AMWA Pack Dog Gold & Platinum Info

AMWA Working Pack Dog Gold & Platinum Level

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Scroll down to the bottom where you will find all the relevant forms needed for this level

plus Co-Ordinator contact details


Gold Info

GOLD = This level cannot be attempted until Silver level has been completed.

The Silver award cannot be used towards the Gold level.

To achieve the Gold Award the total mileage is 90 miles and must be completed in legs of no less than 30 or 45 miles.

Platinum Info

PLATINUM = This level cannot be attempted until Gold level has been completed.

The Gold award can be used towards the Platinum level.

To achieve the Platinum Award the total mileage is 180 miles and must be completed in legs of no less than 30 or 45 miles.


General Info

These levels can only be undertaken in designated Wilderness areas (see ‘wilderness’ classification below)

You must include overnight campouts

Dog must carry a starting trip weight equal to a minimum of 30% of the dog’s weight.

The weight of the dogs pack is expected to decrease through out the trip/leg due to consumption of items such as food or water.

The scheme is open to all KC & Welfare/AMWA Working No/Purebred registered Alaskan Malamutes, and all KC/registered Purebred Sled-dogs aged 18 months and over on the first day of the Gold/Platinum leg/walk. –


UK Wilderness Classification

Wilderness is defined as the areas specificallymentioned below. Routes are expected to include some technical elements and may involve short periods at higher altitudes.
Routes may include pass near villages which should not be used for re-supplying the trek; However the general route should avoid habitation and take the participants out into unfamiliar, remote area
If you are unsure that your route will be accepted please contact a co-ordinator prior to your trip!


Acceptable UK Wilderness areas for AMWA’s Gold & Platinum Backpacking Levels:

Western Isles
Caithness and Sutherland
Ross and Cromarty
Skye and Lochalsh
Isle of Mull
Lochaber and District
Grampian and Cairngorm
Trossachs and Crianlarich
Lomond and Argyll
Isle of Arran
Galloway Hills
Lowther Hills
Scottish Borders
Cumbria – Lake District
Cheviots – Cheviot Hills, Border Forests
Durham Dales & High Pennines (Teesdale,
Weardale, Allendale and West to Cross Fell)
Yorkshire Dales / Pennines – Langstrothdale to South Pennines
North York moors and Cleveland Hills
Peak District
Mid Wales
Exmoor and Quantock


Self Sufficiency

This Level does require self sufficiency which is explained below;

Between your dog and yourself you are expected to carry all provisions needed for the leg/trip (provisions = food, drink, and all equipment)

The finishing point for the first day must end at the Campout.

The starting point for the last day must start from the Campout.

If more than 1 overnight campout per leg, it is acceptable to class the Campout as ‘Basecamp’ and you need not carry the overnight equipment for that day.

If the route passes villages, participants should not re-stock when passing through.

With the exception of water: It is acceptable and sensible to restock water from standpipes and or natural springs

(we understand that here in the UK it is virtually impossible to be far from villages)


It is acceptable for participants to camp in BASIC registered campsites under canvas only, and must prepare their own meals. Take-away’s and eating out are unacceptable.

Wild camping is illegal in most areas of the UK, AMWA do not accept any responsibility for individuals who wish to wild camp and do so at their own risk.  It is advisable to seek permission of the landowner before making camp.



The certificate is primarily self-assessment based, so it is down to you to record your progress and then afterwards report all details on the application form.

You are encouraged to use GPS devices and provide a screen shot of each leg/trip with your application but it is a good idea not to rely on GPS tracking 100% as the only evidence….

You should take a few photos en-route that show your dog has reached key points or identifiable locations ie:- a monument, trig point, road sign or obvious topological feature. The location of these photos can then be marked on the map. When linked to a photo of say a daily newspaper (where possible), the electronic time/date stamp held against each photo will give a clear record of your progress.

Whilst this may sound arduous, it’s not meant to be. We aren’t expecting participants to provide a step-by-step log of their every move. We just want to see reasonable evidence of your progress.


Elevation Mileage Bonus

If you can provide clear evidence of elevation gain for each leg/day of your total trip this can be submitted along with your completed application to make up the final mileage total for the trip

Any elevation gain 500ft and over can be included in your application, but you must work out the ‘Bonus’ mileage yourself and provide the supporting CLEAR evidence yourself! (if the evidence is not clear or has not been worked out by the applicant then the Sub-Committee will not include the Bonus mileage – if in doubt please ask!)

The elevation bonus can be substituted for mileage over 500ft ‘500ft = 0.5 miles’ (rounded down)

Example –  766ft = 0.5miles / 1084ft = 1.0miles



A witness must sign the form to be sent to the relevant Pack Dog Co-ordinator verifying proof of leg/trip & distances, pack weight and dog competing. The witness does not need to complete the distance unless willing and it is acceptable for a witness to verify the start and finish of your trip only. (see page 3 of application form)

You will also need proof of your dog’s weight.  We have devised a form for you to take along to your local Veterinary Practice, (see top of page)which can be signed by any member of staff who works there as long as they have been involved in weighing your dog.  The form is then valid for 28 days from the day of weigh-in.


And finally …

Any rule can be broken or ignored. Shortcuts can be taken. Knowledge can be skimped upon. But what will you actually gain from doing that, not to mention dishonouring your dog?

Follow the spirit of the rules, and you will find that the guidance and rules in all the information will support and encourage you to progress through the various levels. Above all else, remember that the enjoyment in backpacking comes from working

together as a team with your dog/s. It’s about the countryside you traverse, the people you meet and the places you visit. Take your time and enjoy it.



Forms / Contact info –


Gold/Platinum Application Form: Doc | PDF

Dogs proof of weight form: Doc | PDF

Guidance & Equipment: PDF

Easy to Follow Table / All Levels: PDF


For Gold/Platinum level queries please use the following email:

Gold Platinum Level Co-Ordinator: Mrs Natalie Lovegrove of Arctictribe Alaskan Malamutes