Are U.S.A and Canada really the mecca of the overland?

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viveen4wd

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Are U.S.A and Canada really the mecca of the overland?
From my point of view, yes. That is why I have a small aspiration to prepare my trips in a similar way to how you do it there. I know that in Spain the initial distances are not as long as they can be in your trips, but even so I ask you to measure some advice or tricks to prepare my trip ... (gps, refrigerator, store, main objects, etc ..)
thanks and greetings !!
 
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MOAK

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Interesting question. I consider Australia to be the Mecca of Overlanding, but I do live in the USA’s northeast seaboard. In order to do any driving off pavement or very far off the beaten path one must either go north and into Canada, ( about 400 miles to the border) or head across The Mississippi River to get to any dirt road worth traveling upon. I read Graham Bell’s story about this, and from his point of view he’s correct. If mostly paved roads and all the trappings that are a part of being on paved roads are your thing, then yes, tis the Mecca. I’m sure Graham Bell, after traveling through some of the most remote places on earth, was more than happy to enjoy the conveniences that are a part of being on pavement.
 

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I would have thought Australia too, but it has blown up in a big way in North America. I live in central Ontario and there are tons of places to explore if you head north, but I feel like BC more of an overland potential with more mountains, but Ontario has access to the Arctic lol.
I have done a lot of road tripping and overlanding in the US around Nevada, Arizona, California and Utah and I love the desert.
I have also been to Equador, Peru, Iceland, the Galapagos islands and everywhere kinda has its own appeal.
North America is just branding it better.
 

viveen4wd

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We love mountainous areas that is why we are also very interested in all the regions that you have in America and Canada. Here in Europe there are also similar areas, but not the same. And it is not to belittle what we have here.
 
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ThundahBeagle

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While North America has the Mississippi River, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the High Plains and the Rocky Mountains and so much more, I've never been west of the Mississippi. I imagine those are all great places to visit and I plan to find out this May.

The US is more well known for the "Road Trip" than Overlanding per se. Mainly because the big push westward happened 100 years ago with conestoga wagons instead of Land Rovers and Jeeps.

Even still, Australia seems to have the most romanticized and well known version of Overlanding. To my mind at least.

I've driven in Mexico from the beach to the ruins and throughout southern Brasil. Unfortunately never yet to the western mountains of S. America, but maybe some day. I've driven around some of the Great Lakes to PEI.

But I would still think that a place like Asia, from Moscow to Kamchatka, Siberia to the Himalayas, would be the real Mecca for Overlanding. Every terrain imaginable and the largest continent on which to travel?
 
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Alanymarce

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It seems to me that we need to decide what we mean by "the Mecca". My own sense (not that that means it's right, and it will no doubt mean different things to different people) is that it's a place you have to visit at least once in your life to satisfy an imperative in your belief system.

So, for me a "Mecca" would be a place I've never yet visited, which has some sort of mystique. My current answer would be South Asia, which was the plan for this year - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka - I've never been to any of these (other than airports) and they offer a fascinating opportunity to learn about their history, culture, music, food, architecture, and art. However the pandemic has put this plan on hold : (

To seek to answer the implicit question of where would be the Mecca for most people - that's a different question, and difficult to answer, especially given the range of opinions on what "the overland" means. In terms of my appreciation of the term, I guess I'd be hard put to choose one region. South America is a fascinating region in which to explore with a vehicle, and it's fairly easy to do so. Africa (really at least half a dozen distinct regions) offers an image of remote and exotic travel, and certainly satisfies the "mystique' qualification. Europe offers huge range of countries and ecosystems, however there are fewer opportunities for the "remote travel" which seems to be a requirement to qualify as an "overlanding" destination for many. Australia is a country in which "overlanding" is a way of life for many, and there are many areas to explore, with low population density, satisfying the remoteness aspect. Asia is immense and varied so impossible to consider as a single destination - lots of "mystique" and in my case the current "Mecca" (as mentioned). North America also offers a huge range of ecosystems (from Chiapas to Newfoundland to Deadhorse) and could legitimately be viewed as a common "Mecca" for many.
 

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While Africa and Australia started the trend (overlanding and safaris), and they look like amazing places to do those things, I have to also consider the dangers. There are things in those places just waiting to kill you. In North America it's primarily the grizzlies in the northern Rockies, Canada, and Alaska that you really need to worry about. Black bears, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions...for the most part, they will go out of their way to avoid people. There are also venomous snakes in certain areas to watch out for.

I think a lot of people see North America as a mecca or whatever you want to call it because we have so much open space and every kind of terrain you could think of, from deserts to vast mountain ranges and everything in between. In the US, we also have millions of acres of public lands and access roads to explore them. Many other countries seem to be lacking one or both of those, either due to their small size, the population density, or a government that doesn't see a need to have national parks and/or forests.

There are a lot of other countries that I want to visit, I just don't think about them from an overlanding perspective. If it were up to me I'd be a full-time overlander, but I can't retire yet and Covid has put a damper on crossing into Canada or easily getting a vehicle to Alaska. In the meantime, there are endless places to go in the US and not see the same road twice (unless you really want to).
 

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I have lived and overlanded in Australia and overlanded in Africa. For most of my life I have lived in Canada and overlanded throughout North America.
I have enjoyed them all ... each for there own reasons.
I have to admit I feel most comfortable in North America as it is ”home”, despite the challenges we face on both sides of the border. The immensity and diversity of our natural areas provide many lifetimes of exploration. I feel very fortunate to live in this time and place, and have the means to explore our vast natural resources.
 
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Billiebob

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Are U.S.A and Canada really the mecca of the overland?
From my point of view, yes. That is why I have a small aspiration to prepare my trips in a similar way to how you do it there. I know that in Spain the initial distances are not as long as they can be in your trips, but even so I ask you to measure some advice or tricks to prepare my trip ... (gps, refrigerator, store, main objects, etc ..)
thanks and greetings !!
lol, far from it. I'd pick Africa as the mecca for overlanding.
Australia offers great off roading experiences but kind of lacks on th cultural experience..... comparec to Africa.
My second choice would be Asia, India. Fabulous challenges lingustically and incredible geography, food, culture.
And third, I'd pick Russia, Siberia.

But North America?????? no, just another country with far too many rules and exclusions. Hardly inviting unless you have a huge wallet.
 
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