What is a hexayurt?
A hexayurt is a temporary structure created out of multiple sheets of 8×4′ insulation panels that are 1″ thick. They’re silvered on the outside so they reflect the sun yet the insulation also keeps them warm at night.
Up to 12 panels are cut and taped together to create a yurt-shaped structure that can then be collapsed back into a relatively small stack that can transported on the roof-racks of a normal car.
Lots more information is available here.
Why are they good for Burning Man?
- Yurts are much cheaper than an RV. A regular 8′ hexayurt provides sleeping space for up to 4 people at a cost of less than US$500. Internal walls can be created (although with quite a bit of extra effort!) to create private rooms. The smaller 6′ yurt provides enough space for a single person only.
- They stay relatively dust free, dark, and cooler than a tent. You may still want to consider a swamp cooler for real comfort though (see below)
- They stay warm at night when outside temperatures are cool.
- Reusable. Once built a hexayurt can be collapsed back into a stack of panels and stored for re-use next year.
- A hexayurt can be transported on a normal car… if you try hard enough.
What are the drawbacks?
- They’re not the easiest things to assemble. You’ll need at least 4 people to help put it up once you reach the playa. If it’s windy you might have to wait until conditions are calmer (for this reason it’s best to put them up during the morning when winds are usually light).
- Swamp coolers (see below) require water. They’ll use 1-2 gallons of water per hour during the hottest part of the day, so either bring lots of water or plan to buy ice every day before you try to sleep.
- They’re not great for tall people. They’re only 4 feet high at the outside edge, and 8 feet high at the centre peak. The door is usually only about 3 feet (1m) high, so some stooping will be required.
- They’re bulky to store (compared to a tent).
- They’re not very secure. The doors kinda suck and are almost impossible to lock. Anyone with a sharp knife could break in very quickly, so leave your valuables locked in your vehicle.
- No toilet, kitchen or fridge like in an RV! You’ll have to go use the public toilets, use our communal kitchen and store all your food and drinks in cooler bins.
While a hexayurt stays relatively cool compared to a tent they still get pretty warm once the ambient air temperature gets up.
A good solution to this is a Swamp Cooler, which is basically an evaporative cooler made from cheap materials (a bucket, some evaporative cooler pads, a pump and some fans). You add water (or ice) to it every day and it blows air over the water to provide you with nice humid cool air inside your yurt. It won’t be as good as real AC, and you’ll have to refill the water every few hours or while running it, but it sure beats the dry desert heat and will allow you a blissful few hours of sleep, even in the hottest part of the day.
We aim to provide a 12v power grid via solar panels to power the swamp coolers, however campers are responsible for providing their own water.
We have most of the parts left over from 2015 for swamp coolers for each of our yurts, however some additional parts and consumables are needed to get them ready to use again, hence a small fee will be charged for each one.
More information about the build process is available on ePlaya (however we will use plastic bins rather than wood this year)
What else do I need?
Think of a hexayurt as a luxury tent. You’ll still need something to sleep on (the floor is usually a tarp). You’ll also want a light or lantern of some type as they are pretty dark inside.
How do I get one?
Discordia has a number of yurts that were constructed by camp members in 2015. We are not looking to build any new yurts for 2016.
These are available to rent by our camp members on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be delivered to the playa in our trucks however you will need to assemble them yourself.
If you think you might want a yurt in 2016 then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know (or contact Matt on the Facebook group)