Brothers Build Incredible Off-the-Grid Yurt By Themselves, But There’s a Major Catch

Jason and Matt Duff, from Maine, have a deep love of the outdoors and decided to build an idyllic yurt deep in the woods. Neither were builders, but both were undeterred and decided to build their sustainable paradise anyway. Drawing on their wealth of knowledge in the environmental sciences, the Duffs spent time tracking down the perfect piece of land. Beginning the project in March 2023, the brothers worked tirelessly over the next 4 months to complete the yurt in July. When it was finished, it was 20 feet in diameter and weighed more than 500 pounds. Although the creation was equipped with a solar-powered outdoor kitchen and shower, there was one major catch: they would have to use a composting outhouse. A composting outhouse is one that doesn’t use water for flushing. Instead, human waste is treated and turned into compost. Given Maine’s icy weather and snowy conditions, that means the brothers have to endure the elements in order to go to the bathroom. What’s more, the bathroom’s walls are not insulated, which means using it in the winter, when the average temperature plunges to 15º F, is a real ordeal. Around the yurt, the Duffs built a deck with about 100 pieces of wood, as well as a greenhouse and garden box fashioned from reclaimed wood. Since it’s completion in July 2023, the yurt has endured one winter, emerging with only minor damages. Nevertheless, the Duffs are smitten with their remote piece of land and intend to keep living on it.