"always an inclination to be idle"

Scott goes on to write in his journals:

...it is the sledging life which is the hardest test. It is because it is so much easier to shirk in civilisation that it is difficult to get a standard of what your average man can do. It does not really matter much in civilisation: it is just rather a waste of opportunity. But there’s precious little shirking in Barrier sledging, a week finds most of us out.