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A hiking backpack is any pack, no matter how big or small, that you would use for on-foot expeditions. Whether that's a 1 or 2 day trip over the weekend, or a longer stretch of time where you're trekking for multiple days. Where there's a difference is the sizing. Typically, a larger pack made for longer trips is referred to as a backpack. But then if it's a smaller hiking pack, these are often referred to as rucksacks or day packs.
A hiking backpack is built for the purpose of carrying heavier amounts of gear for longer periods of time. Where a regular backpack could just be a nylon sack with some shoulder straps, a hiking backpack will usually provide padding on the shoulders and back, as well as some kind of internal structuring for ease of carriage as well as organisation of hiking/survival essentials. What you may also notice as a difference between the two is their size. The average 'backpack' is only good for carrying the bare minimum 1 day at a time. Whereas a hiking backpack should give you enough storage space and durability to see you through multiple days or even weeks and months.
Choosing the right hiking backpack comes down to you and your hike. If you're big and strong and you're going on a longer hike, then go for a larger pack that offers you all the storage you could possibly need. But if you're only going on a shorter expedition, there's no need for a huge amount of storage space and you should choose a pack that has enough space to carry your bare essentials. It's often important as well to consider your height, as larger hiking packs can sometimes come in a taller design, that can be uncomfortable to carry if you're of a shorter stature. If you're not the tallest of your friends and family, then maybe a smaller pack with plenty of webbing for external attachments is the way to go for you.
Military hiking packs, as you may have guessed, are typically used for longer on-foot missions. Likewise, if they are being used in a civilian situation, they make for the perfect vessel to carry everything you need on a longer hike or camping trip. In a lot of occasions, you may find yourself trekking through the wilderness without access to fresh/clean water or reliable food sources. So having a pack that is able to host these things while you're on the move is essential. This becomes ultimately important when you're in a survival situation. Nothing beats preparedness and nothing beats having a military hiking pack prepped and ready to go for the worst case scenario - this means having one pre-packed with a source of water, long life food rations, first aid kit and every tool or piece of kit that you could imagine needing if the worst situations eventuated.
Military backpacks are perfect for hiking because they're designed to be worn for long periods of time through tough terrain, as well as endure all sorts of conditions. Whether it's in a desert environment or tropical rainstorm, most military hiking packs will stand the test. But on top of that, they'll provide a level of support and comfort for the wearer beyond what you'd get with a typical backpack. Hiking packs will usually have a large amount of padding on the shoulders and back to keep you comfortable while on your hike; but some also come with a framelike structure to keep your back safe. There's nothing worse after a long day of hiking than being faced with backpain from carrying your pack in the wrong way, or carrying a backpack that wasn't designed to bear as much weight as you've put inside it. Do your back a favour and you'll thank yourself when you see the difference with a military hiking pack.