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Taking a Hike? Consider Filling Out This Form

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We love hiking up in the hills, mountains, bluffs, canyons and ravines around Los Angeles, but we also know that things can go awry in Mother Nature.

Even if you're not a hiking novice, you can get turned around, run out of daylight or sometimes the trip back ends up being harder than the trip back in. (Yes, even Boy Scouts get lost.) During one particularly bad weekend last month, the Sheriff's Department and local search and rescue volunteers had to rescue 15 hikers in the Angeles National Forest.

Perhaps that rough weekend was the inspiration for a form put out by the Sheriff's Department yesterday. The form lets someone know what your schedule and route is for hiking should you not return on time. It also let first-responders know what sort of equipment you have. Some of the prompts also serve as a reminder that, hey, maybe it's not a bad idea to bring along some sort of first aid kit, a GPS system or jacket.