Here is an amazing fire starting method we've just learned about.
1. Unroll an ordinary cotton ball making a strip about 6" long
2. Sprinkle a pinch of wood ash on the cotton strip to cover about 1/3 of its length.
3. Tightly re-roll the strip
4. Compress a bit further by rolling between two boards
5. Roll quickly between the boards and with significant downward pressure
You will first smell combustion......then tiny wisps of smoke will emanate from the cotton roll......then a ember will break through to the surface. This burns slowing for several minutes and a provides long lasting coal with which to ignite several fires.
We're still experimenting with this method but can report that ground chaga fungus can be used as an alternative to wood ash.
Our kit is $14.95 plus shipping and provides all the materials needed. You provide the "elbow grease"