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I wandered too far to go look for sheep and now I'm on a completely different island. How do I find my way back to my house?

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8  
In the future, always carry a map or compass. :) –  John the Green Sep 3 '11 at 23:59
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Sadly, maps are less effective at finding your way home, so never rely on them unless you are lost over a single mountain. –  Shadow Zorgon Dec 27 '13 at 17:14
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7 Answers

If you have the correct supplies you could craft a compass. A compass will always point to your original spawn. To craft a compass you will need to arrange 4 iron ingots and 1 redstone, like so:

enter image description here

If you lack these supplies and want an alternative to using mod's you could press F3 and this will display the debug screen. On this screen should be 3 coordinates (X, Y, Z). If your house is near your spawn (the place where you first appeared within that level), then you could just walk back to (X:0, Z:0). Generally you'll spawn within about a 100 blocks of (X:0, Z:0).

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If you're fine with doing so, you could open up your world in one of the programs listed in the Programs and Editors page of the Minecraft Wiki, to view your map and attempt to figure out where your home is in relation to where you currently are. Eihort looks like a great tool (and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux), because it shows the coordinates of where you are currently hovering (so when you find your house, you can easily locate it in-game via F3). If you don't need something quite that powerful, mcmap and Tectonicus are also good.

enter image description here

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You can show your in-game coordinates by simply pressing F3 as well. Simply write down your home's coordinates, and then refer to them to return later. –  GnomeSlice Sep 4 '11 at 0:09
    
@Gnome Ahh yes, I didn't phrase that very well. fixed –  Kevin Y Sep 4 '11 at 0:13
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That should probably be its own answer actually, as it's the simplest. –  GnomeSlice Sep 4 '11 at 0:25
    
I was assuming that the OP had absolutely no idea where their house was, and thus wouldn't be able to use F3 until they established where their house was. –  Kevin Y Sep 4 '11 at 17:36
    
No I understand, I'm just saying that as a general rule, that's a great way to do it. –  GnomeSlice Sep 4 '11 at 17:54
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In the place that you are lost, copy the coordinates down on paper. Then make a chest and put all the good things that you have in that chest, and after that kill yourself/ allow yourself to be killed. Then you should spawn at home. At your house copy down those coordinates, then go to the first set of coordinates you copied and all your stuff will be in the chest, then you can use your home coordinates to get home again.

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If you don't want to use any external tools then you could build a tower where you are and climb to the top. Then turn the render distance to maximum so you can see as far as possible.

This may enable you to spot some features you recognise and will also give you a reference point in case you get lost in the future.

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Good suggestion, and if he were to build the tower out of leaves there would be no need to destroy it. –  Lucas McCoy Sep 8 '11 at 6:56
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I'd recommend Zan's Minimap, which is a clientside mod that gives you a great, customizable map. Of particular use to you is the feature that allows you to set waypoints on your map, so you will never lose a certain place again.

Just be aware that the 'Threading' option will corrupt your world in a solo game if turned on (so leave it off).

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And, if your bed is far both from x0 and z0, you can try seedscope.net and use it to teleport back to the last bed you used, but without losing your stuff.

My favorite technique, however, is to make a new home where you are. Start over, and eventually you'll find your own place and can link the two.

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+1 for being the most practical in-game answer. –  Allen Gould Mar 10 at 19:26
    
"Update, 27 Oct 2013: Heads up! seedscope.net (a.k.a. mc.42nex.us) is shutting down in 2014. Most of these features are now available in-game using Commands." –  matt wilkie Jun 22 at 23:04
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If you do not have valuable materials then just drown yourself or jump of a mountain but DO NOT do this if you have not slept in a bed back at your house or set your spawn point there. If you don't want to do that then type this in your text bar: /gamemode 1. This should change you to creative mode so you can look for it by flying.

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