If you're going camping, you're going to need light. Yes, the stars are beautiful. Yes, it's wonderful to get back to nature. And yes, your eyes do adjust to the darkness with time. But what if you want to do something silly like, I don't know, read a book? Or find something in your backpack? Or go to the bathroom? In those cases, you're going to need light; and that's OK. After all, the ability to produce light (aka fire) has set man apart from the other animals for tens of thousands of years. And fortunately for those of us living in the 21st century, there are plenty of ways to produce light in the modern age, even in a camping situation.
The campfire is obviously an important part of any campground setting. There are plenty of other resources for those who want to learn good campfire-building technique, so I won't bother with that here. Rather, I would simply remind everyone that in order to burn, fuel must be dry, and that includes matches. If you're intend to start a fire with matches (as opposed to a lighter), be sure that you keep them in a protective case. Outdoor gear stores carry inexpensive plastic matchboxes that will do the trick. Additionally, instead of the traditional matches used in most homes, you may want to consider matches specifically designed for the outdoors. These matches are extra long (almost 3 inches) and feature lengthy heads that will not go out until the chemical has been used up. Such matches can be useful in adverse weather conditions.
Of course, the other option for starting a fire is the lighter. Traditional lighters are small and rectangular, fitting easily into the palm of the hand. They are a bit dangerous to use when lighting a fire, as they require close proximity to the fuel. However, more recent designs feature long nozzle and a trigger-like sparking mechanism, greatly reducing the risk of burns.
Of course, campfires are only so useful. You cannot bring one with you into the tent, nor can you take it with you into the woods to relieve yourself. For these tasks, you need another option. Flashlights are indispensible when hiking and camping. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, weights and strengths, depending on the conditions anticipated by the user. Over the past decade or so, LED flashlights have become increasingly popular because of the strength of the light produced and the life spans of the bulbs. Flashlights vary significantly in cost, anywhere from $20 to $200, but this is one area where you get what you pay for. If you're going to be doing a fair amount of hiking, consider a good flashlight an investment.
Flashlights are great when walking around or searching for something in a backpack, but they are not great for ambient light. For example, it is difficult to prop up a flashlight so that it effectively reveals the entire tent. For that kind of application, you need a lantern. Modern lanterns come in two varieties: fuel and electric. The former are similar to the kerosene lanterns that were popular 100 years ago, and these are sometimes not convenient for camping purposes. Taking a fuel-dependent lantern into a tent is not wise due to the potential for fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Electric lanterns, on the other hand, are very convenient in camping situations. Many electric lanterns feature LED lights, which allow them to be reasonably bright. The main problem with lanterns is that they are bulky and fairly heavy. However, depending on the camping situation, they may be worth the hassle.