Just thought I'd post a brief After Action Report of a history heavy event a few of us did recently, to show how easily it can be done.
We used Wayne National Forest near where I live in Ohio, which has many miles of trails that I know pretty well. Trailside camping is allowed, and since there were only four of us, there was no need for any special permission, since we were no different from any group of friends backpacking, and it was free. We could hike and camp anywhere in the woods, getting drinking water by treating water from creeks and using deadwood for firewood. The trails are deserted enough in the area we used, that we didn't meet any other modern people the whole three days we were there (Tuesday morning through Friday morning).
Billy from Maryland, Rob from Minnesota, Paul from Kentucky, and I attended. The historic premise was that it was 1859 and Billy was looking for a site to build a sawmill and/or purchase standing timber. Billy had hired Rob to carry their food and cook and set up camp for him, and I was a local guide that he'd hired who knew the woods. We met Paul, who portrayed a local resident, who stayed one night with us.
And that's all it took. If getting a sense of stepping back in time is what one wants, it just seems so simple when one forgets preconceived ideas of what a "reenactment" is supposed to be, and instead starts with a historic premise that takes advantage of the people and setting available. After that, everything follows naturally, if you want it to. Of course, reenactors can bring whatever anachronisms they want to whatever setting they choose, and make it seem as similar to a modern gathering as they wish, but that's not my thing. We just tried to do what the people we were portraying would have done.
By eliminating modern food, modern cameras, modern gear (other than water treatment tablets and medicine) and modern talk, the 19th century world opened up for us to explore, both physically and emotionally/intellectually.
I'm always surprised that reenactors don't seem to do this kind of thing more often, either as part of an event or as a stand-alone thing, but everybody seemed to have fun.