In regards to the "Increase endurance for hiking with added weight": I found that good running condition relates to this heavily. Before my service, I played lots of soccer and was able to run over 3,1 km in the Cooper test. With that base, carrying around 25kg basic load all the time was no problem, neither was the 40kg full load. Full load with couple of 10kg mines and camping stove however was something I would rather not haul all day. So those that want to have good hiking condition, running is good option. Hiking with a load is easier if you can keep energy up by eating right and staying hydrated.