I'm curious if anyone actively trains in the off season for AT?
I'm located in the Midwest and do 1 multi-day AT trip a year with friends, so I'm always at a disadvantage when it comes to cardio and arriving at altitude. I'm trying to work on my cardio, but I find that AT uses a lot of muscles I don't regularly use. I'm trying to prevent injury and being the weakest link in our group. Other than a gym membership and time on an elliptical, I'm not sure what else I can do. Today in MI is close to 60 degrees and rain, with no snow in the forecast, so it isn't like I can do some cross-country skiing.
Part of me has considered finding a ragged out pair of AT skis (CHEAP!!!) with the sole intent of "touring" around my property (5 acres, with trails), across dirt, grass...pretty much everything you should not use skis on. Or see if I can find some used tech toe pieces and bolt those to some lumber (e.g., 1x6"), then go shuffling around my yard.
Maybe I'm just a little crazy and should just embrace the suck!