When Anna Källström was growing up, she never imagined she would become a camp cook.
But after 15 years as an early childcare educator (and having a career counsellor tell her she would make a good golf course or ski hill manager), she dropped everything to work as a camp cook in northern B.C.
“I was just really burnt out with that job and I didn’t know what I wanted to do for two years except I knew I wanted to do something outdoors,” said Källström.
She enrolled in the guide school at Northwest Community College in Smithers and spent the following 20 years travelling some of the most remote places in Northern Canada and cooking for people from all walks of life.
“I absolutely loved it. I have been in every province and territory from British Columbia to Quebec, even Baffin Island,” she said, adding that she has travelled extensively in northwest B.C., including the Stikine-Spatzisi region.
“That has been one of the highlights of the job because I have seen country that most Canadians haven’t.”
Källström recently released a booked called Have Pots, Will Travel about her adventures as a camp cook.
She cooked in hunting camps for roughly 12 years before working as a cook in mining exploration camps.
But Källström admitted, she didn’t know much about cooking when she first started; at the time, she had only worked as a short-order cook flipping hamburgers and cooking for her family.
“I knew that I could learn the cooking easy enough, so I just jumped into it,” she said, adding that she developed meal plans for as many as 35 people three times a day in exploration camps.
She said they normally cooked with meat that they hunted such as cariboo and moose often over oven-wood stoves or open fires. Lunches would often include soups or recipes using leftovers.
Källström even baked banana nut bread, chocolate chip cookies and pies.
“I want people to go along for the ride and just enjoy my adventures,” she said.
“Anybody that is after a change, just do it. If you’re unsatisfied with parts of your life. Change it. I did and there has been no looking back.”
Have Pots, Will Travel will be available at Interior Stationary for $20 in the coming weeks. It can also be purchased online through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.