The old saying about 'hunger is the best sauce,' is certainly true, and that no doubt gets a lot of the credit. Insulating a camper, wearing the right clothes, and toughening-up are all valuable activities. But they smell too much like 'living without.' That is, they are negative approaches. ('Negative' should not be thought of as a synonym for 'bad.')
There is something about human nature that is frustrated by emptiness, that is, 'living without.' Carrying that hot water bottle into bed seemed positive, additive.
Of course, so would running a conventional heater. But it is so sterile and meaningless to just buy some bar-coded product. It means something to an individual to invent, improvise, learn, and struggle.
The water bottle was warmer than snuggling with a little dog.
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