If you have netherrack, put a block on a high hill and light it on fire. Then when you are just about to loose sight of it put another one in a high location. Then just follow the fires on your way home.
Torches along the primary travel axis NS/EW
-with towers of sandstone, lit with torches, every 1k
Jack-o-lanterns under water unless I feel like building a water-based dirt tower
When I have access to it, I build a lava tower not far from my house, with a water pit surrounding it for safety. Makes for nice light during nighttime, but also can be seen from quite far away.
If you play on Tiny - Every 20 blocks, make a 1x1 tower of sand or gravel to around elevation 100, then jump down into water and not hurt yourself.
If you play on Small (fog) - Every 30 blocks make a 1x1 tower of sand or gravel to around elevation 100
If you play on Normal (fog) - Everyone 60 blocks make a 1x1 tower of sand or gravel to around elevation 100
If you play on far - Every 100 blocks makes a 1x1 tower of sand or gravel to elevation 100
To find your elevation, press f3 and look for the y coordinate. The reason I recommend sand or gravel is so you don't waste your time trying to get to the top to dig it down. All you would have to do is break the bottom, place a torch and let the sand and gravel break itself. OR if you are inexperienced with that technique, I recommend learning it or just keep breaking the bottom sand/gravel.
At least a couple people mentioned F3 and the coordinate system. If you know how to use that and you know how the sun/moon and clouds move, you won't need any materials to find your way back home. Even in the rain, coordinates never fail. As someone else mentioned, make it easier on yourself by only exploring in one cardinal direction at a time.
Step by step:
1. At your home, hit F3 and write down the coordinates (X and Z).
2. Move in any cardinal direction (NSEW) and then hit F3 again and note which number changed. Now you know which is the NS number and which is the EW number.
3. Explore in any of those four directions, confident that you now have all the knowledge you need to get back home.
The coordinate system is nice and very useful, but not always helpful.
When I play SSP on my laptop, for some reason the animated graph at the bottom left (is that pingtime?) nearly instantly obliterates the coordinates and makes it difficult to use unless I close out, then reopen.
At home on my primary desktop, though, it's never a problem.
It is, however, safer to follow my paths of torches (etc) than to end up with tunnel vision on the coordinates and walk into a ravine or a creeper :wink.gif: