It might seem difficult to decide which is worse: mosquitoes or the harsh chemical repellents often used to keep them away. The natural compounds in some herbs, such as sage, repel mosquitoes. So, with a sage-based homemade repellent, you can deter the insects and have peace of mind.
By making your own bug spray, using sage (Salvia _officinalis_), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 8, and a few other dried herbs, you can forgo chemical-based repellents. Then, focus on more enjoyable subjects -- camping, hiking, berry foraging or whatever outdoor recreational activity you like.
Spoon 2 tablespoons each of dried sage; rosemary (_Rosmarinus officinalis_), which grows in USDA zones 7 to 11; lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8; thyme (_Thymus vulgaris_), which thrives in USDA zones 4 to 9; and mint (_Mentha spp._) cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, into a large canning jar.
Pour 32 ounces of apple cider vinegar over the herbs. Screw the lid in place.
Shake the jar daily for two weeks.
Strain the herbs from the vinegar, using a fine-mesh strainer. Pour the liquid into two 32-ounce plastic spray bottles, filling each one half full. Refrigerate the herb-scented vinegar for two weeks.
Add enough water to fill each bottle. Use the natural bug spray as you would a standard repellent.