I totally agree with the comments re experience and expectations.
As you state you are a newbie, you will really enjoy it more in a tent and you'll pick up tips as you go to make either experience more fun.
"To use a tarp you're using experience to compensate for the relative lack of protection" Totally agree.
Certainly think about a tarp when you feel ready to. It is a totally different experience and there are numerous ways to pitch one, depending on size and needs. However I would hate to see you spoil your trip should it all go wrong and you not know how to prevent it happening.
And true, the lure of a hot shower and bacon sarnie cannot be underestimated
I love this thread. Great to see so many ideas turn into practical items.
I started with a Strap-a-map-to-me device for rucksacks I think. There's some pictures on OM from years ago somewhere.
Then my wife taught me to use the sewing machine .... And then there was no stopping me ... Tarps. Tents, groundsheets galore, numerous rucksack accessory bags, then small rucksacks, then Bivvy bags, quilts. now I'm toying with Pertex Blankets and ideas with this roll of Pertex I've picked up.
Using various cutting patterns I dabbled with metal sheet until I was happy with stove design and got them cut properly. I'm still working on more ideas but keep coming up against expensive tooling costs.
One item I was chuffed with was a laptop case which unfolded and reversed to form a laptop sunshine hood on bright days. That worked really well.
For photography I've made huge diffuser panels on a white cable tubing frame, lots of flash modifiers with grids, snoots to wrap around lights and so on. Using black nylon and pot cost material for padding.
I've enjoyed the challenge of ideas, but more importantly I've learned to appreciate good design in products and recognise when things are well thought out. It also makes you see when thing aren't too!!
I would encourage everyone to have a play with ideas. It's a fun way to spend wet miserable days