I've got this game handled now.
The new girl is on about 30 days, roughly. She's been through it and come out on top. At about 10 days gametime, I accidentally went far afield without a bedroll or anything to cook in. Middle of a blizzard, I got ambushed by a bear on the bridge in the upper corner of Mountain town. Clothes torn up and within one little sliver of dying, I had to use the emergency steroid shot to live long enough to bandage. The only "shelter" in the area is the little hollow that is the bear cave. The bear was still standing at the head of the bridge between me and the cave so I shot the fecker in the face and dropped him. Then I staggered towards the cave to build a fire.
Right after I get there, the steroid shot wears off and my tiredness tanks. I'm wet and my Cold bar is near the bottom. I don't have even a can to warm a beverage and I can't sleep without a bedroll. I had to stand beside the fire long enough to dry out and warm up. You know how when you're really bad the controls stop working normally? I kept having to work to not fall into the fire while warming up. Once I had some warmth built up I limped over to one of the cars on the bridge, crawled into the back and slept for 4 hours. Woke to red warmth meter, of course, but made it back to the cave and started the fire again. Now that I wasn't dying I tore up my socks and one pair of long underwear to get cloth to repair my Mariner's Coat and Gauntlets from their bear damage.
I repeated that warm/sleep process about three more times - cutting a few hunks off the bear to cook and eat in the process. (Luckily I started with enough water.) Mid-day the next day, much the worse for wear with condition bar at about 1/3 and serviceable amounts of the other meters, I started back towards the church, dragging that bear skin and as much meat as I could carry along with me. At that point in my education about the game, I didn't understand the scent mechanic, so I didn't know why the wolves kept attacking me during the walk back. I killed 3 of them between the bridge and the church.
The can was where I'd left it beside the fire in the church and there was a bed there. I spent two days recovering - and going back for those wolves' meat and skins - before I headed back to Milton. Even after cooking the bear meat wasn't very good because it took me so long to process, and I got food poisoning twice from eating it. I just summoned my inner Vagus and kept eating while standing on that bear's skin and guts curing on the floor.
Now, at 30 days, she's the Mistress of Milton and has raided Mystery Lake for the last few days. Her clothes are so strong that I'm starting to think about removing some of the doubling up items to save weight. The only thing I'm still missing is a revolver and a hacksaw.