For shooting, a shotgun is the only firearm necessary. Doubles weather sand and salt better than pumps or automatics. Shells in other than 12-gauge are hard to buy, so stock up in Norfolk, and don't forget gun-cleaning equipment, a waterproof shell case and artificial calls.
For fishing, all kinds of gear can be purchased on the Banks. Spoons, popping bugs and bucktails on spinning or fly rods are popular for black and striped bass. For channel bass, local experts favor an 11-foot surf-casting rod, 18- to 24-inch leader, 36-pound line and a fish-finder rig baited with salt mullet.
For comfort, bring along casual clothes as well as hip boots or waders, foul-weather gear, insulated underwear, a couple of extra sweaters and insect repellent to ward off the bugs.
For travel, be sure cars are in good condition because garages are few and far between. Hose undersides regularly with fresh water to prevent salt-corrosion damage to mufflers, brake linings and master cylinders. A light coat of oil on chrome finishes helps impede rust. For sand travel, beach buggies can be rented for $3.50 an hour, $15 a day, $75 a week.