The first thing I would do is see if
is in your area and if there is equipment avala I le in your area. (They are not in my area/country, so I’m at of luck.)
Next, I’d search for small “owner/operators” and hire them/their equipment. An owner operator is a guy (or gal) with a lighting and/or grip package that might be large or small, depending. They might have a cube van or truck. They might be willing to make a deal if business is slow. Generally you negotiate their day rate and their package rate at the same time—this can be a good way to shift numbers around on your budget (from payroll to rental or vice versa). Also, they might already have a relationship with the nearest rental house and can sub rent whatever they don’t already have. If they are far away you might have to pay for travel time and/or a motel.
The nice thing about owner/operators is that they are much more open to negotiation than rental houses. They have more flexibility. Another nice thing, especially if you have an inexperienced or low experience crew, is that they (should) know what they are doing.
Another thing, similar to the owner/operator, is other production companies that might own equipment.
Lastly, you can find the nearest rental house, find a truck rental near them, and just go there, rent the truck, rent the kit, and drive back.
If it’s a very small kit, you might be able to have it shipped. Call the rental house and ask about options. Ask if they ever ship by bus (greyhound or whatever).
As for me, I’ve found someone locally (through friends/word of mouth) that happens to own a few lights and a small insert stage (in other words, a big room with 25’ ceilings). I found a production company that rents some of their gear in a nearby city (a half hour away). I’m about to go exploring Mexico City for their rental houses (or I will after the upcoming production wraps).
Explore your options and compare numbers. Less complicated arrangements are good, but do what’s you have to do.