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Army backpacks are sometimes called a lot of different things. Depending on which nation's army you are most familiar with, an army backpack could be called a rucksack, knapsack, hiking pack or even just a pack. In a survival situation (if they are being used in this way), they are sometimes even referred to as a bug out bag. What usually differentiates backpacks being called one or the other of these names is their size and what their specific function is. For instance, if it's a smaller army backpack that's only designed for 1 or 2 day missions, it may be referred to as an army rucksack. However, if it's a much larger pack, that's designed to be taken on a longer more strenuous expedition, then it's likely going to be referred to as an army hiking backpack.
Because army backpacks are usually worn by soldiers who need to carry all of their essentials on foot, they can weigh anywhere between 60 and 100 pounds, depending on how much gear you want to carry or attach. Obviously if the pack is smaller and only for shorter expeditions, then it's going to weigh less. But if you need a survival backpack that's going to carry enough equipment to get you through any length of time, then you'll need a sturdier and therefore heavier pack. Most army backpacks though, regardless of their size, are designed and built with a compromise between the lightest and strongest materials i.e. they are as lightweight as possible as well as incredibly durable and strong.
Yes they are very good for hiking. Army backpacks are often more durable than what you'd find in a typical hiking or camping store. They are designed for 'rucking' which is what the military terms hiking under a load. What this means is that army backpacks are built with hiking in mind, though with an extra level of durability to withstand any kind of condition - including war zones. If it's not the functionality that concerns you, then you'll be happy to know that you could spot an army pack on a hiking trip very easily by how good they look.
Army backpacks are typically used to carry survival essentials while on the move. Depending on how large the specific pack is, this could mean anything from carrying a small amount of food and a spare set of clothes for a journey of a couple of days, all the way through to carrying a full tent and sleeping setup, plus essentially like first aid, a week's worth of food and a supply of water. In a civilian situation, army backpacks are used best for camping or hiking. But they also look great, so you could easily use an army backpack for day to day things like going to work, school or college.