North Carolina camping regulations?

Discussion in 'LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA TALK' started by luke1wcu, May 5, 2007.

  1. luke1wcu

    luke1wcu New Member

    North Carolina
    Just curious what the laws are regarding camping on state owned land. For example if I just wanted to tie the boat to a tree and set up camp right on the bank. Anybody know or know where I could find out about the regulations? Thanks in advance!
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    I dont know of any state owned land you can do anything on other then a state park or state campground.
    If you are talking about state land at a reservoir I can just about 100% assure you that you cant camp on it unless there is a campground.
    The state of NC is not too welcoming to the Daniel Boone types. It doesnt fit into their schedule. In my opinion the campgrounds arent much better. I dont stay anywhere for long that I can go to jail for drinking a cold one.:confused2:
    I've pretty much always stayed aboard the boat with sterno and a rolled up shirt for a pillow, got a motel, or gone home.:big_smile:

  3. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Newport N.C.
    I always see people camped out on the neuse river banks, not sure if they own that stretch or asked permission. I would just go down to the register of deeds and get a platt map and call whoever owns the land before you go camping. I'm sure a lot of them wont mind as long as you keep it clean, if you dont keep it clean then you'll only camp there once. I'm also sure that a lot of people wont let you also.
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    If its a river in NC the laws could be different even on the same river. It has to do with navigation.
    Land owners have Riparian rights. Meaning property lines running parralel to a river are usually centered in the middle of the river. His property would increase and decrease as the river itself changes over time.
    His property line may be in the the river or stream bed but if its navigable by even a canoe he doesnt own the water or fish but has rights to the water.
    So technically you couldnt even wade fish such water because you would be standing on his land as opposed to floating over his land.

    This is where it gets more vague.
    If the river is navigable by "traditional" sea going vessels the land owner can only control to the point of the high water mark. Meaning you can camp, stand, walk or whatever as long as you are below that high water mark.

    The vagueness is , what constitutes the high water mark on a river?
    And what constitutes a traditional sea going vessel?
    We've had traditional boats 18 feet long that were sea going vessels.
    The law doesnt say ship.

    As far as saltwater. The land owner has no rights beyond the high tide mark as anything below that line would be state owned in the form of a trust.

    It gets a little less clear when you get to the beaches but the way its always been is that the dry sand between the dunes and the water whether high or low tide is state trust or federally owned.
    If you are surf fishing and someone comes out of their house and tells you that you are trespassing you can tell them to take a long hike off a short pier.:big_smile:

    Any stream that is not navigable even by canoe or kayak would be private property and no part of it including the water would be public domain to a degree.
    Thats where other laws come into play to reign in a landowner for "hoarding" water, polluting , or just being a detriment to to the stream.

    Probally the only time I've run across Riparian rights being forced and used is in private ponds.
    If I dig a pond and spend 3 million dollars doing it and any part of that pond touches a neighbors property he has as much right to the pond as I do. The only stipulation being that if his frontage is so small he has to use someone else's land to utilize the pond his rights are pretty much nullified.

    We'll see these stream, river, and beach laws come under attack in years coming as the population increases and demand for resources increases.
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Inbetween I-95 and Richardson Bridge Rd. on the Neuse is what us locals call the Mashes.
    Seen a preacher swear he saw a lion down there once.
    The battle of Bentonville a local was the jack rabbit leading some of the Union Calvary on a chase through part of the mashes. The part with quicksand. Gone. Poof!
    The mashes are dangerous. he river isnt straight its long and winding and doubling back several times.
    You get snake bit in the mashes you are in dire straights. There aint no houses, no phones, no roads for ambulances. Youhae a heart attack in the mashes you've probally seen your last sunrise.
    The old folks that are still left that have lived in the mashes all their life speak a unique dialect with a smattering of old english like the the thees and thous. Folks that live in the mashes has always been referred to as mash rabbits.
    Now that you have a little concept and history of the mashes I'll tell you.
    There is 1000's of acres in the mashes that has NEVER had a deed drawn on it. All you need is some stakes to stake your claim.

    The only problems are access and water. The only way in is by water. There is no power, and there is no roads. Sometimes the river has too much water and your entire claim will be navigable.
    Take a look at a county map sometime. Notice that great big hole about 5 miles wide and 15 miles long that there aint even a road? Thats the mashes.
    Or as a mash rabbit would say. Das life in dis he're mashes.