I've given this a lot of thought as I too like to ride somewhat rough trails, in all honesty - I think the shift kit is the only real way to go.
Given just how low you would need the gearing sometimes for a crawl and yet still want to open her up a bit on the straights, I'm not sure there's a compromise. I do ok with the 44t, but I do need to pedal and help it with the rough stuff - wow it gets exciting with clutch/throttle/brakes etc. lol
With only one gear it's always going to be a compromise, the more I thought about it - the more I realized that no matter what rear sprocket I chose, I'd want a different one
If you get that sorted with one you like though, give us a shout