This has been a good read
I love reading John Foss’s history lessons.
Gore Tex rain suits are not to hot, I live in the tropics, I should know. If it is so hot you would rather ride in the rain without it, take it off ! Free shower and laundry time. I carry the parka part with me on all my winter trips down town, in a fanny pack. It is breathable, so it can be worn as a windbreaker to ward off chill. Otherwise, it stays in the fanny pack. Silnylon is great for tarps and bags. It is not breathable, so it is a poor choice for a rain suit. Condensation would be worse on a uni then a motorcycle, so do not skimp on this essential piece of gear.
I have never tried these new type camping hammocks. I really enjoyed having a large tent (cooler, less body heat ), to read and plot in after a long days ride on the motorcycle. It protected me from bugs and snakes. I slept on top of the sleeping bag in my swim suit in hot weather. Because I can’t carry a big tent on a uni, and tiny tents would be terribly hot, perhaps a hammock could be the best alternative.
I have slept on the ground with no tent many times. Usually with other people, and a fire, which tends to keep creepy stuff away. Do not think tents are just about keeping warm and dry. They can also be about keeping rattle snakes from biting your face in the dark !
Sleeping with just a bag, on the ground, will be impossible in many areas unless you are so drunk, the snakes and spiders crawling over your face do not awake you. The bug spray will wear off 3 hrs into a 6 hr sleep. Ticks will smell you from ten yards away and try to crawl down your neck.
In general, sleeping on the ground, no tent, is better up north, or high elevations, then in the south. Maybe consider a hammock in southern zones where nocturnal scorpions, snakes, spiders and fire ants, are a factor. The hammock would have you reposed above the fray , and in clear weather an open hammock sounds coolest. Being to hot at night is almost as bad as being to cold.
To clean up before bed, get a plastic kitchen scrub pad. I would pour a gallon of water over my head, while scrubbing myself from head to foot with the pad. Don’t use soap, it takes to much water to rinse off. A uni tourer could get by with a liter. Road grime and sweat will come off fine and life just feels so much more better when you don’t stick to everything.
I like John’s hub storage idea, I have a super wide. Weight stored there would be closest to the center, effect handling the least. A fanny pack, maybe kids size, that would do one loop around the hub, and velcro tight.
I am surprised that anyone writes about food. This isn’t back packing, it’s an American road trip right ? I would suggest buying your favorite foods from some of the 15 000 options you will pass on your way.