Renting Equipment

The primary equipment that you're going to need can be rented from REI.  Although they haven't published their Spring 2003 rental rates yet I'm listing the Winter 2002 rates so that you'll have a basic idea of what the cost is going to be.  If you plan on tenting with a buddy then only one of you will need to carry a tent.  Once I have a definitive list who's coming, I'll organize a buddy list for anyone that's interested.

Here's a list of all the equipment you'll need to rent:
Backpack

Rate: $15 for the first day and $5 for each additional day.  First and last days not counted.
In order to go on a backpacking excursion your going to need a backpack.  It's important that you have a backpack that fits well on your hips since that's where you want the weight (not on your shoulders).  I prefer internal frame packs because they're much more comfortable than the external frame varieties.
Tent

Rate: $15 for the first day and $4 for each additional day.  First and last days not counted.
If you want to sleep in peace and not worry about mosquitoes and rain then you're going to need a tent.  I use a very lightweight 2 person tent which I bought many years ago.  REI offers a number of tents for backpacking.  Your going to want a light tent which has enough room for you and your tent buddy.  Your gear sleeps outside.
Sleeping Bag

Rate: $12 for the first day and $7 for each additional day.  First and last days not counted.
Because we'll be sleeping in the high country you're going to want a warm sleeping bag.  I recommend renting a 10 degree bag.  Although it won't be that cold the bag will insure comfort down to 10 degrees farenheit.  If you're over 5'10" tall you'll want to make sure to rent a "long" bag as it will help keep your feet warm and is worth the extra weight.
Sleeping Pad

Rate: You can buy a twin sized "Egg Crate" matress pad at Target for $8.  Cut it down to size.
The ground will be uneven and uncomfortable without a soft pad to sleep on.  REI rents special pads for backpacking for $8 the first day and $4 every day after that.  This year I'm going to buy a pad from Target as I think it's more comfortable but probably a little heavier.