Expedition from the Backdoor documents a feat of personal strength and tenacity in the face of physical and social limitations. It traces the expedition: a 1000km walk, along footpaths, towpaths and mountain trails, from Yvette’s home in Shropshire, to Knoydart in Scotland, from its modest beginnings through its evolution into a life-changing adventure.
The book’s written in chronological order and in first person, using diaries, blogs and expedition log-books. This gives it immediacy and honesty, as well as a level of detail that allows the reader to share in the experience. The unique elements of the expedition, which build progressively in the book, were the limits that Yvette placed upon herself in order to make it meaningful, and to make it a genuine test of her survival skills: sleeping rough with no tent, carrying her kit (amounting to nearly 20 kilos) and all her food other than wild sources that she foraged, avoiding technology (including industrially produced foods and modern fuels and stoves), and staying true to a self-reliant ethic – all these in the context of illness, injury and menopause. The sections are varied and cover things such as Yvette’s changing feelings and motivations, practical details in the planning of the walk and changes in health and mobility. There are also specific pieces about food preparation and kit selection.
Yvette Primrose currently lives in Ditton Priors, Bridgnorth with her 11 year-old daughter and husband, however Yvette’s family will soon be moving to a Scottish Island, Gometra, just a stones-throw from Knoydart to live ‘off-grid’. After suffering from mental health problems, Yvette started psychotherapy, which later led to her studying psychology and counselling to become a qualified lecturer and counsellor. While on a rock climbing trip with her husband in 2013, she suffered a life-changing accident and broke her back, which, along with subsequent arthritis in her hip, has made physical activity much harder. Before her expedition, Yvette ran a bushcraft and survival company, ‘Farafoot’ and enjoyed being outdoors.