Pannier advice and camping advice (tent vs. hammock)
I am planning on riding from PA to CO (paved road only) in May on a very limited budget. That being said, I'll be doing a lot of free camping and choosing my diet carefully. That being said I have 3 things I need advice on:
1) Is it a bad idea to long distance tour with only a rear rack/panniers and nix the front? I'm worried about two things if I do this: having enough space for everything I'll need, and overloading my rear wheel. I'm considering loading only the rear because an additional front rack and panniers will cost me a hell of a lot more than I would like to spend if it's not necessary. I've multiday backpacked on roughly 50 L of space and can probably cut that down even more. If loading the only the rear is okay, does anybody have pannier recommendations that are +45L (pair)?
2) Can anyone speak to their experience with using camping hammocks rather than tents? I'm leaning in the direction of hammocks because of their simplicity, light weight, and little packed volume.
3) Also camping related: does anyone have recommendations for the cheapest, yet most energizing/nutritious/essential food? I'm looking to not spend over $15 a day, but I know I'll be hungry as a bear at the end of every day.