You can simply use markers to find home when you go short distances. This allows you to explore withing a close proximity and get to know your home terrain a bit better.
Here's an example of markers from the SC Wiki:
It's made form cheap materials: cobblestone and torches. Torches are convenient for night time use, but you can use something as cheap as tree leaves to make your markers. The only drawback is that you won't be able to see them as easily in the night.
In order to journey long distances without getting lost, you will need to craft a magnet and a compass. The recipes are below:
|Crafting a Magnet|
|Crafting a Compass|
Please not that you DO NOT need 20 diamonds and 15 copper ingots to craft the compass. It only requires 4 copper ingots and 1 diamond. This is just the picture that we have on the SC wiki. As soon as we get a better picture, I'll update this post... Sorry for the inconvenience...
Anyway... Getting back on track!!
Just place the magnet anywhere in or near your home. [But I suggest placing ONLY 1 magnet per world. You want your compass to point to your house.] After placing the magnet, take the compass everywhere you go! The compass will point you in the direction of the magnet, so that you can stray as far away as you like, but you will ALWAYS know where home is!!!
Just note that if you die far from home your magnet will be lost, whether or not you find your dropped items.
I hope this helps everyone out!! You'll never be lost again ;)