After feverishly mining my minimal 10 blocks of obsidian I made me a portal to the Nether. I thought to myself, 'Sweet, something new. This should be fun.' I wanted to jump in immediately but to be safe, I emptied my inventory of everything other than a sword, armor and a pick ax.

I got there and noticed it brought me to a cave. I knew I'd need some torches so I turned around and re-entered the portal and... I have no clue where I am but it's not the portal I entered in?!?!

What happened and how can I get home? I don't have a map because, as I mentioned, I left all my goods at my home base before going to the Nether. Now I'm stranded. How does this happen and how can I easily find my home base? Should it be close by? I tried to enter the portal in the Nether from various directions but that didn't help. I keep popping up in the overworld somewhere other than near my home but I can tell it is at the same location each time I go back to the overworld.

I'm lost... and I'm starting to feel cold. Can somebody help?

  • 3
    Just die, and you will probably be returned to the spawn point.
    – BlaXpirit
    Aug 27, 2011 at 18:14
  • That is one option but... my ax and sword are both diamond equipment and I don't have a bunch of raw diamond yet. I'd rather not if that can be avoided.
    – RLH
    Aug 27, 2011 at 18:51
  • Looks like the way to travel faster, than with railroad!
    – Nakilon
    Aug 27, 2011 at 23:52
  • 1
    Just an aside: you should use a flint & tinder to make fires in the nether to light your way rather than use up torches!
    – fredley
    Aug 28, 2011 at 13:45
  • See also: gaming.stackexchange.com/q/77807/23
    – badp
    Feb 7, 2013 at 9:49

5 Answers 5


Hit F3 to see your coordinates, and head for coodinates x=0, z=0. That will take you to somewhere near your initial spawn. From there you should be able to find your way home.

Or, chop down the tree you mentioned, build a chest, and put all your equipment in that chest. Hit F3, write down your co-ordinates, and die. You will respawn at your last bed or spawn point, after which you can find your way back to the chest with your stuff. This will leave you in the same spot that are now, but now you'll know the way back to your base.

Or, if you're really stuck, use a map program like Tectonicus to create a map of your world, and use that to find your way home.

  • 1
    Note that depending on your seed, spawn may NOT be (0,0). Generally it's close though.
    – Shinrai
    Aug 29, 2011 at 15:44
  • With the addition of oceans way back when, coordinates 0,0 will probably not be anywhere near spawn.
    – user79446
    Mar 22, 2018 at 0:13

One of the curious features of the nether's spacial distortion is that sometimes two portals don't link up quite the way you'd expected they would. If a nether portal deposits you in the "normal" world somewhere unfamiliar, you're probably only a short distance from the place you expected to be; if you're underground, try digging your way up and out, and if you can't see a landmark when you emerge, either find or build something high enough that you can get a good look at the landscape. Shouldn't be too hard to find your way back, then.

  • The portal was above ground, and it was beside a tall hill that was beside a MASSIVE tree. I jumped on top of the tree and then climbed to the top. I didn't see anything familiar and I could see quite a ways away.
    – RLH
    Aug 28, 2011 at 2:33
  • 1
    @RLH: Try pressing F3 and getting your coordinates. Your original spawn point is normally around X: 0, Z: 0.
    – Kredns
    Aug 28, 2011 at 7:35
  • I myself find coordinates to be very close to cheating, but it is a solution.
    – Konerak
    Aug 28, 2011 at 12:42
  • 2
    Try climbing the tree and waiting for nightfall. If you have lit up your base you may see the glow.
    – Chris Nava
    Aug 1, 2012 at 15:07

You have a diamond pick... get some redstone, iron, coal and you'll have yourself a compass pointing back to your spawn (or bed) in no time. =)

  • 1
    Unfortunately compasses do not point towards beds :( Aug 28, 2011 at 1:31
  • This is probably my best option. But that means I'll have to dig down quite a bit. Yeah, I guess I better get digging.
    – RLH
    Aug 28, 2011 at 2:35

I've just had the same problem. I solved it by taking the portal back to the over-world and setting fire to the portal there, this disables the portal there and because there's no room there now another one won't spawn when you next use the portal in the nether. This only works of course if you know where your home-portal is. With your problem it's likely that your home-portal has been damaged and that it has been disabled, but as said before it should be located nearby. Just look around, it might be about 2-3min away.


Set the render distance to "far", then build a tall pillar near cloud level. If you can't see your home, climb down and build another one on which you can barely see your first one. Repeat until you either find your home or cover the entire island. If the latter, return to the Nether and go very far away from the portal and build another one. It might take you to your house.

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