Truthfully, the majority of the time here in So Cal, I never light a fire. It isn't even legal to smoke in most of the places I end up bushwhacking around. However, occasionally I will take my Trangia alcohol stove along on a hike to heat up some soup, coffee or whatever. I don't use any kind of flame producing device to light the alcohol. The best device for that I've found is this:

It's a Coleman lantern spark igniter, and it throws a big fat spark within a gnat's eyelash of exactly where you want it with a short quick twist of that knurled knob on the left end. It even stores spare flints inside that knob. It's cheap, effective, and I have several of them. There's little or no risk of knocking over my stove like there might be with a metal flint stick and striker, and like I say, there's no stray spraying of sparks all over the place, just one nice big reliable fat spark right at the end opposite the knurled knob. Ideal for lighting the Trangia burner, or throwing a spark precisely into fibers in a frizzed up cotton ball soaked in petroleum jelly, or other prepared tinder. I've even used it to set pieces of jute cord on fire to light a campfire with. And, it's nearly indestructible.

Oh, and just for grins, with every spark it also creates the world's most perfect smoke ring.