Hi everyone. I apologize in advance if the post seems too long.
I live in Miami, Florida and am planning to make a trip down to Key West, about 160 miles away. I might cut it shorter and ride to Marathon instead, but I've been planning this tour for a while. I'm mostly testing the waters because I want to see what it's like to make a light extended tour as I have interest in biking to Texas to go see family. You know, have an adventure along the way.
Anyway, point is, I'm fresh out of high school and don't have a job, so my budget is extremely low. I plan to 'stealth-camp' as I believe it's called, on the vast stretches of beach along the way to the keys. However, the problem is that it rains intensely down here in the Summer. I know for a fact it will rain on my trip, perhaps every day. It would be in my best interest to find some sort of poncho that can double as a tarp, so that I'm not forced to carry both, though I suppose it wouldn't be a big deal either way. Can you guys recommend an inexpensive poncho/tarp or just an inexpensive and light tent that's served you well for touring? I have things to get me from point A to point B, but have absolutely no camping supplies. I don't want to carry some sort of pop out tent; I would rather simply carry a tarp with grommets and build a shelter myself. I've seen a few grommeted poncho/tarp's on Amazon but they aren't well reviewed, so I thought you all might shed some insight on it.
So far I have a rack, set of rear panniers, medical kit, lots of canned food, a camelbak, spare tubes, pump, sunscreen, soap, mosquito spray, and some parachute cord. I figure I still need a mess kit (I'm having trouble finding a good one) and maybe some matches; other than that, the tent, and a good book, would you guys say I'm still missing anything? I see all these riders with massive packs on the rear of their bikes and feel as though I must be missing something, because my list doesn't seem to stretch very long. Nevertheless I'm planning to get a racktop back and front rack/panniers when the budget allows, but at current I've only got 60$ to my name.
And also, what's the incidence of blowing out tires on the road? I was planning to pack 2 or 3 spare tubes; am I being conservative or a little too cautious?