I wonder if I've become normalized to the ingenuity of our group when we're out in the woods... We've built our fair share of useful junk from the bounty of the forest. I may not be the most avid bushcrafter, but some of my friends' skills are reaching Flintstonian proportions.
Nate is one of those friends. He's never had any formal instruction— just good old Canadian know-how. On one rare occasion, when he was too exhausted to be annoyed about being photographed, I captured his process for building one of the most convenient tools on our trips: the tripod.
A tripod is useful for a number of reasons. Mainly, you use it to dry your boots and socks. A barbed stick hanging from the centre knot can be used to hang a cooking pot over the fire. Or, you can build a rack which is great for slow-roasting trout and other foods without dirtying any dishes.
The key to building a long-lasting tripod is using the right kind of live branches and twigs. River alder or young poplar make good support structures. Nate recommends using red-osier dogwood for the knots, or twigs from hardwoods such as birch and poplar. These are usually very fibrous, resilient and tough to burn.
There is no special knot being used. Just keep tying until it works. You will be surprised by how long these things can last.