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Tripping in Urumqi

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  • mtmyrock
    Hi All, For all who are interested and have not been following, I am in Urumqi, XinJiang province, China, to visit a yurt manufacturer. We are talking through
    Message 1 of 41 , Jan 5, 2011
      Hi All,

      For all who are interested and have not been following, I am in Urumqi, XinJiang province, China, to visit a yurt manufacturer. We are talking through a local interpreter who I met through one of my colleages from Urumqi, student who is also from Urumqi. Lucky connections.

      This is just a week long cold snap here in Urumqi, it is -15f here in Urumqi, and everyone tells me it is early this year. Tomorrow, after I leave, it is suppose to warm back up to a balmy and more normal 0f. That is still -18c.

      I would not say it was a lovely coat of snow. It is like the snow in any city, not quite white, but it is nothing like the grey snow in Guiyang last year... It fell out of the sky looking grey. It makes you think, but not good thoughts.

      Inside it is nice and warm, most places too warm, so I am hot in my hotel room, but even with the heat off the thermal mass in this concrete hulk keeps the room warm enough to prance around naked, well if you were into that sort of thing. I fear my prancing days are a little past.

      Yesterday we (2 factory guys, my translator, and I) drove an hour and a half out of Urumqi to the Heavenly Lake area. We did not go up to the lake, which is in the top of some mountains (Tianshan I think), but we visited a Kazak yurt village in a valley at the base of the mountains. They move down in the winter from their lakeside homes, at the government's request. Ecological and logistic problems as they say.

      There are over 100 yurts in this area that all come from the company that I am talking to, (according to the factory guys, and they offered to show me invoices). In this area the snow was white, hahaha, and there was plenty of it, I would guess 12-14". It covered the top of most yurts standing maybe 8-10" deep. The thermometer at where we parked said -28c, (about -18f). In a few places you could see the water in the river, but mostly it was frozen and snowed over.

      Most of the yurts were covered with a big piece of plastic. I was a little surprised, and I asked the Kazak lady who lived there if the yurts leaked, was this why they had the plastic covering. She kind of laughed at me, and gave me the "stupid foreigner" look and a chuckle, and told me "We would not live in a leaky house".

      She went on to explain it made it easier for the snow to slide off. Usually they leave it in place, as added insulation, but if it gets too deep, they knock it off.

      Sure enough a after lunch I saw a neighbor drive up to his yurt. It had snow all around in front of the door, so I knew he had not been there for a while. He stood and surveyed the roof, went inside and started a fire, about 2 minutes of grey smoke, then no smoke, just hot gasses rising. Then came back out and knocked the snow off with a long piece of bamboo.

      Speaking of lunch, we sat around in a yurt that had a small fire, and we were soon opening our juckets, (but maybe not prancing around naked),and we were served a traditional style Kazak lunch. Forgive me, I don't remember the name of any of it.

      There were little squares of Kazak bread and (frozen) butter that were good, and bowls of hot, salty, milk tea, which isn't as bad as it sounds. I found I rather liked it.

      After that she started in with the main courses, a heaping rice dish with bits of raisins, apricots, mutton, onions, and carrots, a plate of very tender lamb, and a plate of horse meat.

      I had never eaten horse before, and living for almost 33 years in Montana, I have had horses for a lot of my life, if not the majority of it. Frankly, it was delicious... All of it was delicious.

      Desert was a bowl of mutton and onion soup, and a bowl of homemade yogurt with a little sugar. I was stuffed.

      All this time sitting in a yurt that was heated by a stove not much bigger than 2 number 10 cans stacked on top of each other, like we used to make hobo stoves out of when I was a kid, but this one had a stove pipe of course. AND it is -18f outside.

      The insulation, well all the layers, from the outside, a layer of "organosilicon" canvas, a 1/4" layer of a polyester felt-like stuff, and a layer of a mid-weight muslin. The inner stuff is all sewn together, and is a separate piece from the outer cover.

      The "dome hole" ws half covered by a waterproof cover with the same insulation parts sewn directly to it. The other half had a double layer of plastic, the outside layer being the same one that covered the whole rest of the tent. It was just poked through, no stove jack or anything like that, a little melty around the edges...

      The whole thing was set on a piece of poured cement with 2' square tan tiles over the cement. As usual there, there was a foot high platform built over 1/2 the yurt and covered with rugs, no shoes please, this is where we sleep and live, we cook, etc. over the tile. It is easy to clean.

      As we started to leave, our driver, who was from the city, slid off the driveway, and we ran back to get a shovel and dig our way out. There was enough snow to high center the sedan so there was no way for the tires to get any traction. We all had a laugh at his expense, but it was all in good fun. I climbed out and pushed like the rest, in my tennis shoes.

      I don't own any "real" winter clothes in China. Hong Kong, which is close to where I live, (and you will have heard of it, opposed to the town where I live, which you would not have heard of), is about the same latitude as Cuba. It gets down to maybe 40 degrees, which feels darned cold with the humidity and sea breeze.

      I meet with the factory guys again this afternoon. I will have a lot of questions, and I hope they will have a lot of answers. I have found out they have been making tents for 30 years in this factory, but they have been making yurts for ONLY 23 years.

      I asked the factory guys if they had any engineering on the structure, had anyone tested them for snow load, wind and such. He told me the Kazaks have been his laboratory for the 23 years. Their product was different now, than it was when they started 23 years ago, and now was better and stronger. All the Kazaks we met in the village seemed to know him, so I think they are a pretty good test case, they still like him.

      I should have some pictures later. So much writing, I will post this in the fiddlesticks group as well.

      Rod
    • e ginden
      I don t think you mentioned this.You can search for a  word or a phrase in the message search line if you go to this groups pages. Amazing amounts of info
      Message 41 of 41 , Jan 9, 2011
        I don't think you mentioned this.You can search for a  word or a phrase in the message search line if you go to this groups pages. Amazing amounts of info archived; and  just waiting to be seen, and read again. Many questions have been asked more than once and sometimes get different answers.

        --- On Sun, 1/9/11, Kenneth <whitephoenix_69@...> wrote:

        From: Kenneth <whitephoenix_69@...>
        Subject: Re: [The_Yurt_Community] Re: Tripping in Urumqi
        To: The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, January 9, 2011, 11:00 AM

         

        wow 4 times in one day, ,,lol   YOU CAN PUT LINKS IN THE LINK Section.

        Another reason for links in the link section is simple.  YOU can find it faster there.


        go to link read the info bar on what's it about and boom.. you find what you are looking for instead of reading OVER 4000 messages.

        It really sucks saying this over and over again.  ONLY IN POST is it NOT allowed. ONLY in post, in posts, in posts, in posts.. you nuts are going to drive this squarrel crazy.



        --- On Sat, 1/8/11, Todd <drtoddm@...> wrote:

        From: Todd <drtoddm@...>
        Subject: [The_Yurt_Community] Re: Tripping in Urumqi
        To: The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, January 8, 2011, 10:53 AM

         

        Jerry,
        I believe Kenneth has made it clear on numerous occasions, perhaps to you personally, that posting commercial links is something he would rather not see done and if you have links to share it is preferred they go into the section provided for that purpose.
        My email address is DrToddM@... if you wish to contact me directly.
        -Todd

        --- In The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com, jerry diamond <dmnds2001@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Todd,
        >
        > Just curious, and/or confused; do you have a yurt? Do you intend to get one? Do you ever say anything serious and or positive?  I am on tons of groups 70 so have not read enough here to know; you seem a bit of a cynic.
        >
        > jerry
        >
        > Rod,
        >
        > What about this idea;
        > You might hook up with someone already importing; join forces. I just got a Stove Tec;
        >
        > http://www.stovetec.net/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=1
        >
        >
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsDjcv5vO4c
        >
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh5hRNrzr0U
        >
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7BcZD_IzCQ.
        >
        >    They are made in China, and imported to Oregon. The stove and Yurts go well together. You ain't gonna get rich anyway, might as well make it an easier process, work with an existing operation. Also, What about building in the states?
        >
        > jerry
        >
        > --- On Fri, 1/7/11, mtmyrock <click_n_u@...> wrote:
        >
        > From: mtmyrock <click_n_u@...>
        > Subject: [The_Yurt_Community] Re: Tripping in Urumqi
        > To: The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Friday, January 7, 2011, 9:06 PM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >  
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I hereby grant you permission to set one up on a golf course in a thunderstorm.... I don't think anyone would dare come close enough to tell you that you couldn't, hahaha
        >
        >
        >
        > I was hit my lightning one time... but that is another story, and I don't seem to have developed any special powers. Darn.
        >
        >
        >
        > Rod
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com, "Todd" <drtoddm@> wrote:
        >
        > >
        >
        > > I think publishing a comic book explaining how Magneto wasn't really and "X-Man" but that he gained his powers by sitting in a metal framed yurt when it was struck by lightning will get every geek on the planet to buy one if he secretly wears a towel around his neck pretending to fly when nobody is looking. Put me down for one. I just need permission to set it up in the middle of a golf course during a thunderstorm! ;-)
        >
        > >
        >
        > > --- In The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com, "mtmyrock" <click_n_u@> wrote:
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Hi Jerry,
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Actually, I could not give you a price right now, if I wanted to. I am still missing a few pieces in the puzzle. I am constantly working on it though.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I am still looking to see if it is feasible (costwise) to ship them to the states, and sell them FOB Seattle or Portland for example. Numbers at first it will be very small, if it even happens, but eventually maybe I can warehouse limited numbers in the states. The sea voyage is about 33 days, not counting the time to load and unload the boat. I would rather customers did not have to wait so long.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > This trip north lead me to find out, for example, I can not use the Freight Forwarder that I had planned on. They can not give me the service that I need. Back to looking for that.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Also, I think giving you pricing would be against the group rules. If I get there I will set up a website and post an address here, perhaps people could send me an email for more info if they are interested. This is a great group of people, and I don't believe in burning bridges with good people... Or groups.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I still have to visit at least one more factory. You have to have some sense of comparison. This is how I think anyway.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I had a great time, and I saw a lot of cool stuff, and I will try to get some pics up at some point. Anyone have some time to give me? Send me a couple days if you have them to spare.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I have almost everything nailed down here, price wise, but there are some nagging gaps. I have not located a customs broker/warehouse in the US yet. Always a few more details it seems.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I need to find someone to build some shipping crates for me in Urumqi. I did not find one while I was there.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > One thing I will throw out to the group, these yurts have a totally metal frame. There are no cables, no lattice flexing walls, they are rigid and strong. Does that throw anyone for a loop? They still come apart easily and move, if that is what you are into, maybe not as easily as a lattice yurt.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I am still cogitating about the doors. They supply a simple uninsulated "batwing" metal door. I would not bother to send it across the street, much less to the states, but I can not decide yet to have them build a door and send it, or to buy a door in the states and install them, glass no glass? dutch doors? Options...
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > The current door heights are 1.6 meters (5'3"), and 2.0 meters (6'6"). Not exactly a standard door. As I have asked them to adjust them, the smaller yurts will henceforth be designed to take a 30"X62" door(they usually make them 29") on a 3/4" door jam. The larger yurts (over 40m2) will have a 36"X78") door on a 3/4" door jam. They normally use a meter wide door here on the large yurts, but that would be harder to deal with in the states. Better to get a "close to standard" door I think.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Also they agreed they would also make smaller yurts that have 2 meter high walls, as an option.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I have another odd question, are most yurt people tinkerers, or do they expect a turn-key product. Maybe buyers want to build their own doors? More market research, that is why I am looking at this now.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > One of the reasons this is so slow, there are a lot of options to consider. Which ones make sense? Hmmmm.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > My target is to have a few yurts sitting in Seattle or Portland no later than early June.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > It is like my grandmother used to say, How the cat ate the grindstone, a little at a time.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Enough for now. My wife need a little attention, and I will forced, to my great pleasure, to enjoy giving her my attention. I have been out of town for four days.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Rod
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > --- In The_Yurt_Community@yahoogroups.com, jerry diamond <dmnds2001@> wrote:
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > >          Rod's Yurt Importing Saga
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > Rod,
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > I just read what is below, and will try to go back and piece the rest together. It is an awesome story; write a book, man. I have missed a lot, but have you gotten any idea on delivered price to the US? Will you be shipping from China, or have a Shipper in US?
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > Thank you. People like you and Ben give me hope of seeing some great things happen in Sheltering people through the "Long Emergency."
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > I also looked at puppy's? site. ahhh...so awesome. in 1999, we were doing Cylinder Stove sales, (missed being top national dealer by one flipping sale.. to Cabela's) etc
        >
        > > > > I talked to a woman who had designed a huge machine to make large pieces of felt for yurts. She was in the upper Midwest, one of dem der cold states, you betcha, by golly.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > jerry
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > >  
        >
        > > > > Hi All,
        >
        > > > >  
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > For all who are interested and have not been following, I am in Urumqi, XinJiang province, China, to visit a yurt manufacturer. We are talking through a local interpreter who I met through one of my colleages from Urumqi, student who is also from Urumqi. Lucky connections.
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > This is just a week long cold snap here in Urumqi,
        >
        > > > > it is -15f here in Urumqi, and everyone tells me it is early this year.
        >
        > > > > Tomorrow, after I leave, it is suppose to warm back up to a balmy and
        >
        > > > > more normal 0f. That is still -18c.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > I would not say it was a lovely coat of snow. It is
        >
        > > > > like the snow in any city, not quite white, but it is nothing like the
        >
        > > > > grey snow in Guiyang last year... It fell out of the sky looking grey.
        >
        > > > > It makes you think, but not good thoughts.
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > Inside it is nice and warm, most places too warm, so
        >
        > > > > I am hot in my hotel room, but even with the heat off the thermal mass
        >
        > > > > in this concrete hulk keeps the room warm enough to prance around naked,
        >
        > > > > well if you were into that sort of thing. I fear my prancing days are a
        >
        > > > > little past.
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > > Yesterday we (2 factory guys, my translator, and I)
        >
        > > > > drove an hour and a half out of Urumqi to the Heavenly Lake area. We
        >
        > > > > did not go up to the lake, which is in the top of some mountains
        >
        > > > > (Tianshan I think), but we visited a Kazak yurt village in a valley at
        >
        > > > > the base of the mountains. They move down in the winter from their
        >
        > > > > lakeside homes, at the government's request. Ecological and logistic
        >
        > > > > problems as they say.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > There are over 100 yurts in this area that all come
        >
        > > > > from the company that I am talking to, (according to the factory guys,
        >
        > > > > and they offered to show me invoices). In this area the snow was white,
        >
        > > > > hahaha, and there was plenty of it, I would guess 12-14". It covered
        >
        > > > > the top of most yurts standing maybe 8-10" deep. The thermometer at
        >
        > > > > where we parked said -28c, (about -18f). In a few places you could see
        >
        > > > > the water in the river, but mostly it was frozen and snowed over.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > > Most of the yurts were covered with a big piece of
        >
        > > > > plastic. I was a little surprised, and I asked the Kazak lady who lived
        >
        > > > > there if the yurts leaked, was this why they had the plastic covering.
        >
        > > > > She kind of laughed at me, and gave me the "stupid foreigner" look and a
        >
        > > > > chuckle, and told me "We would not live in a leaky house".
        >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > > She went on to explain it made it easier for the
        >
        > > > > snow to slide off. Usually they leave it in place, as added insulation,
        >
        > > > > but if it gets too deep, they knock it off.
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > Sure enough a after lunch I saw a neighbor drive up
        >
        > > > > to his yurt. It had snow all around in front of the door, so I knew he
        >
        > > > > had not been there for a while. He stood and surveyed the roof, went
        >
        > > > > inside and started a fire, about 2 minutes of grey smoke, then no smoke,
        >
        > > > > just hot gasses rising. Then came back out and knocked the snow off
        >
        > > > > with a long piece of bamboo.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > Speaking of lunch, we sat around in a yurt that had a
        >
        > > > > small fire, and we were soon opening our juckets, (but maybe not
        >
        > > > > prancing around naked),and we were served a traditional style Kazak
        >
        > > > > lunch. Forgive me, I don't remember the name of any of it.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > There were little squares of Kazak bread and
        >
        > > > > (frozen) butter that were good, and bowls of hot, salty, milk tea, which
        >
        > > > > isn't as bad as it sounds. I found I rather liked it.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > After that she started in with the main courses, a
        >
        > > > > heaping rice dish with bits of raisins, apricots, mutton, onions, and
        >
        > > > > carrots, a plate of very tender lamb, and a plate of horse meat.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > I had never eaten horse before, and living for almost 33 years in Montana, I have had horses for a lot of my life, if not the majority of it. Frankly, it was delicious... All of it was delicious.
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > > Desert was a bowl of mutton and onion soup, and a bowl of homemade yogurt with a little sugar. I was stuffed.
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > All this time sitting in a yurt that was heated by a
        >
        > > > > stove not much bigger than 2 number 10 cans stacked on top of each
        >
        > > > > other, like we used to make hobo stoves out of when I was a kid, but
        >
        > > > > this one had a stove pipe of course. AND it is -18f outside.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > The insulation, well all the layers, from the
        >
        > > > > outside, a layer of "organosilicon" canvas, a 1/4" layer of a polyester
        >
        > > > > felt-like stuff, and a layer of a mid-weight muslin. The inner stuff is
        >
        > > > > all sewn together, and is a separate piece from the outer cover.
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > The "dome hole" ws half covered by a waterproof
        >
        > > > > cover with the same insulation parts sewn directly to it. The other half
        >
        > > > > had a double layer of plastic, the outside layer being the same one
        >
        > > > > that covered the whole rest of the tent. It was just poked through, no
        >
        > > > > stove jack or anything like that, a little melty around the edges...
        >
        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > >
        >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > The whole thing was set on a piece of poured cement
        >
        > > > > with 2' square tan tiles over the cement. As usual there, there was a
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        > > > > foot high platform built over 1/2 the yurt and covered with rugs, no
        >
        > > > > shoes please, this is where we sleep and live, we cook, etc. over the
        >
        > > > > tile. It is easy to clean.
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        > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > As we started to leave, our driver, who was from the
        >
        > > > > city, slid off the driveway, and we ran back to get a shovel and dig
        >
        > > > > our way out. There was enough snow to high center the sedan so there
        >
        > > > > was no way for the tires to get any traction. We all had a laugh at his
        >
        > > > > expense, but it was all in good fun. I climbed out and pushed like the
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        > > > > rest, in my tennis shoes.
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        > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > I don't own any "real" winter clothes in China. Hong Kong,
        >
        > > > > which is close to where I live, (and you will have heard of it, opposed
        >
        > > > > to the town where I live, which you would not have heard of), is about
        >
        > > > > the same latitude as Cuba. It gets down to maybe 40 degrees, which feels darned cold with the humidity and sea breeze.
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        > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > I meet with the factory guys again this afternoon. I
        >
        > > > > will have a lot of questions, and I hope they will have a lot of
        >
        > > > > answers. I have found out they have been making tents for 30 years in
        >
        > > > > this factory, but they have been making yurts for ONLY 23 years.
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > I asked the factory guys if they had any engineering
        >
        > > > > on the structure, had anyone tested them for snow load, wind and such.
        >
        > > > > He told me the Kazaks have been his laboratory for the 23 years. Their
        >
        > > > > product was different now, than it was when they started 23 years ago,
        >
        > > > > and now was better and stronger. All the Kazaks we met in the village
        >
        > > > > seemed to know him, so I think they are a pretty good test case, they
        >
        > > > > still like him.
        >
        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > I should have some pictures later. So much writing, I will post this in the fiddlesticks group as well.
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        > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
        >
        > > > > > > > > Rod
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        > > > >
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        > > > > > >
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        > > > >
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        > > >
        >
        > >
        >



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