Actor and podcast host Dax Shepard is partnering with Nature Valley Granola Bars and Omaze in the Summer of a Million Miles Challenge. The granola bar company is challenging families nationwide to hike a collective one million miles. Should they be successful, Nature Valley will donate $250,000 to the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.
“I think one of the coolest things we’ve done as a country is set aside all this amazing land for all of us to enjoy,” Shepard told Parents.com.
The husband of our beloved Kristen Bell is supporting the challenge in several ways. If you haven’t seen his video getting camping advice from kids, stop what you’re doing and have a laugh. Shepard said it was probably the most fun video he ever made.
“I just sat with all these little kids for two hours, just talking to them and hearing their completely unique and peculiar point of view on the world, and I could have done that for 12 hours,” he said.
Shepard is also partnering with Omaze to offer one lucky fan and three guests the chance to hike with him. That’s right: you, three friends, Dax Shepard, and the Santa Monica Mountains. Flights, accommodation, and Nature Valley bars are included.
Monetary donations, which support the National Park Foundation, multiply into contest entries. Meaning for a $10 donation, a fan will be entered 100 times.
Getting active outdoors has always been a part of Shepard’s life. His family had a tight budget growing up, but for 40 bucks, camping was the perfect weekend outing. He is an outspoken proponent of exercise—both for the physical and mental benefits.
“I’m just very in favor of people getting out, especially with their kids, and introducing their kids to this way of life of being active,” Shepard said.
For Shepard, Bell, and their daughters, Lincoln and Dakota, hiking is a perfect way to stay active. They live near dozens of trails in Los Angeles and find it to be more effective than other forms of exercise.
“If you say, ‘Oh my gosh can you get all the way up to the observatory [on the trail]?’ then it’s this fun challenge and all of a sudden they don’t realize they’re exercising,” Shepard said. “Nor do the adults. That’s the hack of hiking, you don’t even realize you’re exercising.”
To simplify the excursion, Shepard has a backpack in his house that never gets unpacked. It is filled with wipes, sunscreen, water, a camera, and granola bars (Oats ’n Honey are his favorite Nature Valley flavor—“Classic all the way!”).
“You just grab it,” he said. “You’re not like having to, every single time you go, scramble to remember everything. You just know you have this go-pack that’s ready to party.”
If you want to participate in the Summer of a Million Miles Challenge, you can track and submit your mileage with MapMyFitness. And before you go, get some hiking tips from the pros. It may not be easy, but Shepard said the results will be worth it.
“You know what’s easy? Turning the TV on. That’s effortless,” Shepard said. “Anything [you’re proud of] probably involves some discomfort and some effort to make it happen…I know it to be implicitly true that when all that inconvenient stuff is happening, I’m already at the finish line going, ‘Oh yeah, this is going to result in me being happy.’”