@ DJ2: Thanks for the link. I found the Salt Creek some weeks ago and also contacted BigAgnes to find out if there were some lightweight env. fri. materials. As you might have noticed the Salt Creek is about 2 lbs heavier than their other tents of this size. Their reply was that it's difficult to find lightweight recycled materials as of now. There's also greenoutdoor.co.uk, however, their Green Peaks tent is also quite heavy for my purposes (it's a big size tent), and they don't sell their fabric ...
@finallyMe: Yeah, it's a good question. I've heard the same said, and reckon that it depends on discernment in the actual situation. What I do know though, is that my body (i.e. the way it feels on my skin) clearly prefers natural materials (cotton, wools, natural silk, natural fibers etc.) but these materials - as far as I know - tend to get quite heavy and may not be fully waterproof.
I'm "just" hoping somebody has investigated this - or works in this area - and has suggestions. Very lightweight natural fibers are preferred, yet to they exist?
Silk is lightweight. You can get it at the same weight as ripstop nylon. You can also siliconize it to make it waterproof. Or you can oil it. You can also oil cotton to make it waterproof. For a sleeping bag that doesn't need to be waterproof, making a down bag with silk would be the same weight as one with a nylon shell. A tent isn't next to your skin, so you gain no tactile advantage from using all natural. Anyways, they make some pretty tight weave cotton that is approaching nylon weights, and would make a somewhat light shelter if used sparingly.
At any rate, check out this guy. He tries to only wear natural material. Raven lore
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
I have a waxed canvas day pack that has lasted for years...its crazy tough, but quite heavy...and in driving rain will eventually get wet in some area where the wax is faded/weak like right near the straps.
I've recently seen NF come out with the "TreeHugger" pack and it appears to also be made of canvas...
the real issue is yes there are envrionmentaly friendly natural fibers, yet not combined with technology and low weight
what about using Tyvek as a shelter? not sure how natural it is, but it may feel better to you as you mentioned the feel on your skin is a factor
I do it because I can...it also helps that you are not there...
I've searched Ventile's webpages but didn't find information about weight per area so have contacted them to find out more.
Originally Posted By finallyME
Anyways, they make some pretty tight weave cotton that is approaching nylon weights, and would make a somewhat light shelter if used sparingly.
. Do you have a productname or a link to a webpage for this?
Regarding silk, yes, I've considered it, but as far as I know silk is not that feasible when used in the sun. Apparently, the sun decomposes the structure of the silk, making it rather short-lived when exposed to the sun. However, Indian people use silk extensively, and there's some sun in India .... Another aspect, which also is important to me is the way it's manufactured and as far as I know some silk is still manufactured in ways that are quite hard on humans. But thanks for the suggestion about waxing or oiling the silk. Might be feasible if I can find the right type of silk ("natural silk", which is not the correct name, though, can be made without killing the silk worm, as well).
@MarkNM: Yes, Tyvek's also a possibility. I've checked it out - very lightweight! - and although I'm not otherwise sure about its environmental credentials Dupont does offer to recycle it free of charge when end of life is reached ....
Hmmm ... thanks again for your comments and suggestions. I would say that I now know what I need to move on.
FYI I spoke with Ventile yesterday and they have a 165g/m2 (L34 it's called) tight-weaved impregnated cotton fabric that most likely is also available in organic cotton and as far as I understood also with an organic impregnation. It is waterproof, although we didn't talk about to what degree in mmH20.