for over 2,500 years. They are aesthetically pleasing and highly economical in terms of cost, space, and energy consumption.

The reason they became so popular is that they’re easy to construct, require very little in the way of materials, are very weather-resistant, and very portable.

History of Yurt Homes

The design of what we know today as the yurt has been around for centuries, and was originally used by nomadic tribes and semi-nomadic tribes in Mongolia (where it’s also called a ger), Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and parts of India but the yurt itself is usually associated with the Mongol tribes.

Round and simple, these yurt homes were made primarily of wood and wool. These circular dwellings were strong, efficient, and not too difficult to move. Yurts have evolved somewhat through the years, but the basic design is still the same: round, with a dome-like roof and a central ring providing the tension necessary to hold it all together.

In the 14th century Marco Polo was the first European to enter Mongolia and when he did one of the first things he noted was the design and function of the yurt. Most nomadic tribes were credited as being nothing short of barbarians so when he saw these yurts for the first time he was amazed by the ingenuity behind the design.

And from that point onwards the yurt or ger began its slow crawl across Europe and eventually to the United States in the 1960s. Within a very short space of time yurts were starting to crop up all over the United States in campgrounds to the point where you can now go on a yurt holiday instead of just a camping holiday.

And it progressed to the point of there now being yurt homes that you can have built or build them yourselves from professionally drafted plans. This type of home isn’t built from canvas and felt but does stick to the traditional yurt design overall.

Design Advantages of the Yurt

The spherical shape and simple construction of the yurt home make it one of the most efficient building designs ever created. The amount of living space given materials used is quite large. Yurt homes are also resistant to natural disasters, particularly heavy winds and snowstorms because of their passive shape and high-tension construction. Many people have fallen in love with the idea of yurt living after experiencing the unique feeling of spaciousness that they provide.

The Modern Yurt

Builders of yurt homes today have improved upon these unparalleled design principles. Modern materials can be implemented for even better insulation and resistance to the elements. Yurt homes today can be built to suit any climate. Since the yurt design is so versatile, it can be modified to fit any particular geographical location or other specific circumstance. Modern yurts can also be built with at least as much physical security against invasion as any more typical modern home can be.

Types of Yurts

Yurt homes come in all kinds, from traditional Mongolian or Turkic style to luxurious designer dwellings and everything in between. Some people prefer the mobility of simple fabric yurts, which can be disassembled and moved with relative ease. More substantial yurts, constructed of solid panels rather than fabric and lattice, are built to be a more permanent structure. In many places, groups of yurt homes are built in clusters with walkways connecting their entrances. As long as certain basic elements of design are in place, yurt homes can be outfitted and altered to meet anyone’s specific tastes.

Cost of Yurt Homes

Since individual yurts are as different as any other types of dwellings are from one another, the cost of yurt homes can vary greatly. If you plan to construct a simple fabric yurt, expect to pay at least $2,000 for materials. You can price out each part you will need to construct your yurt, but it’s hard to beat the all-inclusive prices of the yurt building kits available on the market today. For permanent yurt homes, usually made of solid wood panels, prices can range from $10,000 up to well over $20,000 depending on the size, materials used, and design.

Living in a Yurt

A common misconception is that to live in a yurt, you must give up modern comforts. This just isn’t the case, and today’s yurt design is as advanced as the custom home industry; the possibilities are limitless. Some people choose to live like the original yurt-dwellers, using a stove or fire for heat and cooking; while others choose to outfit their yurt homes with all the trappings of any modern-day house. On a side note, people often assume that security is compromised in yurt homes, but the truth is that paneled yurt homes are just as impenetrable – and in some cases more so – as any suburban home.

People choose yurt homes for a variety of reasons. Some people have come to yurt living as a way to lessen the negative impact that they have on the environment; yurts are energy efficient, and typically don’t utilize many of the modern building materials like paint and carpet, that often contain toxic chemicals. Others simply enjoy the open and spacious feel that only a yurt can provide. The truth is that there are many different types of people who enjoy living in yurts.

A yurt offers an open feeling not found in many more traditional home designs and incorporates elements of simplicity and ecology. Yurt homes can be outfitted with all the comforts and conveniences of modern living and are a viable option for home seekers. If you are thinking about yurt living, check into your local zoning, and planning ordinances regarding such structures before you begin.

Bell Tent

The bell tent is another version of the Sibley tent which was invented by Henry Hopkins Sibley in 1858. They are now widely used by Scouts, Guides, and Youth Groups.


traditional bell tent

traditional bell tent

Bell tents are manufactured from a traditional heavy-duty cotton duck treated to withstand water penetration and offer good resistance to rot and mildew. Bell tents have double sewn seams for strength and to prevent the impasse of water. All points of strain are heavily reinforced and a friction saddle is fitted to prevent chaffing from the ridge pole.

Experience Camping With Bell Tent

If you’ve never camped in a bell tent, you have never experienced camping as it was meant to be. Most of the bell tents are made from the highest quality waterproof canvas. The canvas is breathable which means no waking up in the morning feeling damp with condensation on your tent.

The sides of bell tents can roll up completely, so on those hot summer days, you can enjoy a breeze through your tent. They are also very good in bad weather. No need to worry about the rain or the wind!

The space inside bell tents is so large that it feels more like sleeping in a hotel room than a tent, only far more romantic. At night you can light the space with tea lights, make tea on your camping stove, or enjoy a glass of wine whilst watching the stars.

You can put your beds inside the tent and this will ensure that you will have the most comfortable night’s sleep under canvas that you will ever experience. You can sleep under a soft warm duvet, with cotton sheets.

Teepee Tent

Many people think of a teepee tent as an asylum, a place where they find peace. To put it in better words, it is a kind of lonely desert, where time stops and sorrows disappear. The circle on which a teepee is built brings soothing feelings. The embrace of nature makes oneself be relaxing and all the stress are going away.

History of Teepee Tent

To bring you to a better understanding, tepees also called tipis are tent-like American Indian houses that are used by plains tribes. They make tepees of a wooden frame in cone-shaped and covered with a buffalo hide which acts as the wall. Just like normal modern tents, tepees are made in a way for easy setting up and fast-breaking down.

As these tribes moved from one place to another, each family would carry along their tipi poles with their tent together. Tepees have had a height of approximately 12 feet tall, but the Plains Indian people acquired horses, and they began to double up the height of the teepee. Tepee tents are good houses for families or individuals who are always camping. Today, teepee tents are made with very high-quality craftsmanship and the construction is done using the best canvas fabrics available.

Teepee Tent in Modern World

Investing in a tipi gives unforgettable memories of wonderful moments spent with family and friends. It gives an impression on your neighbors and the happiness you see in your children’s life is tremendous considering that you do away with boredom and monotony. This magical place is where time stops and mosquitoes stay away. It is always warm in a teepee tent because you can start a fire there. After all, it is spacious enough and can be occupied by many people at the same time.

There is no more crawling inside the tent and then only being able to lay down in it. You can stand up and move around as you cook a meal feeling safe and protected from any outside weather.


Everyone knows a symbol of a teepee on a road signboard is the symbol to say there are camping grounds nearby or off the roadways. This shows how even in today’s modern world a teepee is a sign for recognizing camping worldwide.

A teepee tent in itself is like a house with white walls that warms up and prevents you from being seen from outside. The waterproof roof allows you to stay inside during the rainy season with a warm fire. The kitchen shelf is made of linen with many pockets and you can keep mugs, frying pots, cutlery, and other useful accessories.

When you are ready to move into a tipi the decision lies entirely on you on how to furnish it with a lot of options to choose from.

Read also: What Is The Difference Between Camping and Glamping?

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