Keeping The Ger Nice And Toasty

Keeping The Ger Nice And Toasty

This white structure is a ger, the typical Mongolian dwelling used by the people typically living a nomadic lifestyle. It's relatively easy to take down, transport and put back up. The real challenge, at least for me, was keeping it properly warm at night.

Mongolia is known for having one of the bigger swings in temperature between day and night. All the hotel-gers I stayed in were equipped with a wood burning furnace. You really have to find the right balance to maintain the fire throughout the night.

Growing up a comfortable, climate controlled life, this was a bit new to me. When you get the fire going, the whole ger heats up pretty quickly and you have to open the door to let the excess heat out (I'm probably doing it wrong), but it then settles down and the smoke is directed through a simple pipe chimney out of the center of the ger.

The first night, I put some fire on and the ger got quite toasty quite quickly, I opened the door and it eventually reached a comfortable temperature and I could keep the door closed - all the better since it was raining every night I happened to be in Mongolia. However, I badly misjudged the amount of firewood needed on the fire, and woke up at like 3:30-4:00am super cold! And I couldn't start the fire back.

The next night I managed a bit better. In general, it's all about getting the base fire going, and stacking the wood appropriately so that there will be enough wood to burn through the night and keep you warm. For the most part this was fine, but the first night was just some tough learning for me.

A traditional Mongolian ger home.