I will be running my current setup of Zee rear mech with an 11-36 cassette and going down to a 34 N/W chainring from my current 36. I went to this setup from running 34-18 SS so the extra gears are great. I have been running 1x10 on this for the past 6000kms and never dropped a chain. For cranks I will probably rob my Reign of it's Race Face Evolve XC ones for now until I save up for something better.
That's superhuman hearing for touring! You must be as strong as an ox.
I recently test-rode a 1x10 (30t chainring, 11-36 cassette) Krampus around the streets of my suburb (in Wellington - so, rather hilly) and could barley make it up some of the hills completely unladen. Those 3" Knards take a bit of oomph to get going, too.
Off road, and with even a banana in my back pocket I'd be struggling. But that's just me ...