Barrier Island camping (via kayak) is arguably one of the best experiences in the Lowcountry. There are beautiful, pristine beaches to explore, maritime forests and unbelievable ocean views. However, there is one thing I hate - especially this time of the year... The sanspur! This little bugger is a real pain in the - well - whatever it comes into contact with (ex. foot, hand).
Sandspurs are summer annuals. They create their “fruit” (burs) over the summer. In fact, sandbars are actually an edible grain that can be processed into porridge and flour.
Those that are not carried away by a passing flip-flop will fall to the ground and produce next year’s crop. Like most annuals, sandspurs appear quickly in the spring. They are already nasty by this time, but you can usually remove them without leaving splinters. By late summer and autumn, the sandspurs become more brittle and are more likely to leave splinters. They are dry, sharp and ready to come off the stalk at the slightest bristle.
By winter, the majority of the burs will have lost most of their sharp points and the sandspurs will be a little less bothersome.
If you plan on exploring or camping the SC coast this time of year do NOT go barefoot!