The ulitmate in stability for critical applications has to be the studio stand. For those not fortunate enough to own a studio stand here are a few ideas I use when I don't have my studio stand and for lighter weight light stands. This is a low cost hack involving a 20kg bag of beach pebbles from a builders merchant or DIY store and a length of 550lb paracord. I use paracord as there is no stretch under tension. 550lb denotes the Mil Spec tested breaking strain. Using a loop gives 1100lb and more cord to bite into. Paracord is available from many outdoor suppliers from the popular online markets. This is my trusty vintage Gitzo Geant tripod with Gitzo No.4 pan tilt head, a legacy from the days I used to shoot sheet film. In the yellow bucket is 20kg of beach pebbles which serve the dual purpose of a background and ballast. I also fill sandbags with pebbles as they don't create dust as does sand when dry. The first loop of paracord is secured to the top of the tripod.