It seems that most of us can only afford expensive big lenses when we are reaching the later stages of life and are free of other financial commitments. I'm no exception but I wish I could have the strength and durability of a 25 year old to go with it!
I used to always have my 600 attached to the Wimberley/Gitzo and over my shoulder method for carrying but I have had near misses a couple of times where the Wimberley has worked itself free and has wobbled like a child's first tooth before coming close to dropping off. I do however find it probably the most comfortable way of distributing the load, especially as I have padded covers on the tripod legs. If I do use this method I am very careful to check how secure everything is on a very regular basis.The drawback of this system is it's very cumbersome to set up if you suddenly spot a photo opportunity so I prefer to carry the lens by it's foot ( I have a replacement foot with QR included) and the tripod in my other hand with the legs slightly apart so it will stand up unaided so I can abandon it to use both hands to grab the camera/lens and hopefully get a shot off.
With my 500 Mk2 I find I can hand hold that fairly comfortably so I don't always bother with a tripod at all or even a back pack. An extra battery and a TC is easily transported in a spare pocket.
I have in the past attempted to take the kitchen sink with me when it hasn't been necessary so minimal is the order of the day now.