Petroleum-saturated cotton balls are excellent firestarters, even in windy and rainy conditions. I’ve always carried five or six of these in a 35mm film canister. You don’t use them all the time, but they are great to have in your pack and can be easily ignited with a lighter, match, or ferro rod.
Lately I’ve been wrapping the soaked cotton balls in a 4”x5” piece of waxed paper and twisting the ends. This results in what reminds me of a piece of salt water taffy. Place a handful of these in a plastic bag and include it with your fire kit. You’ll always know how many you have at a glance. The waxed paper weighs next to nothing.
I don’t at all miss the messy hands after teasing out a cotton ball from a film canister. The edges of the waxed paper light easily. If you are using a spark to light the fire, just untwist the paper to expose the cotton. It’s a sweet way to carry and use these firestarters. No mess, no fuss.