Yes, at the minimum, "equipment" means a beacon, a probe, a shovel, and a pack to put it all in, including extra clothes, water, emergency gear and food, headlamp, etc. Depending on the destination, equipment also includes skins and some kind of binding that allows you to walk uphill on skis. Then, while the equipment is necessary, the knowledge of how to use it is the critical part.
That's the issue you're going to run into when you try to just hook up with someone and go ski the backcountry. While some people worry less about this than others (I'm a worry-wort, if that tells you anything), there's a huge amount of responsibility involved with taking inexperienced people out of bounds. While your host would hopefully minimize the danger, if ANYTHING goes wrong, you've got people at risk who may not have much idea what to do. That endangers everyone in the party and potentially anyone who comes to help with a rescue.
All of that is why I typically won't take more than a couple of newbies with me on a backcountry excursion. There's a lot of miles involved in learning how to stay safe outside a ski area's boundaries, and taking a larger group is just asking for trouble.
Having said that, I'll also tell you that completely inexperienced people with zero equipment ski out the OB gates at Jackson Hole every single day of the season and almost none of them get killed.
The frustrating thing about the lift-accessed backcountry skiing here at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is that it's so easy to do it. The gates are open and nobody checks anything.
For example, the slope pictured in this photo is called the Powder 8 slope (on Cody Bowl) and it is an extremely popular destination for skiers. It's plainly visible from the top of the ski resort and only requires about an hour of traversing and hiking to access it. If you looked at it from the ski area, you would get the impression that it's totally safe to ski because there are nearly always tracks on it. Still, here's what can happen when the stars line up wrong:
That is an absolutely enormous slide that could easily have killed anybody skiing or hiking that slope. Most of the people skiing that slope today simply take for granted that the skier traffic means it's safe. The same goes for several of the main backcountry routes down from the mountain.
So the bottom line is that there's great skiing out there. Most of the time, it's probably pretty safe. If you can find someone who'll take you there, you'll probably have a great time.
I'm just saying that it's not quite as simple as just deciding to go out of bounds. There are very real dangers involved, so don't take it lightly. I think the best way for a "first-timer" is to go with a guide. If you can't afford that or don't want to, give some thought to how you do it and with whom. I'm a conservative (when it comes to avalanches) old fuddy-duddy, so maybe you'll want to discount all my warnings.
And yes, there's incredibly good skiing inbounds here. If you've never skied here, I think you'll be amazed at the quantity and quality of the inbounds terrain. You're coming at one of my favorite times of the season to ski here, so I think you'll have great conditions available to you inside the resort.