"Oh dear God! Where is the LIGHT!?!"
Before going on here, I've linked in the article to retailers and sutlers selling the stuff I talk about... but these are ONLY suggestions! Please look around when at events in the sutler's tents, used equipment sales, and generally wherever you can. The links, as stated, are suggestions and examples only.
There's a few things I've already learned you MUST have if you're going into this hobby and (think you) have the essentials (as listed here - clickity-click!)...
Planning on eating or drinking at the camp? Get NOT ONLY a canteen of some fashion for the field, but also a nice set of period correct dinnerware, decent mug, and a GOOD drinking vessel for... upscale camp lubricants.
I could also remind you of personal hygiene items (those should be modern and comfortable, just hidden from view of the public,) and blankets (wool or bottom line, "wool looking",) a wedge tent (a big purchase, but a one-time affair and often you can borrow or "bunk up" with someone,) with something that can either be hidden or look period correct to make sleeping more comfy like a mattress or cot, and a good box to keep stuff in that stands up to at least some form of historical accuracy...
...but you also need... light.
A good lantern is a MUST! Even if you're only planning on being about at night in an encampment, you'll need to see your way through and there's no better way of getting "Tut-Tut"ed in the camp by other reenactors then busting out a flashlight or modern camping lantern and wandering about.
There's three nice things about a good lantern...
First and foremost, they do not have to be expensive! It's not unusual to find a really nice, period appropriate lantern for under $60 Canadian. There are more expensive, and even far less expensive ones, but think $60 and you'll be okay.
Second is that they are nice year round in any home. Nothing warms up a living room at night than lovely lantern light... just be safe!
The third is that if you're like me and live in Southern Ontario, these things are DANGED handy in a power out!
I have two "good" camping lanterns... one that looks like this...
...which is lovely and hopefully no one points out that it's an 1830's design. (So far, no stitch counters have threatened to smash it or denied it being allowed in camps, so I breath well for now.) Basically, it has a side door that opens to allow the candle to be places in and lit. Nice unit... I think it was $40 all in.
I just found my 'journeyman' lantern which saw a lot of use during some of the 2013 blackouts we suffered. Originally, it came from these folks (click here) but I was able to purchase through a local sutler who had some. (Sadly, that sutler is no longer in the biz.) It's called a "cradle" lantern and indeed, it's period correct!
It's a full foot tall...
It's a clever design... there's a large hole in the top, and a dowel stick attached to a tin plate candle holder at the bottom...
These lanterns, as kits, are available for $21 plus shipping from this company here (click right here) which is a nice table-top project for a rainy weekend.
A good lantern with a decent supply of good candles makes a world of difference.
MAYBE consider a nice (again, period correct please!) lantern holder... but the lantern is a must.
Why a must? Five words... Dark of Night Bathroom trip!