So between that record and the realization that with such a lightweight system even a mild breeze could cause camera shake as is the system needs mass to keep it steady. Except of course I don't want to carry much extra mass.
Couple of ways I could think to solve this would be to fill a bag with rocks, sand, etc when we got there, or to hang one of our packs off the bottom of the tripod. At most we're talking 25ish lbs of force though, and at night a pack would have to be unloaded of food so as not to attract animals.
Solution? There's a whole lot of mass straight down to anchor in to. So this afternoon I spend part of the day with a torch and welder making a ground stake system that screws in to the firm earth:
At first I thought I would use a couple of pulleys and paracord to pull the tripod tight to the anchor, but it proved messy. I couldn't get a consistent pull on the cord, and even when everything went well the force was lower than I had hoped. Solution? Ratchet strap. This allowed me to put a couple hundred pounds of hold down force, even in the soft grass/turf in my front yard. The results were a platform that is rock solid; I think it would still be standing after a tornado.
I will already need the ratchet strap system for my cable dolly, so nothing added there. The anchor itself clocks in at 115 grams, or about a 1/4lb. It's really overkill, so I may remake it, but in the mean time it's making me comfortable about my camera's safety should there be much wind involved. Plus it will assure a steady sky tracking.