Outer banks NC questions

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CatPowerDude

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Which ferry service is opening for the season on Feb 6th? and to which island? I group of friends and I have been trying to plan a trip to one of the primitive islands( Portsmouth, or Cape Lookout) for March 1st and we have been having a hard time finding a ferry that was open. If you pull through with a ferry being open it would be huge.
It was Davis ferry that I called. Like I said in the post trip post, don’t rely on what websites say, everyone that I went to was outdated, or just wrong. But the voice recording said they were opening on the 6th I think.
 

CatPowerDude

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That forest campsite looks like exactly what I need. Future trip added.
Yeah I’m not 100% sure that spot was legal haha. But it was a nice spot. You could hear the coyotes howling at each other through out the night. And it was nice and dark out there so you could see so many stars. I believe that was either in or very near Bladen state park off a service road called pappy Tatum road.
 

Keith McAlister

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We by passed Overland Expo East this past November and went to OBX instead. So glad we did as we had an absolute blast and we are going back for a week in April and hoping to get on Portsmouth Island and run the water trails.
 

BigBlueOx_TRD

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***Davis Shore Ferry Service Update***

I submitted an email request online through Davis Shore Ferry Service's website for this coming May.
Submitted request on Thursday, February 21st and recieved a call from them on Monday, February 25th to confirm my request and confirm each vehicle. She informed me they are already booking fast for the season. We actually had to change the original arrival and departure times to accommodate our vehicles going over due to the busy schedule they have those days. If y'all are interested, I would advise getting a gameplan ASAP and making reservations.
Hope this helps.
 
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Babyruthless

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Really interested in this trip or something along these lines. I have a quick question. Although my truck is 4X4 it does not have off road tires on it. Would I be ok out on one of the islands with street tires or should I wait until I get some better tires? Thanks.
 

BigBlueOx_TRD

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Really interested in this trip or something along these lines. I have a quick question. Although my truck is 4X4 it does not have off road tires on it. Would I be ok out on one of the islands with street tires or should I wait until I get some better tires? Thanks.
Call the ferry service and ask them about island conditions. They're very informative about the different areas and can tell you if there are certain parts you should avoid. Personally, I feel if you have experience sand driving, lower tire PSI to around 15-18 and follow the sand driving 101 principles, you should be ok for the most part. Just remember to always go prepared. Some parts of the island have very deep areas of sand. Bring some wood or a Maxtrax style of recovery system in case you do become stuck and remember to check your tide charts.
 
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Traveler I

I would agree with BigBlueOx. I recently was there not overly prepared and our tent was flattened in seconds by a down pressure system. But back to the tires, I went with street tires at 30 psi ( 5 psi blow what I usually run them on the streets) I didn’t have too many problems in and around the cabin areas. There was one area where I almost go stuck in some deep sand. Reason why I didn’t want to go lower in psi is my factory tires are low profile (33 on 20 inch rim aka not much side wall) I was afraid of screwing up the rim or getting sand in between the bead. But it is doable with street tires if you drop your pressure around 20 psi like they recommend.

One thing we found is that most of the ramps were closed for bird nesting and the directions as to where we could and could not go were not clearly explained to us by the park volunteered. There are some hot shower, running water, fuel, ice, air hose, washrooms on the island which I did not know about when doing some of my research on the place.
 

JButtress

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A friend and I are looking at doing a 4-5 day trip over Labor Day weekend. I've only been in NC for about 18 months after moving from Los Angeles. I've seen from this thread there might be a few different ferry options with different Island options? or do both ferry's go to the same island?

And am I crazy if I think i'm going to get a reservation for the ferry 3 weeks before Labor Day weekend? We are hoping to head out at least the Wednesday before, so we might beat most of the crowd
 

BigBlueOx_TRD

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Not if you call now. Call the Davis shore ferry service. If they cant help there is the Cape Lookout Ferry service also. You're probably going to be at the mercy of their schedule so remember to be polite and patient. Hope it works out and you have a great time
 
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JButtress

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Not if you call now. Call the Davis shore ferry service. If they cant help there is the Cape Lookout Ferry service also. You're probably going to be at the mercy of their schedule so remember to be polite and patient. Hope it works out and you have a great time
Thanks. Are there any additional fees or permits needed? I know the fee for the ferry, but any permit for camping or driving on the island that I'm not aware of? I didn't find anything with my research
 

BigBlueOx_TRD

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Once you pay the ferry fee and arrive on island there are no further fees.

You'll stop at the Ranger station that is right as you exit ferry. This is where you'll obtain your beach permit sticker that goes on the driver side, upper part, of your windshield, and on the on the inside this year. This is no charge.

If fishing you will need a valid NC coastal fishing license or pass. They do patrol the beach and drove by us numerous times.

The only other expense would be the lighthouse tour fees. I do not remember what we paid, but its not much. They accept cards at the lighthouse gift shop and tour booth.

Make sure to bring clothes for any weather condition. It can go from hot and sunny to chilly and a monsoon in a short time being an island in the middle of ocean. Even if it doesn't storm, the wind can be pretty strong at times. The 2 hurricanes last year absolutely devastated the island. There are barely any dunes left to block wind across the ocean to sound.

We got sandblasted a few weeks ago there. Make sure to bring enough guy wires and something to bury your stakes in the ground or pieces of wood or brick. We weren't able to use our shower tent due to the wind.

Don't get me wrong, it's a majestic place. I just want to give you all the info I can to be prepared.

The ranger station also now has air and ice if needed. Davis shore ferry service will bring anything over for you on a ferry if needed also. I can't say enough great things about them. Very nice people that have a long road to rebuilding what they lost in the hurricane. Which is basically everything.
 

JButtress

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Once you pay the ferry fee and arrive on island there are no further fees.

You'll stop at the Ranger station that is right as you exit ferry. This is where you'll obtain your beach permit sticker that goes on the driver side, upper part, of your windshield, and on the on the inside this year. This is no charge.

If fishing you will need a valid NC coastal fishing license or pass. They do patrol the beach and drove by us numerous times.

The only other expense would be the lighthouse tour fees. I do not remember what we paid, but its not much. They accept cards at the lighthouse gift shop and tour booth.

Make sure to bring clothes for any weather condition. It can go from hot and sunny to chilly and a monsoon in a short time being an island in the middle of ocean. Even if it doesn't storm, the wind can be pretty strong at times. The 2 hurricanes last year absolutely devastated the island. There are barely any dunes left to block wind across the ocean to sound.

We got sandblasted a few weeks ago there. Make sure to bring enough guy wires and something to bury your stakes in the ground or pieces of wood or brick. We weren't able to use our shower tent due to the wind.

Don't get me wrong, it's a majestic place. I just want to give you all the info I can to be prepared.

The ranger station also now has air and ice if needed. Davis shore ferry service will bring anything over for you on a ferry if needed also. I can't say enough great things about them. Very nice people that have a long road to rebuilding what they lost in the hurricane. Which is basically everything.
This is awesome dude, thank you. I can never have enough information that's for sure. Especially for my first time going somewhere. I try to very as aware as possible to make sure i'm not breaking any laws, or doing anything else I shouldn't be
 
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BigBlueOx_TRD

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This is awesome dude, thank you. I can never have enough information that's for sure. Especially for my first time going somewhere. I try to very as aware as possible to make sure i'm not breaking any laws, or doing anything else I shouldn't be
Absolutely. Best part about this community and the app. It's fairly easy to get someone to help or give info. Post pics on the thread and update is on how your trip goes. Feel free to provide further ideas to help someone else here also if you find any good hacks.
Happy trails!
 
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