Cape Hatteras National Seashore has 4 different campgrounds sprinkled along the banks. Frisco Campground is in the middle, and is a good base of operation for exploring the banks. There are 127 camp sites, and they are all non-reservable (first-come, first-serve). However, on the weekend that I was visiting, there was always at least a few open sites each night. That might change during busy holiday weekends so make sure you get there early (check out is 11 am) or have other options in mind (there are 3 other campgrounds, with a total of over 400 sites).
The sites are simple, with a barbecue stand (no fires permitted except in the barbecue), picnic bench, and an open area for tents. Most of the sites are dominated by sand, which makes for smooth tent-laying and softer sleeping (compared to granite, which I've also slept on). And you can hear the sounds of the ocean as you sleep; the Atlantic is just a 3-minute walk away from most sites, and a few lucky ones are able to see the ocean from their tents.
The campground also has shower facilities that are free (cold water only though), so you can wash the sand and salt out of your hair. Sites are $20 a night, payable by cash.
The only downside is, with some campgrounds, you can have noisy neighbors. As you're fairly unprotected by trees and such, if you get one who likes to get drunk and party (quiet hours start at 9pm, but that's not always obeyed), you can have a loud night.
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