The camp cook

Host: Lake Nash Station
Written by Natasha Land – Camp Cook, Lake Nash Station.

The mum, the wife, the doctor, the nurse, and the teacher are just a few different hats I wear on a daily basis in addition to being the camp cook at Lake Nash. The camp cook means I cook for the staff working and camping out under the stars (stock camp) as the distances are too far to return home each night. Sometimes we can be 150km from the homestead!

3.1 Stock camp enjoying lunch at Bybby Creek copyStock camp enjoying lunch in Bybby Creek.

Cooking, cleaning, and washing for a stock camp are my daily duties alongside caring for my two small children who are two and four. Cooking for roughly eight at any one time and chasing my beautiful children around is exhausting but at the same time rewarding. I have learnt to be organised, versatile, and ready for anything. On the odd occasion I may receive a message over the radio to bring out cold water to a dusty set of yards or drive a truck to pick up horses or calves that are having trouble walking in the heat.

3.2 Heidi and Nixon copyMy two children, Heidi and Nixon, love station life and helping Mum cook for stock camp!

Living in a stock camp is always full of laughter with plenty of exaggerated stories from long days spent in the saddle. Whether it is stories of being thrown from a stubborn horse, or something silly someone has said or done, it always makes for good entertainment around the campfire over a cold, well earned beer.

3.3 copyThe crew watering and washing their horses after a long day in the saddle.

Not only are there plenty of good times but there are a few days where things don’t always go to plan. Generators blowing up, running out of water to wash in, kids screaming, and being sick are just a few obstacles of living this lifestyle. I really enjoy the job and love the laughter and mateship of the whole team. Cooking is such a passion of mine and I love being able to do it on a daily basis.