Ultimate Camping Guide: North Carolina
The Old North State is abundant with state parks, bodies of water, gorgeous landscapes and national seashore. There are many hiking trails, dispersed campgrounds and establish campgrounds, as well as dense backcountry for all types of campers. This guide will provide as much necessary information as possible so you can enjoy North Carolina for all it’s worth.
Where to camp in North Carolina
There are many places to camp in NC, here is a list of great places to camp which you can do a little research on yourself. Bare in mind, each campgrounds will have their own rules and regulations, so please read up on them before making a booking. There are many areas of different layouts, such as vast water bodies like cape lookout, dense forests and hot springs.
Places to camp includes:
- Jellystone park
- Lake Powhatan
- Stone mountain state park
- North Carolina state park
- Uwharrie national forest
- South mountains state park
- Mount Mitchell
- Fort Macon state park
- Chimney rock
- Cedar island
- Linville gorge
- Croatan national forest
- Davidson river campground
- Broad river
- New river state park
What to pack for camping in North Carolina
Depending on where you are wanting to camp, there are varying pieces of equipment you will want to pack. The specifics are down to the style of camping you wish to go ahead with. There’s backpacking where you’ll be doing lots of carrying and hiking. And there’s backcountry, where you’re make a basecamp and stay for a while in one spot. For backpacking, lightweight gear is essential. Tentsile’s 1 person and 2-person Tree Tents, the UNA and the Flite, are perfect choices. If you aren’t camping and just hanging out in spot for a rest, then the T-Mini 2 person camping hammock is a great size to have a lay down and relax in your desired location.
There is equipment that all campers should pack, as they are essential across all types of camping. This includes sleeping bags, portable phone chargers, sunglasses, rucksacks (check out our 45L day rucksack!), first aid kits and plenty of food and water. And money of course.
What to consider before camping in North Carolina
There are many factors that come into play when it comes to camping in North Carolina, these can be split into three sections; Legal, Safety and Fun. Legal relates to things like maximum stays, setting fires, leave no trace guidelines and other rules and regulations based on the state or campgrounds. Safety can coincide with legal factors, such as if you are setting a fire – check if its allowed first, but also make sure you’re setting it in a safe environment with no excess debris around and keep it as contained as possible. Don’t over fuel it and let it get too high and out of control. Avoid dangerous animals if you can, pack the appropriate repellents and research the area you wish to camp/hike in. When staying at a campground with other people there, keep your valuables safe and locked away in your car when you’re sleeping in your tent.
North Carolina Camping Tips
In North Carolina there are many campsites and campgrounds, both dispersed and established. Before booking a slot at one, ensure you read their rules and regulations and confirm if its somewhere you want to spend your time. Check if the amenities you require are available. Get familiar with state rules when it comes to comping too. When you do find your desired location, ensure you book as far in advance as possible and consider the time you are booking. High season is during summer, so maybe it’s best for you to take the weather risk for a quitter camp in spring or fall. Pack in preparation for various weather, keep a close eye on weather forecasts closer to your leaving date so you know to take extra clothing.
Where can you camp in North Carolina?
There are numerous campgrounds, dispersed and established, where you can book a place to camp. When it comes to wilderness camping, ensure you check the rules and regulations of the state for how long you can stay and what you’re allowed to do.
When is best to camp in North Carolina?
High season is in summer, low season is in fall and spring. This is due to weather being more predictable in the summer, as well as school holidays.
When does the camping season start in North Carolina?
Mid-June is normally when the numbers at campgrounds and state parks start to increase.