There are very nice commercially produced tripods available, including expensive wrought-iron ones. This one can be made for $20-$25 if you buy everything brand new, and will be nearly as durable, and certainly lighter. It could be made cheaper, even free if you can scavenge the parts from scrap. (Update - I just saw a wrought-iron one at Joe's sporting goods for $45. I think I'll stick with my conduit one.)
Credit for this concept goes to Junior Doughty of www.deltablues.net. His tripod can be found at: http://www.deltablues.net/tripod.html
Step 1: Materials and Tools
3 sections of 1/2" conduit 4' long or longer
3 sturdy eye bolts
4' of chain - the kind with the wire links is great.
Tubing cutter or hacksaw
Step 2: Cut the Legs
The tubing cutter has little rollers and a cutting wheel on a clamp. Tighten the clamp onto the conduit where you want the cut then tighten it down, turn, and repeat until the conduit is cut all the way through.
A hacksaw may also be used to do the job.
If you don't have a way to cut the conduit, the hardware store may cut it for you when you buy it.
Step 3: Open One Eye Bolt
Step 4: Assemble the Eye Bolts and Chain
Step 5: Connect the Legs
Step 6: Cut the Chain to Length
It is long enough if the pot can sit on the ground and remain on the chain.
Put another S-hook onto the end of the chain and close with pliers.
Step 7: Hang Cookware
Step 8: Fold It Up
Step 9: Customize and Enjoy
Later on I am going to drill holes in two legs and add eye bolts to hold an additional piece of conduit from which I can hang more chains and hooks for more pots, or to hang boots for drying. (My brother-in-law has burned up two pairs of boots in as many hunting seasons because he puts them too close to the fire.)
The lower ends of the tripod should remain cool enough that you can pick up one leg at a time bare-handed to move it around a little bit. If you want to raise or lower the chain while it is hot, you might need oven mitts or a dutch oven lid lifter.