Well, if you're starting a fire, then of course you're going to use matches. Matches are simple, cheap, fast, and reliable - the perfect way to get a fire burning. But, there are many other ways to start a fire and its a good idea to be aware of them, just in case. Besides that, its quite a challenge to get a fire going using these other methods and you can learn a lot while practicing.
There is a separate page for each of these fire starter methods with details and pictures to help you start your own fire.
Matches- there are many specialty matches for fire starting and some tricks to keep your matches usable.
Lighters- liquid fuel lighters are quick and easy, but dangerous and untrustworthy.
Spark- tools to generate a spark to ignite your tinder.
Friction- have fun with some primitive fire making methods. It's not as easy as rubbing two sticks together.
Pressure- fire pistons ignite tinder by increasing air pressure.
Electricity- Steel wool and a battery
Sunlight- Use a magnifying glass, water, ice, or pop can to start a fire
All of these methods do work to start fire - but not all the time. You need to have certain weather conditions or selected pieces of wood or a lot of luck. But, the idea is to be familiar with different methods of starting fires so you can be a fire starter in the broadest possible range of situations.
Many of these methods just create a spark or ignite a tiny bit of fluff. There are many products and do-it-yourself items that you should consider having along to help you get your fire burning.
Find more Campfire Resources at CampfireDude.com