With gyms closed but the outdoors/backcountry open, I am trying to rearrange the exercises to, at the minimum, stay fit, but also get ready for the upcoming season. I got myself a pair of ankle weights, 10 lb per piece (20 lb in total; the weight is chosen to approximate the backcountry ski set in the uphill mode, skins on) and used them in the local hikes with elevation gain in 500-800 feet range. This does not seem too strenuous in summer, and I believe that if I didn't get soaked with sweat, I wasted the exercise. DO I need to just increase range/elevation, or there are more efficient ways to train legs for up and down travel. On the way down I usually move the weights to the backpack to load quads.
@Dmitry I would love to hear how this has been working out for you. In my experience ankle weights can be tricky to gauge. While they help burn calories faster and tone your larger muscle groups, they are not designed for strong resistance. If made to be too heavy, or used for too strenuous an activity, they can create unhealthy stress on your joints and ligaments. Ankle weights play the long game, so not being "soaked with sweat" is not uncommon.
I would be very skeptical of using ankle weights for all of the reasons mentioned by DannyB above. Just get out and walk, maybe do a bit of running. Throw in some cycling as well.
That is how I trained for marathons (a while ago) and I noticed that I could climb any grade, indefinitely, very easily.
Thanks for the feedback.
After several attempts I stopped doing this because I realized that my biggest problem is not in the uphill. I shifted focus to working on compression/passive strength, or, as the writer for the backcountry.com puts it, eccentric exercise:
oh wow @Dmitry that takes me back to a very productive, VERY sore time in my life.
Glad you found an alternative routine to give you the strength you are looking for.