I did some additional modifications to the PVC Ground Pod idea to see if I could make things a bit more stable and I found a simple solution that works.
Stable PVC Ground Pod Click Image to View Larger
By drilling and screwing three screws into the PVC pipe as shown above the issue with the ballhead/gimbal head rotating was resolved.
Modified PVC Ground Pod Click Image to View Larger
I shot a few shots in the back yard with this setup and it seems work work well. I'll have to try it out in the field sometime this week and see how it performs. I think this solution may work -- it's light, will breakdown and fit in my backpack for sure but I don't know if it's quite stable enough to hold the ballhead/gimbal head & camera/lens. Notice how much wider the ballhead is than the PVC pipe. One benefit of living in a neighborhood where there's new construction going on is with a little scrounging about you can find stuff for DIY projects. As luck would have it I scored a short section of thicker PVC pipe last night so now I have yet another idea for a DIY Ground Pod. I'll be working on that idea tonight so stay tuned -- there's more to come.