With a short boat ride, many campers have taken advantage of the solitude the uninhabited Masonboro Island offers. The island also provides an environment for quality time spent between fathers, sons and daughters in the great outdoors.
Whether it is the first camping trip to the island, riding iwth excitement through each bump of chop, or a routine weekend triptrip to Masonboro for seasoned campers, Wrightsville Beach resident Jeff Rosbrugh said the island has always provided his family with a convenient and idyllic getaway.
Rosbrugh has taken his two sons, 16-year-old Jared and 13-year-old Dylan, on camping trips to Masonboro regularly from a young age. Rosbrugh wasted no time in paddling over to the island for surf the day after he moved to Wrightsville Beach in 1997.
The coincidence of planning a camping trip with a good swell in the water has eluded the Rosbrughs, but Jeff said he doesn’t plan to give up that dream.
In the case of flat surf, Rosbrugh said the fun once on the island usually takes the form of cookouts and games, like “manhunt,” orchestrated when a large number of kids are all camping out.
With the heat of summer quickly approaching, Rosbrugh said the weekends ripe for camping would be minimal until late September. One past camping trip during the middle of July was enough to make the Rosbrughs avoid the muggy months of late June, July and August, Rosbrugh said.
“No matter how much you want to go during the summer because the kids are out of school, don’t do it,” Rosbrugh warned any would-be summer campers. “Trying to stay the night over there in that kind of humidity can be miserable.”
However, the early and middle portion of June can still provide ideal camping conditions, Rosbrugh said, adding that important things to consider are bringing enough water and bug spray and making sure supplies are packed properly.
As it is a North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, camping on Masonboro Island is regulated by a series of guidelines. The guidelines include limiting campsites to areas devoid of vegetation and that have been used as campsites before, carrying coals from a campfire off the island, carrying all waste products away, keeping dogs on a leash and leaving everything on the island as it was found.
For more information about camping at Masonboro Island, visit portal.denr.org/web/crp